Leo Panitch on 9/11

Travis Fast tfast at yorku.ca
Sat Dec 8 12:44:24 MST 2001

Henry wrote:
>Capitalistic democracy is a devise to disfranchise the working class. In
>most social democracies, this is a historical fact. In China, democracy is
>promoted by the democratic West as a prerequsite for prosperity through
>capitalism.  The working class owes democracy nothing and democracy has
>never helped the working class.  From its conception in Athens, democracy
>serves only property-owning citizens, not the slaves.

This is such dogmatic shit.  There is a massive conceptual slippage here
and it comes on the same set of tracks as that anarchist train of thought
that seeks to abolish the state because the state has only ever served the
interests of the aristocracy.  Your position on democracy (monolithic, and
always only possible in bourgeois in form) locates you in a passionate
embrace, nay deep throat, of fascist elite theory.

The form of democracy the US attempts to export is meant for the service of
capital no doubt.  Are you seriously arguing that a form of democracy which
conferred both substantive (economic) and formal (political) citizenship
rights upon individuals and their communities (Mark we can get into a
semantic pissing match over this term later you can substitute locality if
meets your po-mo sensitivities to language better) would be in the service
of capital.  The question is how to get workers to demand this maximalist
form of democratic rights and nothing less, and not to poh-poh democracy
along with Pareto, Mosca, Michels and Weber.

Henry wrote:
>Education cannot lead to power.  Power has to be seized first, and a new
>education system can then be put in place to consolidate people power. The
>bourgeois educational system aims at instilling in every worker a false
>hope of being an exploiter of other workers.  That is what is meant by the
>definition of an educated electorate.

At first I laughed at this and then I wept:  What nonsense.  Again you
argue from the bourgeois form to impute the validity of the general set to
which it belongs.  Why do we need to wait for your fucking revolution that
never comes to begin working on educational programs that attempt to
demystify capital and the role of bourgeoise.  The Marxist institute here
in Toronto attempts such silly things as classes that attempt to introduce
people to Marx's Capital (well attended).  Oh well its all
pre-revolutionary, it must be an attempt by these people to turn their
students into lap dogs.......Bah!

Henry wrote:
>We need to separate God from Church. The US working class cannot and will
>not be a revolutionary element, because it has been too thoroughly
>conditioned as house slaves.  It will however, joined the revolution once
>the revolution take shape.  Read John Reed's 10 Days that Shook the World.

Who then is going to throw your revolution? The lumpen intelligentsia,
landlords, petite bourgeois grocery store owners?  From whence does your
revolutionary agency come?  Euro-communism lives!!

Such deeply embedded dogmatism, it is to weep.


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