[Marxism] Japan and Energy

Yoshie Furuhashi critical.montages at gmail.com
Tue Jul 11 12:28:45 MDT 2006

On 7/11/06, Sayan Bhattacharyya <ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 7/11/06, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:
> When we fielded candidates, we always had to answer
> > questions on TV or radio shows that were geared to solving intractable
> > problems that capitalism generated. For example, they wanted to know our
> > position on street crime. Were in favor of more cops, more prisons, longer
> > prison terms, etc.? It was difficult to field these questions, except in
> > "maximalist" terms like the need to abolish capitalism which creates the
> > kinds of inequalities that lead to street crime.
> Why?  Couldn't the question be answered by saying, say, that in the short
> run you'd be in favor of setting up youth centers (perhaps to be run as
> co-ops), etc?  Yes, I realize that  this  kind of approach leads to the
> Zapatista/automonist idea of "building alternative institutions to
> capitalism", which marxists understand is not a substitute to taking the
> commanding heights of state power. But then a small marxist group isn't
> presumably contesting elections with any realistic expectation of taking
> over the state anyway, but rather to raise consciousness. So to use
> elections to highlight/disseminate  ideas about alternatives to capitalist
> institutions (as a consciousness-building tool even if the altternatives are
> not viable in the absence of control over state power) seems to be as good a
> strategy as any other, it would seem to me...

Is Sayan in the USA or elsewhere?  American leftists, to be sure,
won't be part of any government outside San Francisco any time soon,
but the rest on this list live in countries where leftists of one kind
or another have or can come into power or at least get enough deputies
elected to parliament, maybe governing as a coalition partner, as in

So, thinking like a statesman shouldn't be a useless exercise.

Also, for US leftists, too, thinking like a statesman might not be
unhelpful.  From where I stand, too many of them sound like they live
on another planet (which is one of the reasons I left LBO-talk).
Thinking like a perpetually powerless and irrelevant opposition --
worse, getting accustomed to and become comfortable with thinking like
that -- tends to corrupt brains and make them useless, imho.


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