Re: [OPE-L] The Paris Commune, the State, and Venezuela

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Thu May 19 2005 - 06:07:31 EDT

I've be out of the country for two weeks and am catching up.  Jerry's
remark below caught my attention:

> What is most important is not whether one supports Chavez.  What
> is important is that in the ongoing class conflicts in Venezuela, one
> takes the side of the poor and working class against bourgeois
> forces and the reaction.  I.e. the critical question is: which side of
> the barricades are you on?    I  have no fear that John H or  other
> autonomists (or anarchists, for that matter) will find themselves on the
> wrong side of the barricades in Venezuela.  Do you really think that if
> there was another coup attempt or an imperialist provocation that
> John  would be indifferent or on the wrong side?

In my view, this is much too simple.  Take, for example, the Civil War in
Spain.  Can one really reduce it to "which side are you on"?  I think not,
and the formulation has a danger of dogmatism.  Take the SPD and/or KPD in
early 1930s Germany,  How would you answer your own question?

Put another way, successful revolutionary politics is extremely complex
and one's subjective intentions can lead to the best or worst of results.

And, yes, I do have fears about anarchism.  Was Emma Goldman getting
Berkman to shoot Frick or Czolgocz, McKinley (I live EXACTLY on the street
where McKinley was shot!), a progressive political practice?  not to my
way of thinking.

Paul Z.

RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY,  Paul Zarembka, editor,  Elsevier Science

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