[Marxism] The impotence of parliamentarianism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Oct 29 11:06:11 MDT 2018

The impotence of parliamentarianism in the conditions of the crisis of 
the whole capitalist system is so obvious that the vulgar democrats in 
the camp of the workers (Renaudel, Frossard and their imitators) do not 
find a single argument to defend their petrified prejudices. All the 
more readily do they seize upon every defeat and every failure suffered 
along the revolutionary road. The development of their thought is this: 
if pure parliamentarianism offers no way out, armed struggle does no 
better. The defeats of the proletarian insurrections in Austria and in 
Spain are now, of course, their choice argument. In fact, in their 
criticism of the revolutionary method the theoretical and political 
bankruptcy of the vulgar democrats appears still more clearly than in 
their defence of the methods of rotting bourgeois democracy.

No one has said that the revolutionary method automatically assures 
victory. What is decisive is not the method in itself but its correct 
application, the Marxist orientation in events, powerful organization, 
the confidence of the masses won through long experience, a 
perspicacious and bold leadership. The issue of every struggle depends 
upon the moment and conditions of the conflict and the relation of 
forces. Marxism is quite far from the thought that armed conflict is the 
only revolutionary method, or a panacea good under all conditions. 
Marxism in general knows no fetishes, neither parliamentary nor 
insurrectional. There is a time and place for everything. There is one 
thing that one can say at the beginning:

On the parliamentary road the socialist proletariat nowhere and never 
conquered power nor ever even as yet has drawn close to it.


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