Weak Links?

Wojtek Sokolowski sokol at jhu.edu
Thu Dec 12 12:45:31 PST 2002

> Yes, but it can't reproduce itself perfectly or indefinitely.
> Business
> cycles show that, as well as the appearances of bubbles,
> gluts, and crashes
> (productive capitl and paper), no?

We are not talking about some abstract point in the future but the ability to generate suplus here and now and convert it into military advantage. US may be doomed, say 100 years form now, but that offers little consolation to those who face the imminent bomanrdment by USAF today. The same applied to Russia and China 100 years ago.

> That's a revolution? Breakdown of the governance system?

Yes. I do not buy revolutionary eschatology, if you will. In my mind, revolution is but a menas to an end - or at least it seemed so 100 years ago. Today we know that countries that did not use that means (e.g. Sweden) got closer to the socialist ideals than countries that did (e.g. Russia).

> As for it being a rural phenomenon, was the Roman Revolution "rural"?


> to say. As for Trotsky, his words echo yours about the system being
> overloaded and then collapsing. That overload created a

I think Trotsky was right in his assement of the Russian society, but overly optimistic about the working class/"the masses" potential for creating social instituions (in that respect Gramsci had much more to say). In other words, the masses on their own will create nothing as examples of Afghanistan or Ethiopia clearly illustrate - they need institutional framnework (yes, the infamous vanguard party, inter alia) to create a new social order.

> revolution could be advanced. Capitalism, by its very
> nature, creates
> spaces that have revolutionary potential, no? And wasn't
> that what Yoshie
> was asking about: where are the weakest links today ie where
> would the next
> spaces open up sufficiently wide?

Yes, And I think my post hinted the answer - the means is parliamentary democracy. And the opportunity? I am still betting on that old bitch Europe when confronted by the US aggression. I do not see it happening here - if thegoing gets tough (e.g. European competition, ecological disaster, whatever) this country is likely to descend to some form of totalitarianism or better yet, split into several pieces.

> Are you making an argument here wrt cause and effect? No
> peasant background
> in the society = no chance of communist revolution? That
> logic doesn't fly.

That is correct, except that I used the term "communist revolution as we know it" (i.e. Russian or Chinese style). I think advanced democtracies will achieve socialism by different than a peasant rebellion means (such as parliamentary coalitions).

> Yoshie, I'll put a tentative bet on South America as the next
> "hot spot".

I do not think so. They had their chance in the 1960s and 197s when they could get considerable international support for their struggle, but they did not get very far. My bet is, again, Europe - but they change will come there more peacefully as it did in Sweden in the 1930s


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