Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Sep 7 08:03:53 PDT 1998

Frances Bolton wrote:
>But Louis, this argument is clearly false. We can all think of any number
>of things that ruling class politicians have said they would do and
>actually did. "ending welfare as we know it," "getting tough of
>'terrorists,'" and so on.

The problem with "ending welfare as we know it" and "getting tough on terrorists" is that these are not promises, they are slogans. Ending welfare as we know it can mean replacing it with a guaranteed minimum income. It can also mean cutting off aid to dependent children. The problem with the Clinton presidency, which is endemic to the bankruptcy of liberal politics, is that his promises were broken across the board. The only politicians who can be trusted are those who are responsible to some sort of grass-roots constituency. This means Green candidates, etc.

>Should we be understanding this argument to be referring simply to
>reforms, that is, if ruling class interests say something for the public
>good, we ought to assume that they are disproportionately benefitting from
>the reform? Critical race theorists make a similar argument about any laws
>passed that address racial discrimination.

Critical race theorists? Never read them myself. I have read Lenin and what he made clear throughout his glorious career is that reforms are won through revolutionary action. He was hostile to the bourgeois parties in Russia from top to bottom. He broke with the Mensheviks because they, like Burford, were always making googly-eyes at the Kadets (Constitutional Democrats) who were the Republican-Democrats of their day.

Louis Proyect (http://www.panix.com/~lnp3/marxism.html)

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