Proposal of a Hegelian Marxism - III. Political Theory - Text
- 1 III. Political Theory
- 1.1 1. Political Theory and academic techniques
- 1.2 2. Revolutionary subject and popular movement
- 1.3 3. The idea of revolution
- 1.4 4. The communist horizon
III. Political Theory
1. Political Theory and academic techniques
As in economics and sociology, it is necessary to distinguish between Marxist political theory and the refined bureaucratic pretension that is called "Political Science". While comparing these three areas of conventional science, however, it is good to notice its progressive ineffectiveness, actually proportional to the complexity of the problems it addresses. Certainly, in parallel, the progressive vanity and bombast with which they conceal its weakness may also be verified.
Conventional economics tends to be quite useful in the management of small businesses, and small and medium state administration. But it completely fails when it tries to address the complexity of the market. At the level of industrial or financial competition, cunning, insider information, manifest abuse of dominant positions, are the only appropriate formulas for success. Nobody is able to calculate future prices, nor to anticipate trends in production or consumption.
Producing in a colluded or monopolistic manner what people are forced to consume (as in the industries of clothing or food), creating demand through an ongoing effort of manipulation and deceit (as in the pharmaceutical industry), impose unfair conditions for small producers and contractors, these are the appropriate formulas for survival. For none of them an economist is needed. When they take care of what any smart person with power knows, their attestation as "economists" only legitimizes the power they are entrusted, never originates or enlarges it beyond what cunning and common abuse can.
Finally, faced with the complexity of the global market, its failure and impotence simply become absolute. No one can anticipate a financial crisis or productive recession. All descriptions, that never reach an explanatory range, are made on the fly, realizing fait accompli. It is striking, conversely, that this macroeconomic environment is just the most technified, the most "scientific", the one which uses the most bulky and sophisticated mathematical models.  According to its own claims (describe, anticipate, control), macroeconomics is but a permanent failure, spanning over more than a century and a half.
There may be some who may want to defend macroeconomic policy, arguing that, for example (the great example), Keynesian policies saved capitalism from bankruptcy. Two minimum issues thereon. Keynesian policies only last until the time when the cost of labor is so high that they visibly diminish profits. At this limit, between the will of the economists and the greed of capital, "science" just backs off, or takes "objectively" a neoclassical somersault. The other: Keynesian policies launched capitalism to the precipice of bureaucratic hegemony, so that, in historical terms, they are part of the the source of ultimate failure precisely of the kind of society they sought to save.
Sociology as a discipline has learned to largely ignore this helplessness and these failures to anticipate and control anything as required, simply renouncing to explain or control anything, cunning refuge in description, of course afterwards. Its effective tools only serve to account for what is, and even that only at the local level. Also in formulating global models of social action, as in economy, its degree of sophistication is proportional to its impotence. Of course, lacking the formal appearance of scientists and refined technocrats held by economists, this has resulted in a progressive weakening of their discourse to the ruling powers. That is why economists continue to manage, despite their sustained and spectacular failures, the ministries of finance, while sociologists only reach social ministries as politicians, not by virtue of their certifications.
In the field of formulation of global models of social action, which are forced to articulate at least for its media and academic prestige, a successful formula which is always possible and very often used, is recycling some classical thinkers (sixteenth to eighteenth centuries ) to say, with new subtle names and without any speculative support, what was already said two hundred or more years ago. Neo-contractarians, recyclers of Machiavelli, Kant and Hume, and even far less frequently, of Hegel, come and go again and again, as academic and publishing fashions, without adding to the classical horizon of bourgeois thought anything but baroque decay.
The idea of Political Science, or the idea, more generally, that there can be a science of politics, in turn, fully participate in this mix of baroque academicism and empty technicality. Beyond the discipline itself, created quite artificially in American academia in the 40s, whose triviality I do not care to comment here, the idea of a science of politics belongs to the very soul of the Enlightenment and, as such, to innermost jurisdiction of enlightened Marxism.
It is intended that from a more or less objective description of given social facts, prior, definite forms of action could be obtained, which could successfully guide the political initiative. The anxiety to obtain such formulas has traditionally stressed the vanguardist discussion and the baroque and the grandiloquence of these discussions has generated a catastrophic trend in the radical left: to discuss more, much more passionately, with the Left than with the Right.
