[Marxism] Is Marxism Obsolete? Charles Rappoport - COSMONAUT

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 26 05:42:48 MDT 2019

Charles Rappoport was a French Marxist who argued as a minority for 
Marxist politics in the French Section of the Workers’ International 
(SFIO), a member party of the Second International. The SFIO was 
dominated by two main tendencies. On the one hand were the Guesdists, 
followers of Jules Guesde, who claimed the legacy of Marxism while 
rejecting Marxist political strategy; it was in reference to this 
tendency that Marx famously pronounced, “[if this is Marxism, then] I am 
not a Marxist.” On the other hand were the reformists, of whom Jean 
Jaurès was a prominent leader. Despite the revolutionary sloganeering of 
the Guesdists, neither tendency was prepared to build a mass, 
revolutionary workers’ party capable of taking power during a crisis of 
state; this was proven at the beginning of the First World War, when 
Jaurès (a prominent pacifist) was assassinated, and Guesde chose to 
support the war.


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