Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Against Liberal Imperialist 'Marxism'

It is understandable that a Social Democratic student of imperialism can easily find arguments in his theoretical luggage if he wants switch to the other side. He only has to regard Marxism mechanically and say: ‘Socialism is only possible on the foundations of the highest capitalist development, of imperialist development; therefore, let us first help consolidate these foundations with all our power, let us protect the world power of our own country against foreign imperialism; today we must be imperialists, but socialism remains the ultimate goal’ —in the remote future, because it has surely become apparent that the proletariat is still far too weak for victory.

It is obvious that, with this attitude, the quasi-Marxists do not prepare and promote the realization of socialism, but rather inhibit and delay it. The realization of socialism depends solely on the strength, independence, energy and clarity of purpose of the working class.

Anton Pannekoek, 1915

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At 3:13 am, Blogger bob said...

Pannekoek said, rightly, that the "realization of socialism depends solely on the strength, independence, energy and clarity of purpose of the working class."

He did not say, support the other side in World War I, and he did not say that the realization of socialism depends on the independence, energy and clarity of purpose of political Islam, the authoritarian "Bolivarian revolution" or the Ayatollahs.

I think you are aiming poor Anton in the wrong direction.

At 3:21 am, Blogger bob said...

Hmm, actually maybe I'll semi take that back because I see (here: http://www.marxists.org/archive/pannekoe/tactics/ch08.htm ) he did, in 1920, argue for supporting national liberation movements in Asia, which he expected to turn communist under the inspiraton of the Bolshevik revolution, which of course turned out to be wrong.

I had always thought he took a similar fundamentalist line to Luxemburg on this issue. Sorry!


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