Are we Practicing Scientific Socialism, or Utopian Theology?
by, 6th June 2011 at 14:53 (2864 Views)
I have discovered a real and interesting phenomenon on revleft that has honestly left me perplexed, and I just wanted to write about it in an effort to get some clarity on the issue. I would appreciate people's responses and comments to my observations. Those observations are that most people, whether they call themselves anarchists, communists. Maoists, Trotskyists, etc seem to practice methods more akin to religion than it does scientific socialism, a term I have seen used very little. I shall make my point below using a recent post on revleft and the response it garnished, which I found to be very perplexing and troubling.
In a recent post in the Practice and Propaganda section entitled "Someone please give me hope..." a comrade was expressing some frustration about convincing people around understanding and supporting socialism and people's reluctance to fight, and asked what gave people hope. The responses given consisted of either open demoralization or moral abstractions and platitudes. The open demoralizations are not worth discussing, since those are to be clearly found everywhere. I would like to talk about the moral abstractions and platitudes.
The answer of the inevitability of the victory of the proletariat was one common response. One comes across this response often on revleft, yet it is always the case that no one ever tries to show in a scientific way how this is suppose to be the case, with the exception that every once in a while someone attempts to make a summation of human history that is often very incomplete, full of misunderstanding, and often times not even factually correct (it mainly shows how little the people know or understand history). At least one person was honest in characterizing their believe in the inevitable victory of the proletariat as being of a more religious slant akin to the day of reckoning (one has to say thank you for such honesty). Of course the people who believe in the inevitability of the victory of the proletariat never recognizes openly the conclusion of such a theory, although I am quite sure they know and take relief in its implicit implications, which is namely that there is no need for revolutionary organization or activity. For the expounders of the inevitability of the victory of the proletariat they take joy in their ability to "recognize" the righteousness of socialism yet not having to give up any privileges they now enjoy and having to not oppose in practice the power of the state. They can wait like the faithful Christians do for the "inevitable" return of the Messiah, knowing that they will be saved simply because they believed that Jesus is Lord!
It is very true that social upheaval and revolution is inevitable because of the fact that the antagonisms that exists in class society cannot produce anything else but an explosion. Yet these revolutions, which happen from time to time, do not and cannot lead to victory of the proletariat unless their is a revolutionary party fighting for the destruction of the capitalists state and in its replacement the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e. a workers state that begins to wither away on its own accord owing to its successes in extinguishing the existence of classes. This is why Utopian Socialism, which existed before Marx and Engels, had to be rejected and a scientific method applied to the noble and righteous theory of socialism that could make it possible for it to actually come about. This is why Marx and Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto, why Lenin fought to developing the revolutionary combat organization of the proletarian vanguard.
Another response were examples of actions of moral appeasement as opposed to concrete examples of the possibility of building mass social struggle and how our intervention could radicalize these mass struggles. One person said whenever they put up posters about socialism or where a shirt with socialism on it, it makes them feel good, as if socialism was a religious relic with mystical powers that, like the cross, one could take comfort in by wrapping oneself with it.
There were a few responses that focused on concrete things to do to fight the helpless feeling. A couple spoke of doing organizing that makes a difference around an issue that was interesting to a person. However, it is never discussed exactly what struggles will make a difference, or what strategies and tactics to use for such issues. Because of this the advise differed very little from advise that a good Christian would receive from their pastor - "find work that makes a difference and soothes your heart" says the pastor! But this has nothing in common is scientific socialism and the Marxist method of struggle. The reason for this is that in order to recognize, develop, and practice such a method one has to be actually fighting for POWER and the victory of the proletariat revolution. Contrary to the popular belief among the left, it is NOT ENOUGH to just know why side of history is the right side to stand on; you must constantly look for ways to express the power of the proletariat and oppressed masses over and against that of the capitalists until the rule of the capitalists can be smashed with the power of the proletariat and massed oppressed.
Reading the posts made me think about my times as a Christian and how confused, demoralizing, and powerless I felt as a Christian and the reason why I rejected it for Marxism. I was shocked to see that no one attempted to engage the creator of the post with the concrete situation in his country; he is from Canada, where the NDP (social-democratic party) the second largest number of seats in Parliament, and the largest number of seats in the history of the NDP. While the Conservatives won the majority of seats, and the NDP is barely even center-left, there are certainly limitations to the election results. But one thing is clear is that Canadian society is polarized, and polarization is a good thing for the class struggle because people are choosing which side they are standing on.
And not a single person mentioned Egypt, or any of the Middle Eastern and European countries that has experienced massive social explosions.
My first two posts on my blog are examples of enacting a scientific method of engaging and intervening in struggle.
Let me know what people's thoughts are to this. I am just looking to speak to other serious people.
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