Hampered by the hopelessness of a goal that exceeds their possibilities (getting their concrete action paths from scientific analysis of precedents and circumstances), and faced in idiotic ways by the discussions generated, the result is for all to yield, the justified fright of reasonable people and the new generations: fratricidal fragmentation, rhetorical maximalism, baroque doctrinairism. The dozens, or even hundreds, of microscopic radical lefts fighting each other, completely behind the popular movement are, of course, the appropriate place of horror for the social democratic left to draw, for these new generations, lessons of reformist and anti utopian moralism: only immediate action without doctrine or strategic direction, would be a viable policy. We are not condemned to this dichotomy between doctrinaire and theoretical vacuum, between ethical idealism and immediatist pragmatism.
Much of this sustained idiocy, which certainly has deeper roots than what I list here, could be avoided giving up the idea that there can be a science of politics, that is, a mode of analysis to obtain such theoretical, previous to any action, role models that should be taught "to the masses" and followed "consistently" for success. Or, to the idea that rationality of politics (I don't deny) can be covered through the narrow ways of science, or the broader of Enlightened rationalism.
Of course there is a rationality of politics in general, and even of political action in particular. But rationality is crossed by the dynamics between freedom and alienation, and the contrast between desire and reality, making it incommensurable with the rationality of things for which science was created.
Let us say, moreover, for the most sophisticated, that scientific reason has failed even with the rationality of things, and its technical success is due only to a radical simplification of the complexity of reality. Where complexity reigns, as in climatic events, in ecological balances, plate tectonics, or simply in any turbulent flow, their successes are reduced to modest trial and error techniques, or huge computational models that work well right up until the moment they are most needed.
Both historical perspective and in particular political calculation, the theoretical anticipation is but one element of the production of what it establishes. Stated in mathematical terms, this is because every advance constitutes an element that strongly interacts nonlinearly with its possible outcomes.
The Marx calculations on the general crisis of capitalism would have led directly to the collapse of the system if the regulatory capacities of bureaucratic power were not put into play. The rescue exercised by this power, in turn, can not prevent the end of capitalism consumed in other ways, far away to the hopes of the classic Enlightened Left.
Lenin's calculations about the possibility that a worker-peasant alliance could precipitate, from a national revolution, the general uprising of the European workers, would have led the world revolution if there hadn't been the passage from the capitalism of free competition to a Fordist, regulated capitalism, capable of raising wages in a real way. And his Bolshevik revolution would have led to communism if there hadn't been the needs of industrial development, which are assumed by the bureaucratic vanguard.
There are deadlines and deadlines. What seemed plausible for seventy years, the irreversible start to workers self government, today isn't. What seemed unshakable for four hundred years, the triumph of capitalism, today may be questioned. But none of these estimates is an effect of a scientific calculation and can not be indeed. Each is but a mixture of will and estimation of immediate possibilities.
Of course, although I have already done too many times in this text, it is always necessary to remind those who can not escape the dichotomy, that what I am arguing is not arbitrariness, lack of absolute meaning or rule of historical contingency. What I contend, far away from this, is that the sense of history and its possibilities can not be inferred from a scientific calculation. What I will argue is that, yes, it can be put, however, from a political estimate made from a rational will.
Political action does not arise, and can not be guided from a priori theoretical criteria, formulated outside and prior to itself. It arises from a will which is basically animated by existential elements. A will that uses theory to structure itself, to be able to see, not to be able to be.
Political theory creates a rhetoric that conveys, organizes, what will has already set. For this, it uses analysis of the present, looking for key point for the real possibility and proposes acting on them. But only the popular movement, in its effective action, can make these possibilities real. There isn't any theory which can produce, or even strengthen, the action capacity that the popular movement may have or not, may be able to produce or not, from its immediate existential conditions.
But then, far away from the enlightened claim of calculation, anticipation and "scientific" steering, this allows to identify two proper and possible areas of political theory as conceived in Marxist terms. On one side the study and direct political work with these real and immediate existential conditions. On the other, examining the potential that present contradictions create on a strategic horizon formulated from a strategic will. And by the way, the formulation and political work of concrete proposals for action that follow from that examination.
Any reasonable citizen, taking charge of that strategic will, can do this job and make these propositions. And reasonable citizens as peers, empowered from that strategic will, are those who can discuss them, carry them out, spread them as revolutionary initiative. There aren't, nor should there be, experts in revolutions. Every militant under his will and objective situation must be considered as capable of analysis and political deliberation. In fact there are no "mistakes" in political analysis, there are conflicting wills, wills accusing each other of "error", because they arise from conflicting existential places. The political action of theory is then not to dispel "errors", but gather wills. Its role is not to distinguish and separate the "right" from "wrong", but add and push forward. And the effectiveness and correctness of analysis can only be measured in a useful manner with respect to this ability to gather.
