[Marxism] Resolutionary Socialism
critical.montages at gmail.com
Fri Jul 21 20:55:05 MDT 2006
The way many Western leftists discuss Iran, a common problem found
among us gets highlighted: a predilection for resolutionary socialism.
What's resolutionary socialism? The insistence on laying out
prescriptive ideals (like neither theocracy nor imperialism, but
international socialism, which must be a variation of an oldie,
neither Moscow nor Washington, but international socialism), without
any thought given to how to bring about them, who is to do so, and so
forth. It's a bad habit of the perennially powerless.
The way I look at it, our job here is not to lay out what ideals the
Iranian people ought to aspire to, what principles should motivate
them, etc. That's for them to decide. Besides, the fact is that few
who live in Iran would give a damn whatever we say about what they
should do. Now, it would be a different thing if we were running the
US government, the Japanese government, the German government, or some
kind of government. Say, if I were running the Japanese government, I
might make a point of letting all Iranian leaders know that my
decision on whether to break Washington's economic sanctions would be
influenced by their policy on gender, sexuality, and so forth. And
I'm sure they would give it a thought, considering that Japan is by
far the best customer of Iranian oil. But the fact is that I'm not
running the Japanese government -- I'm running a doggone webzine on
the left written mainly in English, so there is no reason why any part
of Iranian society, from the least to the most powerful, would pay
attention to what I say, let alone do what I want them to do. The
same goes for all of you who are posting here.
Resolutionary socialism is a habit we should kick.
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