>>> Gordon Fitch <gcf at panix.com> 04/19/00 12:32PM >>>
Chuck Grimes wrote:
> >earnest young, hopelessly idealistic demonstrators. Yes we are with
> >you, but you have to work with the system, reform it, not tear it
> >down. Hmm, where have I heard that before? The conintelpro has only
> >just begun.
> For the starter, I suggest reading _Strategy of Social Protest_ by William
> Gamson, which examines various social movement in the US history and
> concludes that a success means cooperation and cooptation by the existing
> institutional structure - none of these movements came even remotely close
> to tearing down "the system" or even builiding a parallel power structure.
> Besides, "ideologically pure" parallel institutions dreamed of by some on
> the US left smack of the utopian socialism rightfully derided by Marx.
I don't see the point of reading anything about strategy, then. In effect, you're saying everything is basically hopeless -- the best one can do is attempt to mitigate the rigors of capitalism through some social democracy as it careens toward the abyss. If the best we can hope for is a better Welfare State and a kinder, gentler bourgeoisie, then nihilism would seem to be the more aesthetic and more moral political choice.
CB: Ditto. We can do better.
In looking at history, though, I notice that both Christianity and capitalism succeeded by working at the margins and in the interstices of a previous social order, which they overcame or radically changed. I know liberalism is very clever, but it might not be the last word.
CB: The last shall be first.