[Marxism] Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood [was: The 'turn to industry'...]
jbustelo at gmail.com
Sun May 17 09:19:54 MDT 2009
I had written about socialist organization in the United States:
> But what is the alternative? A proletarian socialist movement is not
> POSSIBLE because there is no actual class movement for this to be the
> most advanced expression of.
Sam B. has replied by quoting Zizek, who basically presents us with Norman
Vincent Peale ("the power of positive thinking") in pseudo-leftist drag: the
revolution is there ... if you want it to be:
"... if one just waits to 'see' a revolutionary movement, it will, of
course, never arise, and one will never see it."
"revolutionary potential is not there to discover as an objective social
fact, one 'sees it' only insofar as one 'desires' it (engages oneself in the
Coming from Zizek, someone whose personal history shows he could not, in
fact, in real time, on the ground, in his home country, tell the difference
between a REAL revolution and a pro-NATO, pro-imperialist, capitalist
restorationist counter-revolution that dismembered Yugoslavia so imperialism
could more easily swallow its constituent parts, and even assumed a top
leadership position in the main organization that pushed through the
counter-revolution in Slovenia, I am more than a little skeptical about his
theory that revolution is there if you want it.
And then there is this: "No wonder Mensheviks and those who opposed Lenin's
call for a revolutionary takeover in the summer of 1917 'didn't see' the
conditions for it as 'ripe' and opposed it as 'premature' - they simply did
not WANT the revolution."
Anyone who thinks political conditions in Russia in the summer of 1917 have
anything to do with political conditions in the countries belonging to the
NATO and European Union imperialist cartels simply has an imagination way
more powerful that anything I can hope to understand.
Comrades! IT IS TIME TO STOP FOOLING OURSELVES with affirmations of blind
Marxist proletarian faith and sophistry from the European professoriat.
The reality is this: the movement of the European and other "western"
workers failed; one hopes not forever, but quite clearly, nay,
CATASTROPHICALLY, and for an entire historical epoch.
This is not a PROGNOSIS. This is not a PREDICTION. This is not a WARNING of
what will be if we don't apply Joaquin's magic revolutionary fairy dust to
the nearest union meeting.
THIS is what has created our REALITY. This is what has *already* happened.
The decisive battles that defined the outcome IN FACT took place lifetimes
ago. The Left Opposition against the Stalinist degeneration of the Russian
Revolution. The British general strike. The rise of fascism in Germany. The
Civil War in Spain. The French Popular Front. The American New Deal.
The tactical/political dimension of these battles was analyzed at the time
by the greatest living Marxists of those times, and most of all Leon
Trotsky. The conclusion he did not and was not yet entitled to draw is the
one we MUST draw.
In relation to Germany, one of Trotsky's ringing manifestos ended with the
prophecy: the German working class will rise again. Stalinism, never.
History will yet prove Trotsky right, in time frames a century or centuries.
But in the time frame Trotsky had in mind, that of human political
activities, years and decades, Trotsky was proved wrong. The German working
class never recovered the militancy, consciousness or organization it
displayed before the rise of fascism. And the power and influence of
Stalinism in 1933 was just a sapling of what was to come.
That became with the events that followed Trotsky's death: World War II and
its outcome -- on one side, the consolidation of an imperialist camp based
on neo-colonial joint exploitation of the Third World under U.S. leadership
rather than a constant battle over monopoly control of various colonies
between the imperialists; and on the other, the consolidation of a
"socialist camp" initially quite firmly under Stalin's thumb, followed by
the Soviet regime's own confession of the *moral and political bankruptcy*
of "really existing socialism" a decade later, with the Khruschev
Wishing isn't going to make things better. This history has happened and NOT
"for better or for worse" BUT most decidedly "for worse."
And even if the current economic crisis continues to deepen, things are NOT
going to return to the way they were in the mid-1930s, suddenly erasing from
history the last three-quarters century.
The first step in clearing the ground to begin the studies for laying a
foundation of a movement that when it is fully developed *might* begin to
reverse this situation is to recognize reality, not to whistle "graveyard?
what graveyard?" every time you walk past the cemetery where the remains of
the "western" socialist and proletarian movement of Lenin and Trotsky's time
IN RESPONSE to other footer quotes being circulated:
Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
--TS Eliot, Ash Wednesday
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