MS and political practice

Justin Schwartz jschwart at
Thu Feb 1 06:25:26 MST 1996

Thanks, Robert & Jerry. This is very good. --jks

On Thu, 1 Feb 1996 glevy at wrote:

> Robert Peter Burns wrote:
> > The working class knows this, and
> > so won't be drawn to revolutionary politics unless socialists
> > are able to persuade them that something different and better
> > is in the offing the next time capitalist property relations are
> > overcome.
> > Why isn't this point obvious to everyone on the l*st?
> -----------------------
> I don't know, Peter. However, let me note the following:
> (1) While we can articulate different visions for socialism, the working
> class itself must decide the details in the course of revolutionary
> struggles. They might not be in favor of the "model" we support. We have
> to, though, support their right to decide their own future for themselves.
> (2) While we don't know the answer to the above, I believe we should have
> some pretty good ideas of what the working class will *not* support. Any
> vision of socialism that is authoritarian in nature and does not
> recognize basic democratic rights will be rejected by workers (at least)
> in all countries that have a tradition of bourgeois democracy. The
> Stalin-type model, for instance, is dead as a doorknob when it comes to the
> aspirations of the working class.
> (3) Those who do *not* accept MS must be prepared to accept MS if that is
> the will of the majority of the working class. Those who do not support more
> centralized planning must, similarly, be prepared to let the people decide.
> (4) As for others on the l*st, I don't know. If there has been *one*
> thing that this thread has demonstrated it is the ability of radicals to
> talk at cross-purposes on this issue. I find the distortions particularly
> disturbing and are symptomatic of the general weakness and isolation of
> the Left. It's hard, therefore, to be encouraged at the prospects for
> regroupment when people on the Left refuse to take each others
> perspectives seriously and resort to the time-honored sectarian trick of
> attacking a "straw horse."
> (5) Why can't people understand 4)? I don't know. It seems so obvious.
> Logic alone, however, does not guide revolutionary theory or practice.
> Jerry
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