[Vision of a better world ? We don't have one.]

Carrol Cox cbcox at SPAMilstu.edu
Fri Jun 2 17:21:33 MDT 2000

Aside from various objections to writing recipes for the
cookshops of the future, and all the idealist & intellectualist
errors that lie in wait for anyone attempting to poratray a
"vision of a better world," there is the serious objection that
there lies *so much* hard struggle (and so many defeated
struggles) between us and that "better world" that it amounts
to a serious lie to project that very distant time as the main
justification for our struggles.

What little Marx had to say about the socialist or communist
future was *not* offered as an inducement to struggle but
was, rather, a necessary part of the historical method. We can
understand feudalism the better by looking back on it from
the perspective of one of its potentials (the one that developed),
namely capitalism. To understand capitalism we must see it
also from a historical perspective -- and to see the present as
history requires looking back on it from the future.

There is  a difference between a historical perspective
on the present and a vision of future bliss as a goal of human
activity. The latter is utopian and unmarxist. The former is
the very heart of historical materialism. Our *goal* is not
that future bliss but to confront and destroy capitalism and
imperialism. Not  one of us (or probably our great grandchildren)
will live in that socialist society -- and to offer it to workers as the

goal of their struggle is a cruel joke.


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