A Changing Labor Movement and the condescending saviours bestir themselves.
hariette at easynet.co.uk
Sun Aug 18 15:29:44 MDT 1996
> Why do some "Leninists" have so much trouble in remembering most
>that Lenin ever said; it seems sometimes that I carry more Lenin loose
>in my head than they have ever encountered.
> He also had a fine crack on religion that cuts both ways. Someone
>asked him what he thought of those who said "Communism was their
>religion." His reply, roughly, was that it depended on whether they
>were religious people moving towards communism or communists moving
>towards religion. (He had in mind in particular, in reference to
>the latter, those Bolsheviks who called themselves "God-Builders.")
> Certainly he would have approved of Doug's comments on pro-
>working class clergy.
Not at all. What Carrol carries in his head he does not understand, and
therefore his Lenin is just another saintly apostle of the "communist Jesus".
It is in fact to people like Carrol to whom the "communists moving towards
religion" dig of Lenin can be applied.
Moreover, except for the odd individual case here and there, there is no
question of the clergy "moving towards communism". The question here is of
the clergy - led by its hyerarchy - MAKING A MOVE ON THE WORKING CLASS, in
order to fulfil their usual fire brigade role.
Contrary to the illussions merchants and "communists moving towards
religion", the International Communist Movement has plenty of experience
with such Churchly ministrations. In particular, whenever the working class
is preceived as a danger, out flock the cassocks and the "working priests"
to the picket lines and the soup kitchens. Italy, at the end of the Second
World War saw precisely the birth of the "Christian Democrats", the "working
priests", the "social-Christians" etc.
Doug is looking at this phenomena upside down. What is positive is not this
move in "itself", but that the clerics feel now compelled to step up their
"working class activities" - they are acting on the old reactionary
principle that it is better to get a grip on a movement before it starts to
get out of hand, so as to be able to divert it the better - but their very
exertions tend to indicate that the rumblings of the working class on the
move are not just the product of our own over-heating optimism. In that
sense, the clerics exertions are a good symptom.
Obviously revolutionaries would not refuse to take advantage of the
bourgeois necessities in this department either. But to be able to do that,
a mature understanding is needed and illusions are no help at all.
Moreover, it is not only clerics who MAKE THEIR MOVE ON THE WORKING CLASS,
all sorts of bourgeois politicians, phoney leftists, swindlers, mountebanks,
charitable sisters, do gooders of all kinds - all sorts of practicers of the
maxim that "the bourgeois is a bourgeois for the sake of the working class"
- also make their appearance and try to impress their mark one way or
another in the class struggle.
While fighting against their influence, and establishing clearly the class
differences in politics and outlook, without falling into illusions about
the role of all those forces, including the clergy, so as to not betray
Marxism's duty to enlighten the working people instead of papering over the
issue, it is also obvious that Marxists can not and will not call for the
workers to refuse to take advantage of whatever they can obtain from these
meddlers and use it in their class interests, just like they would do with
relief aid, funds, donations, and anything useful that can be wrenched from
the condescending saviours. At the end of the day, all they can usefully
contribute is only the most minimal part of the swag of the exploiting
classes which is by their hands returned to its righful owners. Provided
Marxists do not fool the working people about the character of the Churchly
"Labour" effort, there is no reason why this cannot be taken advantage of too.
The clergy is a force of reaction, but who are we to stop them picking up
stones to drop them in their own feet? Why should they be stop from handing
over the rope which will "hang the last monarch from the entrails of the
On the contrary, the more that the Marxists unmask the real intentions
behind the "concern" of the clergy, the more these worthies will strive and
bend over backwards to carry out their "assistentialist" work, and the more
"radical" stances they would adopt and proclaim.
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