From: Ian Wright (wrighti@ACM.ORG)
Date: Thu Jan 05 2006 - 12:49:07 EST
Another brief thought trying to at this in a different way. The debate between reform vs. revolution in the history of Marxism is also about "deferral". Abstractly, according to Marx, the persistent economic structures of capitalism necessarily cause certain social ills. Political reforms do not causally effect those enduring structures and hence necessarily fail to eradicate those social ills. This is essentially the Marxist justification for profound economic change. *If* this theory is correct, and if we have the goal of absenting those ills, then we must change the enduring economic structures, i.e. we must "defer" to the social reality of the situation in order to effectively achieve our aims. It would also be incumbent on the holders of such a theory to communicate it and try it out, including telling other people "how it is" and even how they should change their practice. And isn't this what politics is about? There's nothing essentially "patronizing" about this, in fact just the opposite (it is a kind of helping), although I note what you describe regarding the history of certain Marxist practices. Best, -Ian.
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