(OPE-L) Re: FROP and revisionism

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Mon May 12 2003 - 08:25:54 EDT

Rakesh wrote on Sunday, May 11:

> The need for an answer is urgent as the inability to appreciate fully
> the contradictions of capitalist production and the consequent
> formulation of revisionist programmes begin after all with a denial
> of any mode of reality for the law of the tendency of the rate of profit
> to fall!

The 'formulation of revisionist programmes' have historically been
disconnected from debates around the FROP.  The debate with the
"revisionists"  within the SPD in the 1890's was essentially about "reform
or revolution?" and the role of the state.  Bernstein and other revisionists
did challenge "orthodox" Marxist theory -- then advanced by Kautsky,
August Bebel, Wilhelm Liebknecht and others -- as it related to the 'laws
of motion' of capital, capitalist crises, the 'inevitability' of socialism,
but the "orthodox" Marxists of the time (and for at least a couple of
afterwards) advanced underconsumptionist and/or disproportionality
theories of crisis rather than the FROP theory.

At some later point in time, "revisionism" became a term of abuse
primarily directed by some "Marxist-Leninist" groups against other
"Marxist-Leninists" and so, consequently, has little meaning today.
"Reformism" is a closer to the original meaning of "revisionism" but
reformism doesn't begin with "an inability to appreciate fully the
contradictions of capitalist production" -- it is a political movement
that arises from divisions within the working class  -- and some might
argue, is an expression of "class collaboration"  -- rather than an
intellectual reaction to Marx's and/or Marxist theory.

In solidarity, Jerry

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