[Marxism] Patrick Bond on world financial volatility

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at rogers.com
Thu Dec 30 16:16:20 MST 2004

Jurriann wrote:

> I would say, that to infer a causal relationship between economic decline
> and leftwing revival is fallacious. I think this ultraleft fallacy is both
> theoretical fallacy and an empirical fallacy.

> Faced with economic dislocation, poverty and chaos, I think people orient
> what they think will lead to the return of a 'workable' system. They will
> not necessarily or automatically prefer a leftwing solution over a
> or rightwing solution.

Carrol wrote:

> Of course such a shaking would _also_ be the basis for the rise of
counter-revolutionary movements really comparable (as the Bush
administration is _not_) to the inter-war fascist movements in Italy and
I don't think your comments are in contradiction (if intended that way) to
to my own: "Jurriann is also right to point out that such an event would not
inevitably lead to its collapse, although in fairness I don't think anyone
would say anything other than that it would make possible a revival of
mass-based left-wing politics."

Social crises spawn and accelerate the development of radical movements on
BOTH the left and right. I think historically there has been such a causal
relationship, and while there is no guarantee that the pattern will reassert
itself, the past is really all we have to go on.  How such a crisis is
finally resolved - whether the centre holds or is supplanted by the left or
right - is a different matter. It depends on a host of factors and can't be
predicted in advance. There isn't a causal relationship, in other words,
between capitalist crisis and socialist revolution.

But doesn't everyone accept this - at least in theory? What you both may be
reacting to is the frequent excitement which the possibility of a crisis
engenders on the left, and corresponding political behaviour of the sort
which suggests a belief that the outcome is foreordained. Sectarianism, for
example, is rooted in the certainty that your particular group, however
small, is destined to lead the working class; that alliances with other
liberal and radical forces which will be "swept away" is, by definition,
unnecessary; and that the impulse of working people to first try and reform
the established economic and political order until this proves impossible
does not need to be taken into account in defining a political strategy. But
that's another discussion, and probably a not very productive one, unless
and until we're actually confronted with a crisis which poses these


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