History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

Darwiniana header image 2

R48G: if you use the term ‘Our Revolution’ for FDR-ism, don’t complain if real Jacobins pose liquidation…

December 15th, 2017 · No Comments


To continue our discussion of today:

the issue of reform or revolution has been implicit in the whole history of the left since 1848. It is a bit ridiculous to protest revolution in a magazine called ‘Jacobin’.
Marx/Engels seem inconsistent on the subject and, of course, there is the legacy of Bernstein, etc…
The rise of social democracy in the period of the second international up to the era of FDR-ism speaks for itself, success or failure?
But the neoliberal counterrevolution seems to gainsay social democratic optimism.

The socialist jargon of Sanders is ambiguous with its slogan ‘Our Revolution’. You cannot complain about a revolutionary perspectives if you use (or abuse) such terminology. But the term along with the socialist references serve in many ways as cooptations of the real thing. The same might be said of the use of the term ‘jacobin’ by reformist true believers.
But the potential for revolution is implicit in the evolutionary path: a large enough majority could vote for a new communist constitution.
But note that while that is true in theory the reality of the abolition of private property seems to preclude naive reformism. Who knows?
We are a mere two centuries form the French Revolution and the onset of democratic revolutions.
let’s recall how much discussion in the first and second international periods revolved around plebiscite democratic options. Now we mostly have democracy, so-called, so the analysis needs a recompute: the electoral path to ‘revolution’ didn’t materialize. So we need to reanalyze the working class focus, that in the context of Gramsci’s idea of hegemony, apt indeed.

It seems unlikely that without the abolition of private property we can establish a sane or just politics. Much discussion might try and do a ‘time machine’ jump to the period before the civil war and ask if slow reform could have abolished slavery. The reality became a gruesome war. Should compromise have been applied, well, the idea makes no sense.
To be sure, it is possible capital can be contained, globally, via nationalistic reformism, but is that realistic.

These debates are stuck in the stages of production theory of Marx. But the issue there is not some progression of epochs to communism, but a version of the democratic revolution that has socialist axioms.
In the meantime if you use the term ‘revolution’ as in Sanders’ Our Revolution, you can’t complain if some take you literally and/or charge you with a betrayal and abuse of terms.

Tags: General

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment