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“The question then arises: What transformation will the state undergo in communist society? In other words, what social functions will remain in existence there that are analogous to present state functions? This question can only be answered scientifically, and one does not get a flea-hop nearer to the problem by a thousand-fold combination of the word ‘people’ [Volk] with the word 'state’ [Staat].

Between capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.”

–Karl Marx, “Critique of the Gotha Programme: IV” (1875)

“[T]here is no reason to assume that the revolutionary uprising must necessarily begin in Paris. It may well begin in the provinces. But let us assume that the revolution, as usual, begins in Paris. It is our conviction that Paris should then play only a negative role, i.e., initiate the destruction of the old order, but not organize the new order (in the rest of France). If Paris itself stages a successful uprising, it would then have the obligation and the right to call for solidarity in the complete political, juridical, financial, and administrative liquidation of the State, and of political and privately owned or controlled (but not strictly) personal property; the demolition of all the functions, services, and powers of the State; the public burning of all public and private legal documents and records. Paris will immediately and to the greatest possible extent organize itself in a revolutionary manner. The newly formed workers’ associations would then take possession of all the tools of production as well as all buildings and capital, arming and organizing themselves into regional sections made up of groups based on streets and neighborhood boundaries. The federally organized sections would then associate themselves to form a federated commune. And it will be the duty of the commune to declare that it has neither the right nor the desire to organize or govern all of France. This commune, on the contrary, will appeal to all the people, to all the communes, and to what up till now was considered foreign territory, to follow its example, to make its own revolution in as radical a manner as possible and to destroy the state, juridical institutions, privileged ownership, and so forth.

Paris will then invite these French or foreign communes to meet either in Paris or in some other place, where their delegations will collectively work out the necessary arrangements to lay the groundwork for equality, the indispensable precondition for all freedom. They will formulate an absolutely negative program which will stress what must be abolished, organize the common defense and propaganda against the enemies of the Revolution, and develop practical revolutionary solidarity with its friends in all lands.

The constructive tasks of the Social Revolution, the creation of new forms of social life, can emerge only from the living practical experience of the grass-roots organizations which will build the new society according to their manifold needs and aspirations.

The provinces, at least such main centers as Lyons, Marseilles, Saint-Étiénne, Rouen, and others do not have to wait for decrees from Paris before organizing the Revolution. They must revolt and, like Paris, make the negative, i.e., the destructive phase of the Revolution. They must organize themselves spontaneously, without outside interference, so that the Revolutionary Federal Assembly or Provincial and Communal Delegations do not attempt to govern and regulate all of France; the Revolutionary Assembly is, on the contrary, the creation of local and spontaneous organizations in each of the revolutionary centers of France. In short, the Revolution emanating from all points should not, and must not, depend on a single directing center. The center must not be the source, but the product; not the cause, but the effect of the revolution.

There must be anarchy, there must be — if the revolution is to become and remain alive, real, and powerful — the greatest possible awakening of all the local passions and aspirations; a tremendous awakening of spontaneous life everywhere. After the initial revolutionary victory the political revolutionaries, those advocates of brazen dictatorship, will try to squelch the popular passions. They appeal for order, for trust in, for submission to those who, in the course and in the name of the Revolution, seized and legalized their own dictatorial powers; this is how such political revolutionaries reconstitute the State. We, on the contrary, must awaken and foment all the dynamic passions of the people. We must bring forth anarchy, and in the midst of the popular tempest, we must be the invisible pilots guiding the Revolution, not by any kind of overt power but by the collective dictatorship of all our allies [members of the anarchist vanguard organization International Alliance of Social Democracy], a dictatorship without tricks, without official titles, without official rights, and therefore all the more powerful, as it does not carry the trappings of power. This is the only dictatorship I will accept, but in order to act, it must first be created, it must be prepared and organized in advance, for it will not come into being by itself, neither by discussions, nor by theoretical disputations, nor by mass propaganda meetings…

If you will build this collective and invisible power you will triumph; the well-directed revolution will succeed. Otherwise, it will not!”

