[Marxism] DSA member Ocasio-Cortez elected (Jason)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Jul 1 16:57:12 MDT 2018

On 7/1/18 6:23 PM, Jason wrote:
> Second, that's hardly my sole argument, given I gave other references to 
> revolutionaries in the Second International supporting voting for 
> liberal bourgeois parties. One can also see this in Shorske’s history 
> and I can provide other references if needed.

Look, your reference was to a Dutch party that, like Lenin's, was 
divided over supporting bourgeois candidates. You simply found the Dutch 
equivalent of the Mensheviks who backed the Dutch equivalent of the 
Cadets. Didn't you understand that I would track down the reference? You 
are trying to invalidate my claim that voting for liberals is a revision 
of Marxism by referring to an author who describes exactly that strategy 
as revisionist? Ridiculous.



Although it was completely isolated, the Marxist minority [in other 
words, the Dutch equivalent of the Bolsheviks] didn’t capitulate and 
resolutely carried on fighting. From 1905 to 1907, the Marxist current 
found itself confronted with a vigorous counter-offensive by the 
revisionists. The parliamentary fraction, which was the real leadership 
of the party, went further and further in collaborating with the 
bourgeoisie. In 1905, during the elections for the provincial states, 
the revisionists raised the question of supporting the liberals against 
the Anti-Revolutionaire Partij (‘Anti-Revolutionary Party’ – ARP) 
government of Abraham Kuyper, which had broken the transport strike. The 
left, like the left in other parties, did not refuse, during the course 
of the elections, to support liberal candidates who took a stand in 
favour of universal suffrage against property-based electoral rights. It 
had adopted a resolution in this sense during the 1905 Hague Congress: 
“[the Party] declares that during the elections it will only support 
candidates who stand for the urgent introduction of universal suffrage”.

But for the Marxists, there could be no question of turning this 
tactical and temporary support into a principle. Contrary to what 
Troelstra wished, it was not at all a matter of calling workers to vote 
for “liberals of any stripe”, even if they were anti-clerical. From a 
class standpoint, the fight was not against a particular capitalist 
party but against capitalism as a totality. In order to avoid being 
mixed up with the petty bourgeois and small peasant elements, the 
workers had to be clear about their real identity. As Pannekoek, Gorter 
and Van Ravesteyn wrote it, in a booklet – ‘The Founding of the SDP’ – 
distributed to the German social democrat press to explain the scission 
of 1909: “On every occasion the party must show the workers that their 
enemies sit on the left side of parliament just as much as on the right...”.

But instead of respecting the resolutions of the Congress, the party 
leadership, the parliamentary fraction and the socialist daily Het Volk 
left socialist electors free to vote for any liberal candidate they 
liked. Although firm on positions which had been classical ones within 
the workers’ movement, the Marxists found themselves isolated from the 
working masses. Troelstra played on this as much as he could. There 
were, however, reactions within the party.

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