FW: Louis Proyect and the Register Dicscussion List

Mark Jones mark.jones at tiscali.co.uk
Fri Dec 7 16:27:59 MST 2001


At 07/12/2001 22:10, you wrote:
>Louis wrote:
>
>"These are not socialist intellectuals. These are social
>democratic cowards who view all debate as a threat to their own
>intellectual hegemony."
>
>This is utter bullshit and you know it.

Is it?
Panitch himself, in the article on 9/11 posted by Lou, says:

 >>the need for
socialist renewal in each country which can only be advanced by political
forces that have the central goal of a democratic reconstitution of state
power against today's state-constituted capitalist American empire. Our
task is to support those forces - such as the Pakistani Labour Party--
wherever they exist, while throwing ourselves into the process of building
them at home, such as is already in train here through the New Politics
Initiative and the Rebuilding The Left projects to create new institutional
expressions to renew the prospects of an independent socialist Canada.
<<

That kind of thinking is what got the Left where it is, in the first place.
Presumably the "dogmatic platitudes" Panitch is trying to free "young would
be socialists" of, is the kind of thinking which says that this programme
is utopian and platitudinous, and very obviously so. "socialist renewal"...
"democratic reconstitution of state
power against today's state-constituted capitalist American empire" (!) ...
"the New Politics
Initiative and the Rebuilding The Left projects"... "an independent
socialist Canada".  Now *that's* what I call a concatenation of bullshit.

In 1945, when the British Labour Party won a landslide general election
victory, somebody asked Lytton Strachey at a Bloomsbury dinner party held
to celebrate the impending dawn of 'democratic socialism" in Britain, what
would happen if the advance of the left continued at such a  rate that in
the *next* election the Tories were wiped out completely and the British
Communist Party won enough seats to become the official opposition. 'Why,
in that case,' Strachey said, 'they would happily take their places in
parliament as His Majesty's Loyal Opposition.'

Half a century later, what has changed? Well, there is no socialist
movement anywhere and not socialist states anywhere and US imperialism
('decadent', 'moribund' etc etc) has never been more polymorphously
powerful than it is today... but the legitimate heirs of the democratic
socialists ot social democrats mocked by Lytton Strachey continue as before
to witter senselessly on about such political phantasmagoria as "an
independent socialist Canada".

Mark Jones


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