[Marxism] Re: Patiently explain (was: Re: moderator's note)

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at rogers.com
Mon Jul 19 06:54:54 MDT 2004

Fred Feldman wrote:

I don't think that civility requires pretending that there aren't
fundamental differences of political opinion and orientation.

Obviously more than an immediate empirical view of things is involved in the
gap between Marvin Gandall's view of politics.  I see no reason why
name-calling, insults and so forth should flow from that.

As we emerge from the disintegration of the sectarian left, which is
continuing, we have to relearn what Lenin said...

"Patiently explain."



All true. At bottom, this is the old debate between the Bolsheviks and
Mensheviks which many, including myself, thought had been definitively
resolved by the October Revolution and its postwar extension to China and
the so-called Third World. But the course of history, quite unexpectedly,
reversed itself. Perhaps it will dramatically change course again; I don’t
discount that, but don't take it on faith either.

The left which reluctantly supports the DP - the so-called ABB crowd - is
Menshevik in essence, although most don’t realize it and some would be
crushed to discover it. They mostly don’t strike me as the hopeless fools
and rogues caricatured on this list. For my part, I’ve drawn certain
conclusions about what is politically possible in this period based on the
historic reversal alluded to above - notably, the decline of the mass-based
labour and socialist movement in the West and the reversion to capitalism of
the former USSR and China - which I think many who passed through the far
left in the 60’s and 70’s find difficult to accept and integrate into their
thinking. But I still look to this list (and others) for “patient
explanations” of where I may  have “gone wrong” - assumptions need to be
subjected to constant testing and modification - and Fred is a good
practitioner of what he preaches.

Marv Gandall

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