Solidarity -- and a couple of other thoughts

Adam Levenstein cleon42 at
Sun Nov 17 20:44:58 MST 2002

--- Jurriaan Bendien <J.Bendien at> wrote:
> Marxists rarely discuss the political economy of socialism, arguing
> that we
> will leave that till "after the revolution"; to discuss it now would
> be
> "reformism" (see however for example Makoto Itoh, Political Economy
> of
> Socialism). My opinion is that this is wrong; rather socialist
> political
> practice must prefigure the kinds of things we want in the future,
> and it is
> legitimate to explore and campaign for social alternatives to
> "business as
> usual".

Hrmm...I think both sides have a point on this one (way to take a
stand, Adam!). On the one hand, I think some things should be hammered
out and discussed, such as basic democratic structure. But on the other
hand, since we don't know *what* society will be like when the
revolution comes, getting specific will be an exercise in futility.
It's kinda like discussing what the state of medicine will be like in
50 years; makes for interesting bar conversation, but in the long run
it doesn't really matter.

As an example: Cuban democracy works differently than did revolutionary
Soviet democracy. The structure is different, the functionality is
different--but the result is the same, working people taking control of
the country. Now, will the US be more like Cuba or more like the Soviet
Union? Well, seeing as how the US is not in any way, shape, or form,
similar to Cuba or 1917 Russia, chances are the answer is "neither"--it
will probably take on its own character. In fact, I'd lay money on it.

My point, in case I'm not making it clearly, is that I think discussing
the *specifics* of revolutionary democracy (aka the "soviets or CDRs"
debate) doesn't make much sense, but I think discussing democratic
*practices* is always a good idea. If you lay the theoretical
foundation, the practical needs will fall more clearly into place.


Adam Levenstein                          cleon42 at
ICQ: 17125158

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