struggle, ideas & movements

Sun Aug 18 05:57:18 MDT 1996

Hugh says:
> I put this down to the degeneration of Stalinism and the demotion of
> Marxism in the Soviet Union and its dependencies to an inventory of
> after-the-event justifications. When criticism of the regime is punishable
> by torture or social or physical death, regardless of whether it's based
> Marxist analysis or not, people unlearn habits of critical thought and
> applying this thought in action. Events become inexplicable. Westerners
> depending on input from the workers' states for their criticism of their
> own society, rather than basing their criticism on independent
> of Marxism, fall into the same trap, but lack the same concrete motivation
> for keeping silent or failing to find out what's really happening. How
> of you are aware of the caustic contempt for fellow-travellers felt by
> Soviet workers? Corrupt, privileged parrots.
> Right. Marxist theory doesn't have to be 'endlessly' relearnt. Once it's
> revitalized, it's got to be maintained and reproduced -- this isn't the
> same thing. Once we dump the notion of 'peaceful coexistence', we see that
> 'in the midst of struggle' characterizes the whole of our lives and our
> social experience. The twentieth century as the epoch of wars, revolutions
> and the transition to socialism has known no peace or let-up from
> Occasionally, in certain countries, conditions have existed in which the
> illusion of peace has been successfully promoted thanks to the class
> collaboration of international Stalinism and its alliance/coexistence with
> the imperialists. This has been a sham.
> My contributions perhaps take too much for granted.

Even assuming that you'd get general agreement in here for the above two
paragraphs seems to be a bit 'too much for granted', comrade.

> I take it for granted that we are constantly in the midst of a class
> struggle whose outcome will be either socialism or barbarism.

I would hope that everyone is with you on this.

> I take it for granted that the world has been living through the same
> since the early twentieth century -- the epoch of wars, revolutions and
> transition to socialism.

We may have different ideas about what 'transition' means here. For example,
it can be taken to imply the kind of rolling world revolution which puts all
the countries on a list, and has already ticked of China, Cuba, etc.,. etc.
I would be inclined to disagree with such an analysis, and say that we
should talk about the struggle for socialism instead.

> I take it for granted that there is a continuity of revolutionary
> theory and practice from Marx and Engels through the Bolshevik-Leninist
> October Revolution by way of the Left Opposition and the founding of the
> Fourth International to today's struggle to reunite this
> International and integrate fighters within it from other revolutionary
> traditions.

Wow! On this list, you take that for granted? I thought I'd been naive to
take for granted a shared understanding about Marxists relations to the mass
parties of the class, and have had proved to me how much disagreement still

I think you'd struggle to get the above paragrph put into the list's
constitution, Hugh. If it had one, that is.

> Those who don't share this foundation will obviously not experience much
> immediate 'resonance' when I present my arguments. The hope I have is that
> the quotes I use will help an idea 'resonate' better and strike root.
> Carrol's response shows this doesn't always happen, but as the Swedes say,
> one time is no time. Or put another way: Dogged does it.

Keep plugging away.


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