[Marxism] Fwd: Vivek Chibber's "Road to Power" Is Not | New Politics

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jan 12 08:51:22 MST 2018

Vivek Chibber’s “Our Road to Power” published recently in Jacobin—oddly 
enough written as a commemoration of the Russian Revolution of October 
1917—codifies a strategy for what is one of the dominant tendencies in 
the American left today: social democracy. The principal argument of 
“Our Road to Power” (a title chosen by Jacobin’s editors, perhaps 
alluding to German Social Democrat Karl Kautsky’s The Road to Power) is 
that a “ruptural strategy” is off the agenda. By “ruptural strategy” 
Chibber means one that is predicated upon a crisis of the economic and 
political system leading to the breakdown or to the overthrow of the 
state. Chibber believes that since the power of the state is so great 
today—because of its legitimacy, its coercive power, and its power of 
surveillance—a revolutionary strategy is ruled out. It would be, he 
says, “hallucinatory” to think otherwise.

Since the power of the state is so great and we can expect no 
fundamental crisis of the capitalist system, then what we are dealing 
with today is not a crisis of capitalism itself, but rather a crisis of 
neoliberalism, says Chibber. Our task then, he suggests, is to organize 
to bring about social democratic reforms such as those achieved by the 
Nordic social democracies in the 1970s. This will be done by building 
strong labor unions, constructing a mass socialist party, and 
participating in elections. The strategy will be one of “non-reformist 
reforms, revolutionary reforms,” but “whatever you call it,” it will be 
“gradual.” The end goal of such a struggle will not be the revolutionary 
left’s historic objective of a democratically planned economy, but some 
sort of market socialism. So, Chibber writes, “precisely because a 
ruptural strategy isn’t on the table, we must start down the road to 
social democracy and then to market socialism.”

We have arrived it seems at classical social democracy. Or if we 
haven’t, then what does Chibber actually have in mind? What 
differentiates his position from social democracy? Nothing in this 
article would suggest that there is any difference.

full: http://newpol.org/content/vivek-chibbers-road-power-not

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