On the Mass Line etc Re: "Knowing what to do next"

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Sun Apr 15 04:48:26 MDT 2001

At 02:26  15/04/01 -0400, you wrote:
>I'm not quite sure how to respond to your message, because I'm not sure I
>understand it. Are you saying we Marxists should support "liberal
>communalism" rather than revolution? Or perhaps as a step toward revolution?
>I don't see it either way. I think revolutionary Marxists (and for me there
>is no other kind) should always put forward the need for revolution, and try
>to lead the mass movement in that direction. True, the mass movement itself
>must be around reformist issues for the most part, in non-revolutionary
>times. But our goal is, in Lenin's words, "to bring the light of revolution"
>into the mass struggle, to gradually change the goal of the mass struggle
>through our participation in it, as well as through our work of revolutionary

Well Scott, in genereal terms I agree with you.  But what I was trying to
emphasize is that discourses or lines such as that of liberal communalism
still can act as powerful poles of attraction.  Of course communalism is
not enough, but in opposing it we revolutionaries often look something less
than human. Not a small problem is that in the current conjuncture the left
attracts the social leper who mouths Marxist phrases about the need for
revolution to cover for their own inability to act as human beings.

It seems to me that looking at Mao one of his great strengths was that he
always wanted to be part of a mass movement,  revolutionary of course but
also mass.

There is very little disagreement between us. Just a feeling on my part
that you are being somewhat intense about all this, and that you are
feeling tolerant and innovative talking to ex-Trots. Talk about us raising
your hopes and then letting you down, is just a tad patronising comrade.

take care


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