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Marxism ... Concerning modern theory and praxis of global socialist revolution

By University of Los Andes political sciences professor, Dr. Franz J. T. Lee  Posted by Roy S. Carson (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 3 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
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VHeadline commentarist and University of Los Andes political sciences professor, Dr. Franz J. T. Lee writes: More than four decades ago, in his Message to the Peoples of the World, Fidel Castro pointed out the core of Marxist revolutionary praxis and theory; today it is more than ever valid for the Americas and elsewhere:

"... It is the duty of the revolutionaries to make the revolution."
We have to remember that Karl Marx evolved his theory of revolution in the years 1840-1844, when he himself was developing towards scientific and philosophic socialism. It was intended to be a program for the bourgeois-democratic capitalist revolution, then overdue in Germany. Germany's historical time lag as compared with her Western-bourgeois neighbors (England and France) offered the possible German revolution a unique historical chance not only to make up for the "political revolution" that had been brought about by the Jacobine revolution in France, but even to surpass it in "human emancipation" (Marx) which would go so far as to overcome the contradiction between citoyen and bourgeois, slave and master.

Already in 2005, in my book dedicated to President Hugo Chavez Frias, and titled "Venezuela: De la Revolución Bolivariana a la Emancipación Humana", I indicated this emancipatory possibility of departure from the "democratic revolution"
towards socialist emancipation in Venezuela.

In clarifying the question of the subject of such a revolution Marx not only crossed the line from a radical bourgeois-ideologist to theoretician of the socialist revolution but also from mere normative, moral, utopian to scientific and philosophic socialism. Certainly, as proved by historic events, the latter alone is susceptible of designing the bridge of praxis that must of necessity link the criticism of the present with the concrete, proletarian utopia of the future, and of actuating the "alliance of thinking and suffering men" (Marx) that will liberate human society from the shackles of the mortal bourgeois mode of production, and hence by means of class struggle from the class system on a world scale. Now, in December 2008, President Chavez of Venezuela also has become conscious of this historical process. Venezuela is again under attack, the immediate future is lit up with severe class striggles.

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With reference to a short class alliance at the beginning of the epoch of social revolution, according to Marx, in general, but not necessarily as a rule, at least two parties are bound to find themselves in a temporary alliance prompted by the revolution, although they differ in their basic attitude towards that revolution: a petty-bourgeois one that aims at getting it done and ever with, and a proletarian one that keeps pushing it forward "until all more or less propertied classes have been squeezed out of authority, executive power has been wrested from them by the proletariat, and the associations of proletarians not only in one country but in all leading countries of the world are so far advanced (...) that at least the decisive forces of production will be concentrated in the hands of the proletariat" (Marx/Engels, "Address of the Central Authority to the League", March 1850).

This is more easily said than done.

Chavez' political addresses all go in this direction, in the formulation of Bolivarian praxis and theory; he talks about "the class struggle", about how the exploiting "propertied classes" have to be "squeezed out of authority", and to give executive power to the people. Precisely this was in Germany the common political platform of the then League of Communists and the Blanquists, who had then around 1850 formulated the following criteria of a socialist revolution:

a) Achievement of the hegemony of the proletariat, by means of its party or parties, in the historically retarded bourgeois revolution in Germany;

b) Establishment of a proletarian dictatorship, i.e. seizing control of executive power with a view to the expropriation and reorganization of the means of production;

c) Internationalization of the revolution to bring about co-operation among the proletarian dominated, most highly developed ("dominant") societies in order to prevent "communism" from merely becoming a generalized form of indigence and want which would invariably entail new types of inequality, the formation of classes, and the setting up of a machinery of repression vis-á-vis the majority of the people.
Concerning the point (a), this is the current task of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

Concerning (b) and (c), if we want to deepen the revolution, want to accelerate the class struggle, then it is valid to acknowledge: so much to do, so little done!

Apart from the discussions and conflicts in the First and Second Internationals, especially between reformists and revolutionaries, essentially towards the end of the 19th century, Marxist revolutionary theory did not undergo radical revision and dialectical enrichment.

As we know, at the beginning of the 20th century Bolsheviks and left-wing German Social Democrats, like today, discovered once more the topicality of the "socialist revolution" that filled the Marxian writings of around 1848. Suddenly, comrades remembered the first theory of globalization (Manifesto), of the transhistoric "democratic" (French) Revolution which inexorably, according to the tendential economic laws as explained in "Das Kapital", was realizing itself in our modern critical and depressive times of global recession.

The Russian revolution of 1905 raised the problem of the character of this revolution not only for the Russian Social Democrats but also for the Second International in its entirety.

Three options were developed:

a) the Menshevik one,

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Roy S. Carson is veteran foreign correspondent (45+ years in the business) currently editor & publisher of VHeadline Venezuela reporting on news & views from and about Venezuela in South America -- available for interviews -- call Houston (more...)
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