Louis N Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Apr 22 07:24:14 MDT 1996

On Mon, 22 Apr 1996, Gary MacLennan wrote:

> Now for this post I want to insist that there can only be two kinds of
> revolutions in our epoch.  They can either be bourgeois or socialist. Now I
> know that an outbreak of dogmatism on this list makes such statements at
> best unpopular.  But clarity is not dogma. Well not necesarily so.

Louis: There can be no bourgeois revolutions today. It is entirely likely
that the bourgeoise became hostile to a revolution in its own name by the
1850s. Marx observed that the German capitalist class preferred to ally
itself with the aristocracy rather than uprooting the old system in
alliance with the workers. They feared the workers more than they hated
the aristocrats. Some Marxist historians even argue that the French
Revolution itself was not really led by the bourgeoisie but by the
petty-bourgeoisie anxious to win political power *within* the monarchy.

The whole question of the character of the Nicaraguan revolution in its
early stages is exceedingly complex. To force it into one or another
category such as "bourgeois" or "socialist" seems reductionist. All we
can talk about in the early stages is tendency and dynamic. In 1979 it
appeared that the Sandinista's goal was socialism. This no doubt is what
invested Washington's policy with such brutality. The real question, of
course, is what to do next in light of capitalism's hegemony. Facile
calls for "socialism" won't do. Lenin was a master at assessing the
relationship of class forces and was deeply opposed to taking steps that
the revolutionary movement could not follow through on. We should take
the same attitude.

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