[Marxism] Socialism in Our Time? | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 8 10:06:15 MST 2019

Until now, Catalyst has not published an article defending the “dirty 
break”, “inside-outside” tactic. In the latest issue, however, you can 
read a gargantuan article (14,258 words) titled “A Socialist Party in 
Our Time?” that is behind a paywall. One imagines (ahem) that getting a 
copy will not be that difficult in an age when information yearns to be 

The co-authors are graduate students, Jared Abbott at Harvard and Dustin 
Guastella at Rutgers. Both are also DSA members and—I’ll bet—Bread and 
Roses members. They start by offering a socialist version of the 
Goldilocks story. On the American left, there are three beds. One is 
“movementist”, preferring demonstrations to electoral politics. But it 
is too “narrow” a bed since it cannot translate its street actions into 
policy. The other bed is also too narrow since it belongs to the 
“sectarian” left that stubbornly avoids all contact with the Democratic 
Party and sees the fight for socialism only possible by joining up with 
one of their Leninist groupuscules.

Abbot and Guastella invite us to snuggle up into the only bed that is 
the right size for any sensible person. It is “like the mass parties of 
the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: an organization that 
competes for elections, mobilizes a mass base, and has a democratic 
internal structure.” This describes the socialist parties of the early 
20th century and the Communist Parties later on. Since the DSA is too 
small to effectuate a “clean break” for such a party, it instead has to 
be tactically clever and oh-so dirty.

full: https://louisproyect.org/2019/11/08/socialism-in-our-time/

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