Conflict and Violence in Marxism

Walter Daum WGDCC at cunyvm.cuny.edu
Fri Mar 10 18:32:22 MST 1995


On Sat, 11 Mar 95 00:00:13 GMT Chris Burford said:
>Is anyone studying conflict and violence in Marxism?
>
>It seems timely to raise the question. Despite the mind-numbing
>effect of violence, it is possible to think about it constructively.
...
>I continue to think, despite some weaknesses and despite subsequent
>events, Mao's 1957 essay "On the Correct Handling of Contradictions
>Among the People", was a very creative response to the Hungarian
>uprising. For me it not only says there will be ceaseless
>contradictions under socialism, but that there is a duty on Marxists
>to handle the numerous contradictions among the people non-antagon-
>istically.
>
Wait a minute! Isn't this the essay where Mao denounced the Hungarian workers'
revolution as counterrevolutionary? That's hardly "creative," just standard
Stalinist. Did he not "handle the numerous contradictions among the people"
by supporting the shooting down of the workers?

....


>Who hasn't felt joy at the thought of breaking through frustration
>like that. "Revolutions are festivals of the oppressed".
>
And so was the Hungarian Revolution. Mao seemed to have a different view!

>We need conflict. The question is: is the conflict creative?

It is, if it's the conflict of the masses against their oppressors. Somehow
this sounds like a backhanded defense of conflict by those in power against
the masses.

Walter Daum


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