It’s been a while since we put up something of our own on the blog here, so we’d like to start another round of AS work on the blog with a compilation of our best work on one subject: the budget cuts struggle in California.
Around the world for the last few years, working class people have been fighting back on a massive scale against “austerity measures”, new rounds of “structural adjustment” where state services are harshly cut back. In times of high unemployment and economic slowdown, the lives and training of the working class aren’t profitable and get cut. Students across California, just like students across the world, started to fight back against the cuts through protests, occupations, even riots….signs that folks are learning an important lesson: we can’t trust the Democrats to fight for our interests when the chips are down.
And like all mass movements, the student movement in California experimented and self-criticized as it struggled. Democracy was debated, communization attempted, capitalism questioned, race and gender often ignored but then brought back with a smash on white male movement dominance. Debates erupted about whether the “work within the system” folks are the only heirs to the history of ethnic studies struggle; occupations were announced, denounced, celebrated and apologized for. Amongst all this, revolutionaries like us were wrestling with questions:
When do reforms push struggle forward, and when do they slow it down?
Should the militant minority with “advanced consciousness” act independently of the more conservative mainstream?
Is Left unity important, or just pointless bickering on the margins?
Will the “governator” joke ever end?
And centrally for us:
How does class consciousness develop? (Pamphlet below the fold!)
This last is the subject of our most comprehensive piece ever, the sprawling Crisis and Consciousness that stimulated polemical responses from accused “centrists” in the International Socialist Organization and Socialist Organizer, as well as a second-round reply to SO and us from a comrade at Gathering Forces blog.
It’s included, (edited to fit), along with Opening Shot Against the Budget Cuts, Occupations Spread Across California, The University Belongs to Those Who Use It (by UCB comrades!) and No More Ignoring State Violence…..in our new printable pamphlet!
If you like it, pass it on….because when the ruling class tries again to make us pay for the capitalism’s crisis, we’re gonna need to remember what we learned.