For these complex tasks there isn't a more accurate and effective method than the simple and centennial "trial and error". Many technical study tools, created even within the social sciences, can support the analysis of the local and immediate, while invariably failing, however, for the global and historical. It is useful to know these techniques, but it is neither essential nor indispensable. The reasonableness contained in the passions is able to see more clearly and deeply than the rationality of proud intellect.
Marxist political theory is, in short, much more a will, considered in its acts of seeing, proposing and producing, than a theory that arrogates the power to anticipate and control. Marxist theory is, and should be, rather political action linked to the immediate field of the objectivity of facts, than descriptive contemplation that can be placed "at the service" of the action.
2. Revolutionary subject and popular movement
Considered in its practical aspect, the fundamental issue of Marxist political theory is to establish who we can count on in the strategic perspective of communism. Conventionally this task has been developed around the discussion of the revolutionary subject. My opinion is that this discussion is only the first part of a broader and more practical one: with whom and how it is possible to articulate the popular movement. The profound political significance of this extension is the awareness that revolutions are made by the people, as a whole, not just by those directly exploited, nor the poor and oppressed. Or again, what is the same, the awareness that any revolutionary task to be minimally viable requires a deep and sustained policy of alliances, including multi-class alliances, having always in view its strategic horizon.
If it is communism, ie a perspective where the meaning is liberation and the re-appropriation of work, the center of these alliances can only be workers. If the content of this liberation is to completely put the production of material wealth at the service of human achievements, the center can only be those that produce material wealth. If the key to social dominance is the control of the social division of labor, the center must then be the direct producers who are in a position of re-appropriating this control.
Conceptually the revolutionary subject first of all must be determined in this objective way. The first question is not who want to make the revolution but who can do it. Only from that determination the problem of the subjectivity required for these social actors to effectively undertake the historic task of which they are capable can be usefully addressed.
As should be obvious already, the problem is now very real and very sharp because it happens that workers, precisely those who could dominate the social division of labor, ARE NOT the poorest of society, and this, moralizing apart, obviously influences on their eventual revolutionary consciousness. Those who can make the revolution are not very much interested in doing it.
The response of Marxist tradition to this dilemma, that can be traced to Lenin, has been a gradual shift of the revolutionary subject from the exploited to the oppressed in general, that is, from workers to the poor as poor. The logic of this shift can be understood as a correlative shift from the objective conditions of the revolution to the subjective conditions.
To force, from revolutionary will, what the objectivity of reality doesn't show yet.
Of course the revolutionary will is essential. Without it the communist horizon, which requires a profound act of consciousness to be viable, is simply not possible. It is a mistake, however, to think that horizon from that will, or to consider it in itself as an essential piece of politics. By doing so, the mode (to exercise a will) is confused with content (to liberate the SDL) or also the means (politics) with its end (human liberation). In the end this leads to the sentimental idea that the political struggle is, by itself, the liberation, ie that regardless of the outcome, we already fulfill our task merely by fighting. A logic that is closely associated with periods of retreat and defeat: we have not won, but at least we fight.
To exit the logic of defeat, it is necessary to assume that we don't struggle just to fight: we fight to win. It is necessary to re-center the objectivity of our aims and pragmatic criteria that could help make them real. We don't fight for the inertia of being heirs or to testify. What we are interested in, in a concrete and objective way, is to put an end to the class struggle.
But in addition, the displacement of the determination of the revolutionary subject from the exploited to the oppressed, and from their objective premises towards their subjectivity, led revolutionaries to concentrate efforts on the capitalist periphery, on countries with a poor, or even nonexistent own capitalist development or, put more precisely, on countries whose only capitalist feature was suffering the consequences of looting. Under these conditions the revolutionary processes could only be promoted by enlightened vanguards, and today we know that the objective development of these vanguards was becoming bureaucratic control and usufruct and even, eventually, to simply reconvert to capitalism.
It is against this trend, against this tradition, I hold that we must rethink the revolutionary subject from its factual premises and, from them, take on the task, difficult as it may seem, of the conversion, through political work, of their potential into revolutionary will.
