On reform versus revolution was Re: From the Debate mailing list (onJohn Saul article)

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at SPAMqut.edu.au
Thu Jan 18 14:22:51 MST 2001

>I think (crudely) the reform or revolution debate is a
>discussion that is going to rear its head more and more in
>the growing anti-capitalist movement and in fact some who
>don't identify with Marxism are already ahead of many of us
>in their serious talk of the need for revolution to stop the
>ravages of capitalism.  We can run from this discussion but
>I don't think we can hide from it.
>Louis Proyect
>Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org

Peter's reply to Lou was interesting.  I remember reading the Saul 1991
article quite well. It fill me then with pessimism for the future of the
revolution in S. Africa.  Who btw is Saul?

But just on this point of reform versus revolution;  I *think* (i.e. not
dogmatically certain) that we should as a rule avoid such sterile and
apparently intractable dualities.  Always we should challenge the
reformists to produce reforms.

The fact is they do not.  They have instead facilitated the capture of the
word by neo-liberal radicals.  Thus here in Oz the government openly boasts
about its reform agenda. The only real reformists around are on the
right.  Social Democrats long ago capitulated.

So what should the Left do?  Of course I know nothing about the situation
on the ground in South Africa. However in general terms, as we all know,
the ideal is that the Left articulate some demand or reform which the
people will take up and which significantly alter the balance in the
struggle with capital.  Lenin's genius was that he came up with "Bread and

Here in Australia where there is no Left only Leftists we are such a long
way from even being ignored.



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