Modern Capitalism and Revolution

Cardan, Paul (Cornelius Castoriadis)
Publisher:  Solidarity, London, United Kingdom
Year Published:  1975   First Published:  1959
Pages:  102pp  
Dewey:  320.5315
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX6437

For revolutionaries one central point must be grasped to understand how the system works: the struggle of human beings against their alientation, and the ensuing conflict and split in all spheres, aspects and moments of socia life. As long as this struggle is there there ruling strata will continue to be unable to organise their system in a coherent way, and society will lurch from one accident to another. These are the conditions for revolutionary activity in the present epoch -- and they are amply sufficient.

Abstract:  Paul Cardan writes:
As an organized movement, the revolutionary movement must be rebuilt from rock bottom. This reconstruction will find a solid basis in the development of working class experience. But it presupposes a radical break with all present organizations, their ideology, their mentality, their methods of action. Everything which has existed and exists in the working class movement (ideology, parties, unions, etc.) is irrevocably and irretrievable finished, rotten, integrated into exploiting society. There can be no miraculous solution. Everything must be build anew, at the cost of a long and patient labour.

Meaningful action is whatever increases the confidence, the autonomy, the initiative, the participation, the solidarity, the equalitarian tendencies and the self-activity of the masses and whatever assists in their demystification. Sterile and harmful action is whatever reinforces the passiviity of the masses, their apathy, their cynicism, their differentiation through hierarchy, their alienation, their reliance on others to do things for them and the degree to which they can therefore be manipulated by others -- even by those allegedly acting on their behalf. It is whatever reinforces the long-term trends - economic or ideological - of exploiting society itself.

In all struggles, the way the result is obtained is just as important as what is obtained.... The first criterion guiding the activity of the revolutionary movement should be that its interventions aim not at replacing but at developing the initiative and autonomy of the workers.

Table of Contents

Author's Introduction to the 1974 English Edition
1. The Problem Stated
2. Some Important Features of Modern Capitalism
3. The Revolutionary Perspective in Traditional Marxism
4. Marxist Political Economy
5. Accumulation without Crises / Effects of Automation
6. Political Implications of the 'Classical' Theory
7. The Fundamental Contradiction of Capitalism
8. The Real Dynamic of Capitalism
9. Capitalist Ideology Yesterday and Today
10. Bureaucratization: The Intrinsic Tendency of Capitalism
11. The Real Meaning Bureaucratization
12. Motives in Bureaucratic Society
13. The Bureaucratic Model
14. Problems of Bureaucratic Capitalism
15. The Crises of Bureaucratic Capitalism
16. The Present State of the Class Struggle
17. The Crisis of Socialization
18. The Real Conditions for a Socialist Revolution
19. The Revolutionary Perspective Today
20. For a Modern Revolutionary Movement

Subject Headings

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