That is why I have argued that the center and essence of the revolutionary side must be the direct producers of material goods, the workers producing real wealth from natural resources, and through manufacturing. Joining them in the same role, the workers exercising immediate services that enable the production systems and circuits. These are the workers who do produce real added value, ie, what counts as value and not just price swings. These are the ones, considered global and historically, who form the exploited class in a direct sense. All the rest of society lives off the wealth they produce. They, in their capacity as producers, must liberate themselves and appropriate their production. I do insist on these statements because it has a central political consequence: all free human beings should belong to that type of direct producers.
Once this core is established, we can establish its objective allies in concentric circles. First, of course, not all workers who don't produce real surplus value (all non immediate services), but only receive a salary equal to the cost of production and reproduction of their labor force. That is, workers who are exploited in the sense that their services allow local and temporary profits, due to price fluctuations, but who don't accumulate real value in global and historical terms.
Distinguishing this group of workers exploited in improper sense is extremely important due to the enormous and notorious outsourcing in developed industrial economies, and even dependent countries. As I mentioned in Part (Part I, Chapter 4, Section f, Anticapitalist critiques after Marx), under bureaucratic hegemony the tertiarization of the economy is nothing but the creation and extension of useless, idiot, alienating, unproductive, work with the sole purpose of justifying wages to keep market stability. Even certain aspects of these trades that could be seen as positive, as the huge number of professionals in health, education, culture, just obey to the increased commercialization of these fields. Tertiarization is a force that prevents the sharing of productivity gains among all, a trend that is but the back of structural unemployment. Tertiarization and structural unemployment are but two correlative sides of the refusal by dominant classes progressively convert increasing wealth into real liberation. Of their selfish obstinacy in allowing workers access to wealth only through the alienated mechanism of wages.
As I will later explain, the center of the long march toward communism must precisely pass through untertiarizing the economy. The economy! ... of course, not the society. Put directly, a priority in the construction of communist horizon is radically out the services of any commercial logic. Bluntly elevate them to the status of human rights for which nobody has to pay or collect.
Only workers, because they work, may be the revolutionary subject. Among them, as I have indicated, the strategic direction of the liberation of the producers of material goods is different from the liberation of service producers. This difference should be expressed in our policy.
It is from this center that we must think the necessary political alliances within various time frames and extensions according to the different tasks.
Indeed, first of all, our immediate and natural ally are the oppressed in general. The poor and discriminated against for their urgent issues; the precarious and poor working people, for their potential, not existing, link with fairly decent job.
Of course there are policies more urgent than others. But the order of urgency does not have to match the order of its strategic importance, or class character. Considering both variables, and its content, not its precedence in time, there are liberal-populist policies, socialist policies and communist policies.
The former are focused on the oppressed, and most of its objectives could be achieved by simply integrating the marginalized, the absolute poor, into the capitalist labor market, at minimal levels of service and consumption.
The latter are focused on the working poor, their goal is to substantially improve their living conditions and dignity of their work. But these are goals that are still perfectly compatible with a capitalist system in which there is a strong interventionist state, to provide services that guarantee moderately fair labor relations and a production style that recognizes the versatility and participation of workers, who are still, however, employees.
Only be called Communist policy, however, to that which transcends these levels. At that point not only to the elimination of poverty but of exploitation, pointing not only to the relative dignity of work but its release.
These policies do not exclude each other, and don't have to be thought as a succession. It is obvious that though some can be seen as conditions for others, may be included in social tasks performed simultaneously. Furthermore, as I will explain later, whether they are reformist or revolutionary is not a matter of choice, not even of succession. But only a communist policy can be called a revolutionary policy.
These sectors (direct producers, exploited service producers, oppressed in general), which may themselves be the revolutionary side, may only undertake this strategic march setting up wide, and long term, alliances with such sectors that although class analysis would identify them in principle and formally as part of the enemy, are nevertheless in a situation of oppression within their own social class, what drives their interests in an objective way to the opposite side.
Small and medium bourgeois who promote manufacturing; small and medium bourgeois living on land rent (particularly farmers); small and medium state bureaucrats (including scientists and academics).
All these sectors, because of their objective status, may be part of a multi-class popular movement animated, in varying degrees and ways, by a strategic mind. The central political task of the diverse Left is to constitute it as such.