–Mikhail Bakunin, “Letter to Albert Richard” (1870)

“The most striking of Pashukanis’ positions is his implacable opposition to any concept of 'proletarian law’. Since he treats law as an historical form which achieves fullest expression in the bourgeois epoch, and which is tied closely to the commodity form, he opposes pseudo-radicalism that talks of the overthrow of bourgeois law and its replacement by proletarian law. For Pashukanis such a line is implicitly conservative since it accepts the form of law as supra-historical and capable of infinite renewal. The transition period, when the dictatorship of the proletariat oversees the revolutionary transformation of capitalism towards communism, cannot, in any case. be regarded as if it were a particular stable social formation with its own particular form of law. As for the future — a symmetrical array such as: feudal law: bourgeois law: socialist law — neglects the whole question of the withering away of the state and law in the higher stages of socialist development. For Pashukanis the end of the forms and categories of bourgeois law by no means signifies their replacement by new proletarian ones — just as the transition to communism does not mean that new proletarian categories of value, capital, and so on, appear as the bourgeois forms die out — rather the juridical element in social relations gradually disappears.

[..] Pashukanis argues that the rule of bourgeois law is preserved during the transition to socialism even when capitalist exploitation no longer exists; there is no such thing as proletarian law, eventually law dies out together with the state.”

–Evgeny B. Pashukanis, “The General Theory of Law and Marxism: Editor’s Introduction”

“But if it is to be feasible, communism requires a huge moral improvement in the members of society, plus a highly developed and deep-seated sense of solidarity that the thrust of revolution may well not be enough to bring forth, especially if, in the early days, the material conditions that encourage its development [..] may not be in place.

Such contradictions can be remedied through the immediate implementation of communism only in those areas and to the extent that circumstances allow, while collectivism is applied to the rest, but only on a transitional basis. In the early stages, amended by the enthusiasm of a people bent upon a new way of life and driven by the mighty thrust of revolution, collectivism is not going to have time to make its damaging effects felt. However, lest it then relapse into bourgeois-ism, it is going to have to make a rapid evolution in the direction of communism. And it is here that action by a consciously communist party, action by the International, will be of crucial importance.”

–Errico Malatesta, “Program And Organization Of The International Working Men’s Association” (1884)

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Today was a great day, I started my law textbooks and sent in applications for cells. I also wrote a poem after ages, so I guess that made my whole day
All in all, pretty productive.

Listening to: porcelain by mxmtoon

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20.10.20// coffee shops and gardens were my favourite places in England. I was recently asked where to go in Canterbury and it made my heart so happy! I miss all these places dearly!

How are your terms going? Next week is reading week for us and I’ve already got a list of work planned! But also a handful of DIY projects for our new place!

IG: flatneedledistillery

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“Pashukanis argues that the rule of bourgeois law is preserved during the transition to socialism even when capitalist exploitation no longer exists; there is no such thing as proletarian law, eventually law dies out together with the state.”

Pashukanis would’ve made a good Anarchist too

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“To return to Pashukanis: he sees two things

  1. — first of all that there is a close connection between the form of law and the equal standard implicit in commodity production and exchange
  2. — secondly that there is no proletarian stage between bourgeois right and the dying out of law altogether.

For law will die out ‘when an end shall have been put to the form of the equivalent relationship’ — a relationship stigmatised by Marx as bourgeois — whereas a society which is constrained to preserve such a relationship of equivalency between labour expenditures, and compensation therefore, preserves also the form of bourgeois law.”

-Evgeny B. Pashukanis, “The General Theory of Law and Marxism: Editor’s Introduction”

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“People can be ‘measurable by an equal standard only in so far as they are brought under an equal point of view’ and yet, Marx reminds us, 'they would not be different individuals if they were not unequal’. In truth the demand for equality, or for equity in economic and legal arrangements, does not go beyond a radical bourgeois framework and does not grasp the qualitative break with previous forms that Marx looks forward to. Equality is the highest concept of bourgeois politics. It is not accidental that Marx never issued any programmatic declaration for it.”

