[Marxism] navigating between the Scylla of sectarian abstentionism and the Charybdis of opportunism (Dennis Brasky)

Michael Yates MIKEDJYATES at msn.com
Wed Jul 4 15:29:48 MDT 2018

I read the letters to the ISO paper Louis linked to. I don't understand something. Many years ago, I wrote a book titled Naming the System, in which the nature of capitalism was laid bare, so that no one who read the book could fail to grasp what capitalism in reality is. Shouldn't the same apply to socialism. Of course, we can debate exactly what socialism is. But surely it is a society in which the multiple forms of alienation we face every day under capitalism are constantly under attack and on their way toward being eliminated. It is surely a great deal more than the socialism these candidates for political office say is socialism, which seem hardly different than social democracy, a la the Scandinavian countries at their best and in their heyday, which has now passed and shows no signs of returning. We see among our young socialists very little talk about the nature of work, the ending of the debilitation detailed division of labor, the ending of the metabolic rift that has now set the state for the end of human societies as we know them, the building of a smaller scale organic agriculture, the need for an international working class movement, with full support for radical peasant movements, a fierce and uncompromising opposition to US imperialism, a realization that health care for all and full employment will never end racism and patriarchy, etc. The idea is not that nothing is too good for the working class but that the working class must abolish itself. And that a socialist state can be nothing like a capitalist state with a human face. We keep hearing that candidates are running as "open socialists." I don't think this is true at all. I mean who will say that there should be no borders at all, or that the the wage system itself must be abolished? That democratic planning is essential? If open socialists won't say these things, who will?

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