[lbo-talk] what is to be done

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Fri May 7 14:31:14 PDT 2010

shag carpet bomb wrote:
> btw, thanks for interpretive/contextual help with WITBD. Ruthless Critic
Their logic is that no matter how unhappy
> >workers may feel under capitalism, they dare not tamper with the world
> >as it is; anything is better than the dread Leninism/Stalinism.

This was the argument of traditional conservatism before Lenin's grandfather was born. It is why I ever so often emphasize the importance of Jimmy Carter in the 'rise' of conservatism since 1970 -- focusing on Carter's "The world is not fair." Carter, that is, was 'truer' to the spirit of Edmund Burke and his sources than any of the pipsqueaks at National Review or stheir contemporary heroes: they should be regarded rather as the Platypus of the Right. And this kind of conservatism is not bound dogmatically to bow down to the capitalist iddeology of endless change but can, when appropriate, actually practice the NR slogan of throwing themselves before history.

The world, it goes, reality itself, is not a happy place and is dominated by injustices. That is REALITY. (As the Greeks put it, better not to have been born, next best, having been born, to go hence quickly.) In this vale of tears the good man does all he can to alleviate misery without engaging in wild schemes which in their attempt to eliminate rather than alleviate that necessary missery plunge "Civilized Mdan" into savagery. The goal must be not to change the world but to maintain what stability and justice is possible, which is very little, but better than any alternative.

When I read _Capital_ a year or so before I became politicized, I was tremendously impressed -- and the direction it led me in was to speculate that perhaps the best chances for human dignity wre a return to someting like feudalism. That is, I read it as an essentially conservative document, standing athrwart the destructiveness of modern social arrangements.


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