"Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality will have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from premises now in existence."
The German Ideology, K.Marx and F.Engels
The process of capitalist restructuring, underway for over two decades,
has deliberately aimed at permanently destroying the old centres of
proletarian power. A part of this restructuring has been globalisation, entailing
widespread relocation of production from areas of high class struggle
to, areas where capital can more easily expand itself.
But there have been far more fundamental changes. In the past the increasing concentration of capital tended to be realised in terms of ever larger factories, employing ever larger numbers of workers. Radicals saw this tendency as a potential weakness of capitalism, as the enterprise grouped together and organised capitalism's gravediggers, proletarians. Restructuring has tended to deal with this Achille's heel, by creating a new decentralised global system of smaller enterprises linked by modern communications infrastructure (containerisation of freight, as well as information technology, etc.).
We therefore find ourselves on a new terrain, where the proletariat is still the revolutionary subject, but where the past obsession with factory workers and trade unions is increasingly anachronistic. Our own struggle against the misery of this society and our own lives must increasingly involve an attempt to understand the changes going on in our class and in our world.