[lbo-talk] sachs and poland

Wojtek S wsoko52 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 5 06:32:36 PST 2011

Gar, These guys are like the end-of-the-worlders - they know the rapture is imminent, they will be saved and everyone else will be damned, and debating them is pointless.  They only acknowledge those arguments and facts that fit theirs, everything else is devil's deception. I have to admit being guilty of poking them with comments in a futile hope that this will spur some critical thinking and rational debate - but this is like throwing pebbles at zoo animals - the reaction is quite predictable. Unfortunately, the history of left wing movements is full of such attitudes.  I recently read a piece on the history of the CP in Italy in the 1920s i.e. during the fascist advance to power.  The "left" faction staunchly believed that the "right" faction of the socialist movement and social democrats were its main enemies, working with them was playing into the hands of the bourgeoisie, and consequently it refused to form any common front with them against the fascists.  The outcome was, as we all know, tragic - they were all eliminated by the fascists.  A very different outcome from that in, say, Sweden or Norway where socialists and social democrats cooperated and created a welfare state that survived both socialism and the neoliberal onslaught that followed its downfall.
>From that pov, it is a good thing that these self-styled radicals have
zero political influence, for as history tells us they could  damage whatever little chance of reform there is. Cheers, Wojtek On Sun, Dec 4, 2011 at 8:09 PM, Gar Lipow <gar.lipow at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 4, 2011 at 12:20 PM, Carrol Cox <cbcox at ilstu.edu> wrote:
>> Gar Lipow sachs and poland
>> On Sun, Dec 4, 2011 at 4:47 AM, shag carpet bomb wrote: [clip]
>> I think you are really taking part of a real position, and adding some stuff
>> to it that is not there. I think a lot of people would say that one thing
>> movements can sometime accomplish is to make politicians and the powers that
>> be quake in their boots and reform from within to make change that relieves
>> some pain and suffering.
>> .--------
>> Yes, this is true, but it doesn't establish what you want it to establish.
> In this what I wanted to establish was that one point of view was
> being mistated.  I don't confuse stating a point of view correctly
> with proving it.
>> Social Movements force politicians to make reforms - but those reforms are
>> crafted by those politicians and have no necessary relation to what the
>> given social movement demanded.
> Hence, the statement you snipped "I think a more reasonable statement
> of disagreement
> is that some people would claim that such reforms are such an
> unpredictable side effect that they should seldom or never be goal,
> while others would claim than organizing with such reforms as one goal
> is usually worthwhile, and more likely to make them happen (2 separate
> assertions by the way). "
> Incidentally your particular phrasing here is kind of deliberately the
> raising the barrier for your opponent. "necessary relation". The claim
> that organizing with reforms as goal does not claim a "necessary
> relation" which would require 100% correlation, but that organizing
> with reforms as one goal can sometimes make an outcome resembling
> demands more likely.
>   (That's one of the reasons  demands are a
>> trivial concern.) For example, in the'40s a Socaial Movement demanded
>> universal old age pensdions funded by a corporate tax; what the politicians
>> gave them was Social Security, grounded in a regressive tax and tied to the
>> lifetime earnings (from specified sources) of the worker. A really shitty
>> affair subject to constant meddling and ultimate sabotage. Another movement
>> demanded the right to organize; what it got was the Wagner Act and the
>> Taft-Hartley Act, which pretty much eventually crippled the union movment.
>> And so forth.
> Umm, I don't know if you noticed. But time or at least the illusion of
> time exist. For decades Social Security improved over time,
> constant shitty meddling happened starting  in past 40 years or so.
> I'm pretty certain that if we had universal pensions based on
> progressive taxation, that meddling would have still happened - as
> proved in other nations that did have truly universal public pensions,
> though seldom based on progressive taxation.  Taft-Hartley was a
> modification of the right to organize which happened well after the
> Wagner Act.  No one claims that demands are implemented exactly. That
> most likely happens in a truly revolutionary situation. But the idea
> that demands did not shape results in those cases seems to assume what
> you are out to prove.  And a claim that demands (by a group able to
> scare elites to begin with) don't (often, not saying always) shape the
> nature of elite responses as well the existence of those responses is
> rather breathtaking. I think the burden of proof of that one is one on
> you.
> In saying that  reforms weakened movements in those days you are
> implicitly assuming a counterfactual: successful revolution in the
> absence of reforms.  In the case of the New Deal, I think a more
> likely countefactual would have been an UNSUCCESSFUL revolution
> leading to a successful fascist counter revolution.  As to Black
> Liberation, it is hard for me to imagine that having been a successful
> revolution either. It seems to me that in the two cases you cite, not
> winning the particular reforms that were won would have led to worse
> outcomes not better. In the case of Roosevelt there were documented
> attempts at fascist coups.
>> Don't cite the Civil-Rights movement: that movement only deanded that the
>> abstract civil right of bourgeois equality be extended to Blacks. That
>> reform was vital, but it was also the groundwork for completely defeating
>> the actual aims of the Black Liberation Movement.
>> The experts you want to count as "allies" are the experts who "counsel"
>> Congress to pass these reforms that cripple the movements and to "counsel"
>> the mvements to be "practial" (Crackpot realism) and accept without complain
>> this submerging of their own actual aims in the "gifts" the state offers
>> them.
>> Sachs remains not just not an ally but a serious enemy. If #OIWS can make
>> use of him fine; if they accept his counsel as relevant to _their_  actions
>> and not merely to the information of their members, then they are seriously
>> endangering their purposes.
>> Carrol
>> This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from
>> http://www.papercut.biz/emailStripper.htm
>> ___________________________________
>> http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/mailman/listinfo/lbo-talk
> --
> Facebook: Gar Lipow  Twitter: GarLipow
> Grist Blog: http://www.grist.org/member/1598
> Static page: http://www.nohairshirts.com
> ___________________________________
> http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/mailman/listinfo/lbo-talk

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list