state caps/Marxist lessons/our future

neil 74742.1651 at compuserve.com
Tue Aug 6 23:23:28 MDT 1996


Dear friends,

There has been a hightening pessimism among some on the list about
the achievements and possibilities for the list as constituted now.
Let me say that although i get disappointed too, i look at the list work
and perspectives , the good , the bad and the ugly as a reflection of the
general and specific material  problems that socialists/marxists face in the
crisis
of the workers and masses actual  movements in general.
During this crisis and lull , it is a good time  time to  sort out, critique
(sometimes 'mercilessly'---Marx) the contradictions and draw on actual knowledge
and experience and update and forge anew the political and organizational
weapons to be tested in the coming upsurges and battles.

That said, i think it it good that there is more discussions/polemics,
some nasty of course, some friendly, on the failure of the Russain and
E. European models(with Crises in the remainders of the state cap models)  and
trying to get a handle on BOTH the problems in superstructure and material base,
as to the roots of the problems. We cannot get ALL the answers now but we can
get to some key  factors of big parts of the dilemma of  marxists.

i think the revolutionary wave that swept much of Europe and the huge masses
upsurge in Russia from 1917-21 is very important for us--even today .
A lot of us claim to know a ton about Russia here, but how  many of us know much
about the German revolution of 1918-21?. How much is known of the Italian
workers risings from 1919-21? . What about the Hungarian  and Finnish,
Lithuanian
and other soviet movements that fought as heroically as the russian workers,
but were so brutally suppressed in counterrevolution?
There was even a huge mass upsurges of class struggle in the USA from 1919-22
that the state and reaction came down like a ton of bricks on. Maybe we can have
more input from the scribes on the list concerning this period and the
lessons we can draw considering that even with such tremendous sacrifices
by the exploited down through the next 7 decades we find ourselves where we are
at today.
Why did the comintern and so many mass movements fail the revolutionary test?

The capitalist system by then (WW1) was a world system and this kind of change
matters for workers tactics and strategy too. Countries like russia would have
to  line up with other workers movements and be able to challenge the bourgeois
for power if isolated revolutions like  Russia were not to be bled white and
left to reconstruct on a (state) capitalist basis as she and many  other less
developed areas hardly had the material/industrial  prerequisies for building
socialism. Yet workers, even in the minority certainly began to flex their
political /industrial class muscles in these lands.

We have to not underestimate the power and pull of world capital. We really need
to have sharper analysis of the CLASS ESSENCE/PROGRAM  of political/economic
movements/groups.
We can no longer take it as good coin when many SAY they are FOR the workers
struggle.  Let's not again be fooled by certain  caudillos with fatigues and
red-star caps!
No more socialist paint to cover those who want a new national capital -so they
can be on top to exploit! In the advanced capitals, No more pandering to
liberals,
pacifists and lawyers. No more  illusions about the class  nature of bourgeois
states --which ,be they oh so "democratic' or fascist, they all are the enemy
and will
kick ass for the rich to maintain, expand capitalism.

so maybe i'm also saying we need to get back to some ABCs of Marxism and see
it not as dogma but as a guide to action for the exploited. Engels once said
that
" what  is progressive in one period can become reactionary in another'. i think
he was trying to impart the dialectic and materialist methodology to our
understanding  of theory and practical work.

Many of us here do some good work at times & at  others shoot ourselves in the
foot. The problem now is some are running out of toes, others need political
surgery,
others are mummified, haunting the class..
We need to look at  class war as a battle , a war and we should be at least as
scientific in our analysis as the capitalist  class enemy, the countervailing
forces.
We are not dead. Marxist science still has a potential to offer the working
class
of all countires a great powerful  store of political ammo.
And sometimes the teachers too, need to be taught!

Neil



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