Open Polemic Question

Paul Cockshott wpc at
Sun Aug 13 22:37:03 MDT 1995

Just over a year ago the following questions were
published over my name in the journal
Communist Open Polemic for Revolutionary Unity.

I would be interested in any responses from
comrades on the net?

The first condition of science is to ask
the right questions. We must decide what we
need to know. I would suggest that the
following are among questions that must to be

1 What is the economic character of the
socialist mode of production, what are
contradictions and how could they be overcome?
Without an answer to this, in an era
when it is held that socialism has been tried
and failed, when it is generally believed
that 'There Is No Alternative', no
socialist movement is possible.

2 What are the economic characteristics of
the modern capitalist system? Has the
system reached the limits of its potential
or is it on the threshold of furthe
What are the causes of growing unemployment
in the developed countries? Do
workers in the developed countries benefit
or suffer from low wages paid in the newly
developing countries?

3  What would progressive restructuring of
the economic system (short of coplete
capitalist overthrow) amount to and is
it possible? If it is possible then the
basis for reformist politics exists.
What political changes in the
constitution should we fight

4  What is the alliance of classes or groups
that can be won to the struggle for
socialism, and what compromises are
possible in seeking allies?

5   What political means should be used
in the struggle? Should it be parliamentary or
extra parliamentary? Are alliances with
other parties permitted? If extra parliamentary
should it proceed by peaceful means or
warlike means? If by warlike, how can people
be motivated to risk their lives for
the cause and how could an army be formed?

Let us focus debate on these concrete
issues of the present day then we may have
some hope of breaking with sectarianism"
Paul Cockshott

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