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Re: <nettime> The Revolutionary Role of a Transnational Counterparty
Brian Holmes on Fri, 28 Oct 2011 04:14:46 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The Revolutionary Role of a Transnational Counterparty

Dmytri, I like your proposal of the transnational party. In fact the convergence of the European Indignado movements and the US Occupy Wall Street upsurge already lays the basis for such a thing. The question is, what exactly in this case would correspond to the internal organization and discipline of a traditional party?

A little more seriously on the question of voting: Surely you are aware that an OWS working group has proposed something like a Constituent Assembly? It is not a debtor's party in name, but it does seem that debt and resentment of the debtlords is a driving force here. Check it out:


You can see that in this proposal, there is some reflection on what would actually constitute a force comparable to a party, but at a distance from the current structure of party politics that guarantees nothing will change.

And now, reaching beyond this US-centric proposal to the transnational aspect: What do you make of the quote from the UK Defence Ministry included in the William Bowles post that Patrice Riemens posted here a while ago:

“The Middle Class Proletariat — The middle classes could become a
revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by
Marx. The globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of
national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples’
attachment to particular states. The growing gap between themselves and
a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel
disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are
likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as
the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins
to bite. Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes
might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape
transnational processes in their own class interest.”

— ‘UK Ministry of Defence report, The DCDC Global Strategic Trends
Programme 2007-2036’ (Third Edition) p.96, March 2007

The point is that high levels of debt are now something that the precarious middle classes and the urban underclasses share. The issue as I see it is how to make this community of fact into a community of destiny, but without just claiming to wipe away all the class differences because that never works. The middle classes are all potentially what Gramsci calls "organic intellectuals," they have directive powers on the national and transnational levels due to their communication skills -- and what's more, these capacities extend now extend very widely beyond the usual white male priveleged subjects. How can they/we propose an inclusive project to run this world-economy better? How to avoid the symmetrical pitfalls of a. cooptation and b. retreat into neutralizable marginality?

I am not sure whether you are really proposing a transnational party, or just a kind of conceptual artwork that models such a party (and who knows, could become one) but in either case, there is a lot to go on in that direction!

warmly, Brian

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