In the specific tasks, in the daily struggle of this great popular movement, Marxists are in fact, and should only be a part, only a contribution, along with many other politically more or less radical doctrinaire leftist sectors, who do not have to be Marxists. If we take over this position as members and activists from a broad left, composed of many lefts, then the distinctions and priorities I've set up here should be considered relevant for us, for us Marxists, and should not have to be imposed to the whole movement. Considering the vanities of classical Marxists, curiously proportional to their great historical failures, these are things that are obvious to everyone but, however, are necessary to explain.
To the actual policy it is relevant to assume that, strictly speaking, the "revolutionary subject" category is a theoretical category used by us, as Marxists, according to a doctrinaire horizon we believe necessary and just. We can recognize that subject as real, we can direct our priority action towards it, but in essence it is a potential subject of an essential sense that marks our practice as a revolutionary will. But in fact, empirically and directly, the popular movement is the only effective subject. Regarding its essence, as intellectuals we make a statement about what could be possibly its deepest core and strength. But the intellectuals, as I have argued before, only propose: the popular movement as a whole (not just the eventual revolutionary subject) is who really and effectively decides. Of course, we always want to go beyond what the empirical consciousness contains and allows but, while it is always risky to conclusively exceed the popular, sensible and realistic wisdom that holds it in the ways and methods that to intellectuals, always on the edge of advantgardist vanity, must necessarily seem too slow.
3. The idea of revolution
a. Revolution and revolt
Much of the vanguard's impatience comes from the idea of revolution. The Marxist twentieth century imaginary was profoundly marked by the notion of revolution as an event, chaired by the heroic and spectacular images of the storming of the Bastille in 1789 and the taking of the Winter Palace in 1917. The revolution is usually thought of as a act (to take over something, to conquer something), which occurs at a critical day after a relatively short war or uprising, which is usually to be remembered as the day of the revolution (July 14, October 25, January 1, 1959) associated to a hymn, to a place, to a few heroes, to a leader. It was and still is common to even refer to these events as "taking power".
To remove these icons, which have been but a posteriori reconstructions, which have only served to the anxiety of the vanguards and to bureaucratic legitimacy, I will do several distinctions in the semantic field of the concept of revolution, and then specify which of these alternatives should really be interesting from a Marxist point of view.
What word revolution contains at least, and in all cases, is that it is a relatively quick, general social process (affects an entire society) and a violent one (as opposed to the "peaceful" nature of what is called "evolution "). But each of these features can be widely relativized without loosing the concept. Consider that the agricultural revolution lasted about four thousand years, that we often speak of revolution even if it occurs in a small country (Cuba) without affecting the society in which it is embedded, or you could be talking about the violence of ideas or gestures, like with scientific revolutions or those of everyday life. What the concept retains, despite these relativizations, is the radical character of what happened. We only use this term when we think of a quick, comprehensive and violent change of the essence of a social process.
Marx argued that the bourgeoisie was an eminently revolutionary class. He condensed it in a famous statement "cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production (Marx's Word).
He was referring, of course, to the catastrophic, good and bad, consequences of the extreme rapidity of these changes on the social relations of production, resulting in larger cultural changes and acute political struggles. Thus I shall distinguish this mode as productive revolution, ie, one that from the productive forces alters the relations of production, of what can be called a political revolution, in which the process occurs in reverse. The best example of the first are the bourgeois revolutions, while a good example of the latter is how the Russian revolution became bureaucratic hegemony. Of course, this is an analytical, theoretical difference. Both modes are neither unique nor exclusive, and it is obvious that a permanent dynamic between them is given.
The issue is relevant, however, because between these modes, historically, there is a kind of priority. While the bourgeois revolution must be thought of as eminently productive, the proletarian revolution must be thought of as a political revolution. The bourgeoisie sought political power only to the extent that it needed for the deployment of its productive initiatives and business. You could say that it found political change and used it as a means. Communism, however, is only possible as a sustained primarily political effort, in which the political autonomy of citizen partners should be considered an end in itself, and from there be an impact on the construction of hegemony in the production plane.
But even thought of as a political revolution, it is necessary to distinguish in it the political change, however radical, from a structural change. A political change occurs in the state apparatus (one government for another, some laws for others). The structural change from a Marxist point of view can only be the replacement of one ruling class by another. In the narrowest sense, the first type can be called revolt: governments change but the dominant class remains. In a true sense only the second type should be called revolution.
When we think about the production side of the structural change, as I have argued before, the key is the change of the social class that dominates the social division of labor. In political terms this should directly result in the radical subversion of the rule of law.