-Evgeny B. Pashukanis, “The General Theory of Law and Marxism: Editor’s Introduction”

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“Pashukanis thinks that the view of law as an external regulation imposed by command of authority does not bring out the specific character of legal regulation. This does not mean that the legal superstructure does not ensure the dominance of the ruling class. However, formally, the courts act as umpires in a law-suit. This form must be recognised for what it is if a materialist analysis is to expose its class character and effectively demolish its ideological function. In analysing the rule of law we need to explain why the mechanism of constraint is dissociated from the property-owners themselves, taking the form, instead, of an impersonal mechanism of judgment isolated from everyday life. In feudal times all relationships were mediated by personal dependence and authority. The obedience of the villein to the feudal lord was the direct and immediate result of the fact that the latter had an armed force at his disposal, and his authority was an inescapable God-given fact. The dependence of the wage-labourer on the capitalist is not enforced in such an immediate fashion. Firstly, the armed force of the state is a public power standing above each individual capitalist; secondly, this impersonal power does not enforce relationships of exploitation separately, for the reason that the wage-labourer is not compelled to work for a given entrepreneur but alienates his labour-power through a free contract. Since this alienation is established formally as a relationship between two autonomous commodity owners, therefore class authority must take the form of a public authority which guarantees contracts in general but does not normally constrain the independent legal subjects to accept any particular price. If the law does intervene in this way, as it is tending to do today, then law becomes much more clearly class law — except that the bourgeoisie screams the more loudly that it is not the capitalist class that rules but ‘the law’ (that is to say: the authority of an objective and impartial norm). However, even in the most liberal state, the rule of law is an ideological structure that endorses and enforces class rule. For, of course, the free subjects of the theory of contract are not equal except in the context of the juridical framework which recognises alienation only in its most abstract form. For basic material reasons, such as the danger of imminent starvation, the labouring class have no option but to sell their labour. They are thus dependent as a class on the capitalists as a class (albeit that each is free to choose his exploiter) and hence are justifiably characterisable as wage-slaves. There is, therefore, the coexistence of a legal form relating 'independent and equal persons’ on the one hand, and, on the other, the material reality of the rule of one class over another in the bourgeois state — but mediated, as we have seen. through the rule of law.”

–Evgeny B. Pashukanis, “The General Theory of Law and Marxism: Editor’s Introduction”

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day 4/5 of 5 / week 1 of 5

19 oct 22:48

i love the posts with doodles and annotations so i decided to try it out for myself (pls let me know if i should be attributing credit to anyone!!!)

today was such a good day, i have two other plants in my room, but nothing for my workspace so i got two and they’re so cute omg

i finally finished my notes on the loophole by ellen cassidy and after my day or two day break i can go back to drilling lsat sections! scores for the oct test come out friday and i’m ridiculously nervous but also trying to retain confidence!

you are valued

you are ambitious

your goals are well within reach

words of affirmation are my love language and no better way to practice self-love than affirmations :-)

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“The task of a Marxist critique of law is not to prove that juridical concepts are consciously manipulated by bourgeois publicists in order to browbeat the workers (which is indisputable), but to show that in them —in these concepts— social reality takes on an ideological form which expresses certain objective relationships arising from the social relations of production and stands or falls with them. An ideological form cannot die out except with the social conditions which generated it. The struggle against ideology. however, helps to deprive it of the capacity to mystify the social relationships out of which it grew, and to make possible a scientific politics.”

–Evgeny B. Pashukanis, “The General Theory of Law and Marxism: Editors’ Introduction”

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I’m still making sense of it myself but here, walk with me,

“[E]very form of production creates its own legal relations.”

–Karl Marx, Grundrisse

“The sphere of circulation or commodity exchange, within whose boundaries the sale and purchase of labour-power goes on, is in fact a very Eden of the innate rights of man. It is the exclusive realm of Freedom, Equality, Property and Bentham. Freedom, because both buyer and seller of a commodity, let us say of labour-power, are determined only by their own free will. They contract as free persons, who are equal before the law. Their contract is the final result in which their joint will finds a common legal expression. Equality, because each enters into relation with the other, as with a simple owner of commodities, and they exchange equivalent for equivalent. Property, because each disposes only of what is his own. And Bentham, because each looks only to his own advantage. The only force bringing them together, and putting them into relation with each other, is the selfishness, the gain and the private interest of each.

[..] When we leave this sphere of simple circulation or the exchange of commodities, [..] a certain change takes place [..] in the physiognomy of our dramatis personae. He who was previously the money-owner now strides out in front as a capitalist; the possessor of labour-power follows as his worker. The one smirks self-importantly and is intent on business; the other is timid and holds back, like someone who has brought his own hide to market and now has nothing else to expect but — a tanning.

