[Marxism] For Marxists, quitting is not an option

Carlos Petroni cepetroni at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 5 07:42:28 MST 2006

Joaquin Bustelo wrote:

"Carlos Petroni --who in my opinion is an inveterate Morenista sectarian and
windbag-- "

I'm not surprised.  I always get some abuse from quitters, those
who are looking for excuses for quiting.  Why is that those
who do would always speak in the name of connecting with the
masses (the opposite of being a sectarian) Ir order to immediately
write off those same masses as worthless and re-direct all
their efforts to support this or that bourgeois -- including
the imperialist Democratic Party?

No need answer. It is a rhetorical question.

Joaquin Bustelo wrote:

"introduced the subject of Goff's post on this list with the
outrageous fabrication that Goff had renounced/repudiated "Marxism" in
general. Stan DID NOT. He renounced/repudiated the U.S. organized Marxist
*groups.* "


And why is that, in order to achieve their "goals" or lack thereof
they need to resort to untrue statements? The initial paragraphs
of Stan Goff's statement, with the URL to read the rest was
preceded by me with couple sentences asking questions as
to what people thought of the statement: was he quiting, was
he doing the right thing... "take your pick" I wrote.

Then, when the discussion proceeded, I did write that Marxism,
as a movement, cannot be separated in particles or segments.
There is a dialectical combination between ideology, program,
strategy, tactics AND organization.

If you quit "organized Marxism," as some would put it
(there is NOT unorganized Marxism as it contradicts the
very essence of a movement which exist with the solely 
purpose of changing the world, not contemplating it)
you may very well remain a
progressive thinker or whatever, but you're not a Marxist,
as Marxism interrelate theory and practice, praxis. Outside
an organization, you're not part of the subjective factor
that may make revolution possible.

Of such individuals are made the coterie celebrating colonels,
captains, commanders and lawyers as the vehicles and leaders
for social revolutions.  I remained convinced that is the
working class, with its own democratic institutions, which
is going to liberate itself. The lack of confidence in
the working class is the first step unto abandoning the
necessary organization to make social revolution possible,
followed by the hopes and illusions that some bourgeois
or petitbourgeois leader, if fitting uniform much for the
better, based on the institutions of the bourgeois state
(army, courts,parliament,etc) would become the agent of
such revolutionary change.

Even in the US that is the case.  The US working class may
not have the necessary consciousness and sophistication,
lacks all understanding of its role in society and its
national and international responsibility and has the worst
trade union movement at present time.

But history -- and historical materialism is something
more than empty phrases to lecture other middle class
elements at a course -- did demonstrate that the US
working class would always come from behind and it big strides
shake the ground in order to catch up with the rest of the
class internationally.  And when it does, everything
trembles.  Did happen before and will happen again, this
time catching up at a time of more critical crisis, and I
doubt the American bourgeoisie will be in a position
to deliver the massive set of reforms necessary to stop
revolution s they did with the New Deal.

Against this scenario, the middle class offers us nothing
in exchange but their own doubts and remorse, disguised
with some guilty trips about the inadequacies of the
existing organizations to carry on the necessary tasks.

And they claim this is Marxism! As if the conditions of
the class struggle are not the ones that will shape
revolutionary organizations.  Of course the existing
organizations are not up to the challenge to lead any
kind of revolution.  Only idealists think the Bolsheviks
were ready to lead the revolution in February, 1917. Not even close.

They were NOT.  Lenin has to
fight against the leadership and threatened them.  He
had to intervene and change editorial boards, upset
the main committee's organizations, fuse with revolutionary
leaders like Trotsky and many others.  But he HAD
an organization at the time he needed to have one and he
understood that, no matter its faults, no matter how
hard he had to fight to change it in order to make it the
truly revolutionary tool he needed, he HAD TO HAVE IT
in the first place.

That's why, in discussing with so called "free agents of
Marxism" I side with anyone who, in spite her/his shortcomings
belongs to an organization.  As long as he/she does, there
is a change of organizational reform as the class
struggle develops and facilitates that. Quitters and individual
"thinkers" are not from what revolutionary leaderships are made

Demoralization or depression are human traits and should be
understood.  But trying to make them excuses for quitting or
elevating their symptoms to the category of program is just
an exercise of middle class elements without a good organizational
purpose in their lives.

If they want to quit, they should be able to do so.  But please,
spare us your "theories" about it. And your invitation to
join you at the swamp is certainly your right, as it is ours
to kick your hand with which you want to drag us into the
swamp with you.

That was the whole content of Lenin's discussion with those
proclaiming the need of "freedom of criticism" as a way out
the revolutionary movement.  Nothing new.

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