marx on the commune, etc

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Tue Dec 23 2003 - 15:00:31 EST

At 22:25 22/12/2003, jerry wrote:

>Now a question:  in reading again the 4/12/71 letter to Kugelmann, I noticed
>the following:
>"If you look at the last chapter of my _Eighteenth Braumaire_, you will
>find that
>I say that the next attempt of the French revolution will be no longer, as
>to transfer the bureaucratic-military machinery from one hand to another,
>but to
>REVOLUTION ON THE CONTINENT." (capitalization added for emphasis, JL).
>-- Do you think that this is also a prerequisite for the people's
>revolution in

I agree entirely with your remarks on Marx's comments on the Commune and on
the responsibility of revolutionaries. As to the question about
transferring the military machinery, etc,: concretely in the absence of
support for the government by the military to this point, there would be no
possibility of a people's revolution at this time--- especially given
support of the opposition by the heavily armed police, the US involvement
in Plan Colombia, etc. It's a pretty complicated situation and there are
lots of arms in civilian hands, too. I share Paul B's point-- you need to
recognise that the context in which Marx made his comments is rather
different; on the other hand, Marx's comment in 1871, I think, universally
applies: "World history would indeed be very easy if the struggle were
taken up on condition of infallibly favorable chances."
         in solidarity,

Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Office Fax:   (604) 291-5944
Home:   Phone (604) 689-9510

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