[Marxism] MR Online | A letter to intellectuals who deride revolutions in the name of purity

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Nov 20 06:49:51 MST 2019

(That's something you don't see every day: Vijay and Roxanne co-authors. 
Anyhow, I think there's something missing in their article and that is 
an engagement with the key problem of radical, as opposed to 
revolutionary, governments. Over and over again, these attempts to 
create socialist societies on a gradualist basis are thwarted by a 
combination of imperialist intervention and local capitalist reaction. 
Cuba was a different story because it was an island and because Fidel 
nationalized the entire economy down to the last nail in the last 
bodega, as Arthur Maglin who recruited me to the SWP once put it. In my 
view, the chief value of nationalization is not as a sine qua non for 
economic development, which it is, but to break the power of the local 
capitalists. That being the case, it is also problematic because a 
single country like Bolivia or Venezuela is not strong enough to 
withstand the siege that the USA can mount. In the 1800s, Marx and 
Engels saw the socialist revolution as a continent-wide phenomenon. In 
his letters to Zasulich, Marx never considered the possibility of a 
socialist Russia. Instead, he considered it as a trigger for socialist 
revolution in the West. Anyhow, I will try to write an analysis of this 
before long.)

by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Ana Maldonado, Pilar Troya Fernández, and Vijay 


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