[..] The capitalist maintains his rights as a purchaser when he tries to make the working day as long as possible, and, where possible, to make two working days out of one. On the other hand, the peculiar nature of the commodity sold implies a limit to its consumption by the purchaser, and the worker maintains his right as a seller when he wishes to reduce the working day to a particular normal length.

There is here therefore an antinomy, of right against right, both equally bearing the seal of the law of exchange. Between equal rights, force decides.”

–Karl Marx, Capital

“The legal form, Pashukanis argued, developed directly out of the exchange of commodities in a competitive capitalist market place and in a parallel fashion to the commodity form.

[..] At the exact moment of exchange three specific phenomenal forms appear. First, the two commodity owners enter a relationship of equality. Each recognizes the other as an equal in the very moment of exchange. Even as there are inherent differences between the two, at the moment of exchange there is equivalence. Second, at this moment there is also recognition of free will. Each of the parties sees the other as freely exchanging a commodity. Finally, each recognizes the other as a rightful owner of the commodity that is being exchanged.

The constant exchange of commodities in the market-place produces these three phenomenal forms: the notion of equality, free will, and the proprietorship interests. [..] The equivalence principle, derived from capital logic, is thereafter elevated to the heavens as a sacred right and incorporated in many emerging constitutions that resulted from social transformations. In sum, just as the commodity was transformed from use-value to exchange-value, so too is the person. Differences have been brought under the relationship of equivalence.”

–Evgeny B. Pashukanis, “The General Theory of Law and Marxism: Introduction by Milovanovic”

“Athenian society in the run-up to the establishment of democracy consisted of three classes or social strata: on top of the pyramid there were the Eupatridae, comprised of the nobles, which was the class the monarch was from. Then came the Demiurgi – these were the artisans and merchants (but not just ordinary artisans; rather they were the master craftsmen and owners of the workshops, who owned slaves and employed wage-workers, the managers of production and trade in the service of the Eupatridae). Then came the Geomori or farmers, i.e., the landowning, slave-owning farmers. These three classes constituted the ranks of free men, and they were in turn subdivided according to rank, wealth and social position. After these, at the lowest level of the pyramid, were the Metoikos, who were the sons of an Athenian father and a foreign mother (who were generally the employees or assistants of the demiurgi and geomori); they were free men, but did not have the same rights as free Athenians. The slaves were lower still. And apart from them all were the women, who were not even considered ‘persons,’ much less 'citizens.’

It is with these characteristics and in this context that democracy was born.”

–Against Democracy

“[T]he counterpart of democratic government — the ‘free-market’ economic system, which never arose from or came in contact with the mythical ‘level playing field’ liberal economists envision to justify their system, is another governing structure (relating to the means of production and consumption, rather than the political apparatus) that allows a certain amount of competition and participation that has the appearance of fairness and openness but in reality is designed to increase the efficiency of control over the means of production while retaining that control in the hands of a group that may be somewhat fluid in its membership but is still clearly an elite group. In this free-market system, a very few people control the means of production (the factories, the land, et cetera), making self-sufficiency impossible.”

–Peter Gelderloos, “What is Democracy?”

“Abandoning commerce to enter into direct-exchange, we must push all the way to natural-exchange, the negation of property; moving from governmental authority to direct legislation, we must push all the way to anarchy, the negation of legalism.

By natural exchange I mean the unlimited liberty of all production and all consumption; the abolition of every sign of property, whether agricultural, industrial, artistic or scientific; the destruction of all individual monopolization of the products of labor; the demonarchization and demonetization of manual and intellectual capital, as well as instrumental, commercial and monumental capital. Every individual capital is usurious. It is a hindrance to circulation; and everything that hinders circulation hinders production and consumption. All of that is to be destroyed, and the representative sign as well: it accounts for the arbitrariness in exchange, as well as in government.

[..] Direct exchange, that reform introduced into popular thought by Proudhon, is still a halfway measure.”

–Joseph Déjacque, “On Exchange” (1858)

This is what I have compiled so far


So, if every form of production necessitates it’s own legal-form, legal relations, and if Democracy is the corresponding legal-form of Manufacture, then, as manufacturing gives way to the increased centralization of the industrial system, so to does its legal-form give way to increased centralization, mirroring it.

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