THE IMPORTANCE OF CLAUSE IV AND HOW NOT TO ARGUE FOR IT.

clause IV critique pdf

6 Responses to THE IMPORTANCE OF CLAUSE IV AND HOW NOT TO ARGUE FOR IT.

  1. Pingback: THE PERENNIAL QUESTION: TO WORK IN OR OUTSIDE THE LABOUR PARTY? | williambowles.info

  2. Anti-Capital says:

    “A reformist party can be compared to a ship whose captain and officers either wilfully or negligently set sail ignoring adverse weather reports or the state of the tides. The result is a ship running aground or out of fuel or, even, a ship sinking before its destination. Of course, the brochure promoting the reformist ship is silent about the storms ahead. And of course, the reformist liner appears to be much more attractive and comfortable compared to the smaller, older but sturdier revolutionary tug alongside, a ship presently with no passengers but only a working crew.

    This has always been the problem confronting revolutionaries. The reformists offer the working-class solutions short of revolution.”

    Your basic assumption, that reformism is the expression of a lack of knowledge, is just flat-out mistaken. It’s not at all the case that reformists ignore the reports of storms, or the need for fuel. On the contrary, reformists present a case that they know more about navigating the storms, and either conserving or spending the fuel than anybody else, reactionary or revolutionary. And it is the “anybody” else reformists emphasize, as if this is a question of individuals, personalities, and not relations and laws of production, and the classes composed in and of those relations. .

    The reformists don’t “offer the working class solutions short of revolution.” They offer the BOURGEOISIE solutions in opposition to, and in the preemption of revolution– which is why the “reformist” is the vehicle for the ruling class and is not some expression of a misguided, mistaken, or privileged sector of the working class.

  3. If being determines consciousness which it does, then the politics of reformism expressed the interest of the emergent bureaucracy in the working class. The first debates as you know on this issue were between Kautsky and Bernstein. Now this bureaucracy sits uneasily between the bourgeoisie and the working class. The bourgeoisie tolerate them allowing them their privileges whereas an insurgent working class would not. So they know which side their bread is buttered. Where you are right is that the bourgeoisie long ago saw the advantages of this bureaucracy as a transmission belt into the working class of their ideas. However that is not so important. What is important is why the working class is receptive to their policies in the first place. It is because workers are drawn to the line of least resistance, evolutionary change rather than revolutionary change. Hence the need for united front work. And this is where you are wrong. The reformists always, in their propaganda, over-egg the possibilities of evolutionary change, they always overestimate the power of the ballot box. This is what I meant about ignoring the storm readings. They are fundamentally dishonest about the question of power.

  4. Anti-Capital says:

    OK then, good luck with boarding the good ship labor-lollipop. To paraphrase sheriff Brody in Jaws: “You’re gonna need a better boat.”

  5. You forget I still reckon a working boat is also needed.

    • Anti-Capital says:

      The problem, of course, is the parable of the boat can be used to justify anything. Why not get on board Allende’s UP boat in 1970? Why not get on ANC’s boat in 1990? Why not the good ship Popular Front in 1936?

      There’s no content to it. It’s the same old, same old. Steaming in circles.

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