Nuclear engineers

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at
Thu May 23 00:30:25 MDT 1996

Louis writes:

>One important distinction should be made between the way the CofC views
>itself and the way you view your own group. The CofC is nothing but a
>way-station, an interim step on the path to the creation of socialist
>party in the United States. I see our situation as similar to the one that
>Lenin faced in 1880-1890. He, under Plekhanov's tutelage, was attempting
>to create a socialist party in Russia where none had existed.
>You on the other hand believe that the nucleus of a socialist party
>exists. It is called the Proletarian Revolutionary Vanguard League of the
>Fourth International, or whatever it is that you call yourself. You have
>the DNA, which is contained in the writings you hold sacred, and all you
>need to do is add new cells.
>You share this odd view with Jim Miller, Adam Rose and Hugh Rodwell, brave
>nuclear engineers one and all. I wish you good luck but I don't think this
>sort of thing works very well. It has been attempted for many decades now
>and leads to nothing but implosion and ineffectuality.

This is basically nothing but empiricist scepticism in relation to the
Marxist analysis of the character and situation of class society (the
potential power of the working class to emancipate itself and humanity) and
the Bolshevik-Leninist analysis of the way to achieve this emancipation
(organize the vanguard of the world proletariat in a consciously Marxist,
revolutionary party).

Up until October 1917 this criticism could have been aimed at Lenin and the
Bolsheviks. After October that became impossible for seventy years (if we
ignore the State Caps). Louis's not arguing principles here, he's
worshiping the 'established fact'.

The kind of 'established fact' he's worshiping here changes very fast in
periods of rapid historical change. Solid party building (the DNA and cells
analogy Louis uses) holds firm and grows in such periods. I think we're
entering a period which will see very rapid change pretty soon, so we'll be
able to update this fetishized fact as events demand. And Louis can keep
tabs on all the defeats and fiascos as if they signify more than the fact
that the war is a very difficult, long-drawn-out and life-and-death
struggle (for the bourgeoisie as an immediate truth -- they face
eradication as a class living on an exploitative relation to another class,
for us as a long-term truth -- if the capitalist mode of production
survives very much longer, a collapse into barbarism for the whole of
humanity will take place).



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