[Marxism] The criticism of religion [was: RE: Vnzla: reasons to beoptimistic]

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Wed Aug 22 19:24:39 MDT 2007

I was about to write a shorter and perhaps quieter response to
essentially the same point. The "mindless" epithet is, I think, lends a
voluntaristic flavor to the attack on voluntarism. But I think it is
true that in the next decade or so we are NOT going to win any
significant victories for socialism in the core imperialist nations. And
nothing we can do will change that. Thinking and organizing grounded in
that realization.

I would add that Joaquin's closing paragraphs misestimate the scope of
theory, and that "marxist dogma" in that contest mistake for theory the
principles guiding actual political practice of marxist groups in the
imperial centers. I think much could be gained by paraphrasing lenin's
statements on theory in WITBD as no revolutionary party can be built in
Russia in 1904 without a development of revolutionary _thought_
appropriate to the conditions of that place and time. There really is no
such thing as revolutionary _theory_, and the illusion of such theory is
precisely the reduction of marxism to a religion.


Joaquin Bustelo wrote:
> Gary writes: "We live in a world so ripe for socialism. That is surely the
> dialectical result of globalisaiton and the emergence of new technology. Yet
> looking around at the slaughter bench of history that is unfolding in front
> of us we seem so very far from a socialist future. Yet I feel an alternative
> world is close. I am reminded of the Brecht line about communism - 'The
> simple thing; so hard to achieve'.  Whether we achieve it or not is of
> course all up to how hard we struggle."
> I know it is rude or worse, but let me say that whether we achieve communism
> is NOT NOT NOT "all up to how hard we struggle." This is an ILLUSION, an
> expression of the mindless voluntarism so prevalent on the pseudo-Leninist
> left (and not only).

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