Wednesday, August 17, 2016

If Karl Marx were reanimated today

How would he characterise or explain the history of attempted implementation of his theories?

"It’s pleasing to see my prediction that the problem of abundance would be solved was correct once the further development of the capitalist mode of production was completed. In relative terms, it’s gone above and beyond my expectations. It’s equally pleasing to see that the forces of production have sufficiently developed to such an extent that the next problem facing the proletariat, in terms of satisfying human need, involves the unleashing of the massive global infrastructure for distribution in the interests of the associated producers.

Nevertheless, despite these great advances in productive capacity it appears there have been many instances where the so-called ‘Marxists’ have either not listened sufficiently to what I and my comrade Engels had to say in reference to the revolutionary process, or they have unwisely failed to recognise our analysis on political economy needs to be put in its historical context and adapted accordingly to the revolutionary process of the day.
This failure to understand the process of revolution fuelled for many their impatience with the speed of social evolution. Subsequently, many of these so-called revolutionaries attempted either to artificially narrow the gap between one society and another, or they foolishly decided they could ignore the gap in its entirety? And in some cases, they attempted both!
The methods used in all such cases ignored that a necessary prerequisite or pre-condition for a revolutionary transformation to common ownership is the relative maturity of the working class in gaining a revolutionary consciousness. Instead, of taking proactive measures, like helping and supporting the workers to become self-educated and also using democracy to mount a political challenge to the rule of the capitalist class, they unwisely assumed that a class in itself , albeit led by ‘professional revolutionaries’ would suffice to complete the revolutionary process.
By taking these un-revolutionary steps it has to be presumed that they did not realise neither Engels or myself had ever argued that socialist consciousness had to be brought to the working class by professional revolutionaries, drawn from the petty bourgeoisie, and organised as a vanguard party. As a matter of fact in 1879 we both issued a circular in which we declared:
When the International was formed we expressly formulated the battle cry: The emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves. We cannot, therefore, co-operate with people who openly state that the workers are too uneducated to emancipate themselves and must be freed from above by philanthropic big bourgeois and petty bourgeois.’
It appears, therefore, in your eagerness to foment the disgruntled masses of uneducated workers, to your discredit you purposely avoided the conclusions of this sound advice. Subsequently, the uneducated workers have still not reached the stage of being a class for itself.
In this respect I leave the final condemnation for your crass manipulation of the revolutionary process to Engels who had this to say:
The worst thing that can befall a leader of an extreme party is to be compelled to take over a government in an epoch when the movement is not yet ripe for the domination of the class which he represents and for the realisation of the measures which that domination would imply ...
Engels, The Peasant War in Germany (1850) "