the state, programme & demands - nov 06.doc - Marxism and the state an exchange For socialists the issue of the state is vital What is its class

the state, programme & demands - nov 06.doc - Marxism...

This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 22 pages.

Marxism and the state: an exchange For socialists, the issue of the state is vital. What is its class character? What programme and policies should we put forward? These questions were recently raised by Michael Wainwright in his statement, Re: Marxists and the State, in which he argues that the Socialist Party and its predecessor, Militant, have adopted a reformist as opposed to a Marxist position. Michael has since left the party, but we still consider it important to debate the issues he raises. Lynn Walsh replies: The State: A Marxist Programme and Transitional Demands. Re: Marxists and the State Michael Wainwright Over the last two and half years my involvement in the Socialist Party has given me a considerable degree of organisational proficiency – the ability to intervene within the labour movement as a whole – as well as a thirst for politically educating myself so as to successfully confront opportunism and all shades of reformism. Since becoming a member, my consciousness has dramatically shifted from left reformism towards a revolutionary Marxist perspective. The need to politically understand the dialectical interconnection between world events and the consciousness (as well as the institutions) of the working-class is of fundamental importance to the struggle against capitalism. Consciously apprehending the basic precepts of Marxism-Leninism as the guiding analytical perspective for formulating programmatic positions is an elemental necessity for any revolutionary party. Through a fairly comprehensive review and assessment of the history of our organisation, and its methodology since 1964, I have been troubled by a number of contradictions and omissions, which lead me to question the theoretical and practical basis of our politics. On a recent re-reading of our pamphlet "Socialism in the 21st Century" I noticed something in Chapter 6 that had not properly registered the first time: "A socialist government could only defend itself if it mobilised the active support of the working class. And it would only be by demonstrating its power in practise that the working class could successfully defend its democratically elected socialist government." I had thought it was our position, as a Marxist organisation, that the establishment of working class power required a revolution to create a workers' state - something entirely different from socialists gaining administration of the existing capitalist state after winning a parliamentary majority through bourgeois elections. The "What is the state?" section of our "What is Marxism?" pack has a very different approach from that in "Socialism in the 21st Century": "The basic attitude of Marxism to the capitalist state is summed up by Lenin in the above mentioned 'State and Revolution'. Lenin points out that Marxist revolutionaries, as opposed to reformists, say that the existing Bourgeois state cannot be seized ready- made and used in the interests of the working class. It must be broken up, smashed, and replaced by a new workers' state."
Image of page 1

Subscribe to view the full document.

Image of page 2
  • Spring '14
  • DennisJ.Goldford

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask ( soon) You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes