A Debate on ‘The Struggle’ of the Workers of VW in Brussels


When the huge VW auto plant in Forest (Brussels), threatened with closure, went on strike, Internationalist Perspective participated in the conflict by passing out a leaflet, which was later posted on the internet list of the (francophone) International Discussion Network. There, it evoked a number of comments from JW of the review “Temps Critiques”. Below, after a presentation of “Temps Critiques”, we reprint our leaflet and the subsequent exchange on the list between JW and FD of IP.

“Temps Critiques” is a review that is part of the movement of the “communisateurs”. What they mean by communisation is that the revolution can only succeed and be emancipating if it undertakes from the very beginning a communist transformation on all levels, from the production of food and the way we consume it, to transportation, housing, learning, traveling, reading, doing nothing, loving, not loving, debating and deciding our future, etc, without any period of transition. The comrades who publish this review say that it is not an in crowd publication devoted to pure theory, but rather a place for critical activity in France and elsewhere; an effort to conceive political action, taking into account the transformations of capitalism and its new contradictions.

They take note of the changes that have occurred in the way capitalist society functions, and think that capitalism has realized the unification of its forms of domination (the institutionalization of the world market, the dissolution of classes as subjects, the generalization of the political forms of authoritarian and managerial democracy).

They also recognize that the system encounters increasing difficulties to reproduce itself on the basis of what constitutes its fundamental value: (abstract) labor. While production continues, and valorization proceeds somehow (though more and more surplus value goes to the financial sector instead of to production), capitalism’s logic of power and domination, which is not just an economic logic, also leads to a crisis of the social relation.

From this, they draw a startling conclusion: the decline of the historical role of the working class. For them, the revolutionary proletariat is a thing of the past.

What they see is a resurgence of a critical movement outside the proletariat. This movement is not just intellectual, it expresses concretely the refusal of the tyranny of capital and of the myths of the society based on labor, the refusal to let individuals be reduced to a mere economic or social value.

For “Temps Critiques,” this movement expresses the ‘becoming-otherwise’ of the relations between the individual and the human community.

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