The modern, bourgeois, bureaucratic hegemony is directly converted into government when it builds a rule of law that favors it systematically. Of course it is crucial to distinguish here the state from government and the law from the individual act. The rule of law is the fact that a joint of certain laws reigns. For this to happen the state institutions are necessary, as the government (executive, legislative, judicial), the administrative apparatus (comptroller, municipalities, superintendents) and, by extension, public services (education, health, culture, services organized by the State). In an even broader sense, the laws themselves can be considered as institutions of the rule of law.
What matters to class rule is that the rule of law as a whole, ie, its core and essence, favors the ruling class. As I have argued in previous chapters, there may be many laws that favor the proletariat, and yet the whole favors the bourgeois or bureaucratic power. Virtually all laws of the bourgeois State of law may be changed (more social or more democratic, more liberal or more authoritarian) under the sole condition that its essential core, private property and wage labor system, remains untouched. The bureaucracy has been adding to these conditions, gradually, the power of the certifications of their claims of knowledge (as with the autonomy of the central banks with respect to citizen control), which it interested and ideologically considers obvious. When the popular movement manages to bring social pressures to the extent of changing the laws that express this essential core, from the ruling class the use of physical violence invariably appears, the military coup, the explicit anti popular, and the bourgeoisie and bureaucrats simply forget all appearances and democratic squeamishness. We've seen it.
Those legal systems that are the focus of the rule of law (private property, wage labor, intellectual property, priority of technocratic knowledge) devote a social relation of exploitation that is antagonistic and violent, and ruling classes are willing to defend them at all costs through physical violence. This situation is what Marx called "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie". Whether it occurs in more or less democratic forms, the class dictatorship of the bourgeoisie is, in political terms, the rule of law itself. That rule of law is as such, in its essence, only institutionalized violence, and against it, in response, we are entitled to revolutionary violence.
We can thus distinguish political violence in general from what is to be understood more narrowly as revolutionary violence. It is not the same, violence in the rule of law (social violence, repressive violence) than violence directed against the rule of law. Correlatively, is not the same violence against particular laws, or against the government, than violence which is directed against the core of the rule of law that favors the dominant classes.
The revolutionary political task in the foreground, is to overthrow the (legal and material) dictatorship of the dominant classes, ie, to build a rule of law that systematically favors the direct producers. This is what Marx called "dictatorship of the proletariat", whether it is through democratic formalities or not.
b. Revolution and reform
The communist revolution must be understood as a process, not an event. As a long march in that the progressive construction of hegemony in the production plane is essential, and its correlative support in building a legal and cultural apparatus that systematically favors social interests over private interests. The communist program is to create a world of abundance and empower citizens to make class struggle and its institutions progressively unnecessary, which should result in the extinction of the rule of law used as a means to promote it.
When we think of the revolution in this conceptual way, ie, by its content, not its forms, the historical model that should be kept in mind is rather the bourgeois revolution in England, than the spectacular French Revolution, or the tragedy of Bolshevik heroism and bureaucratic realism that was the Russian Revolution.
During four hundred years, in "peaceful" and "violent" ways, through legal and illegal means, through culture and war, the bourgeoisie was progressively imposing its productive hegemony until it became that institutionalized violence called peace, until it became government.
Conceived in this way, the idiotic dichotomy of reform and revolution, whose only historical effect has been to oppose the left against the left, is completely artificial and unnecessary. Every revolutionary initiative is at minimum reformist, it is given and can only come in and against the rule of law that it seeks to subvert. The relationship here is one of degree, of perspective, of real historical radicalism, rather than abstract alternatives.
To think the revolution as if it could actually be separated and distinguished from the reformist action is to think of an act (which may happen or not) and not as a process; as a purely political (overthrowing a government) and not strictly structural event (change the ruling class). To think of it as an exercise of physical violence (military dominance) over the structural and institutionalized violence (political dominance). To think of it, in summary, according to the subjective emergencies of an avantgarde, always crossed by ethical idealism. All these extremes have a poor prognosis. We've seen it.
But even a process of structural and political anti capitalist violence could still not be a communist revolution. Capitalism is indeed being overtaken by the revolutionary violence of a class that arises from its logical and builds, as any new ruling class, its hegemony and legitimacy systems through legal and illegal channels. Importantly, what is often called "corruption", tending a moralizing mantle on it, are but those illegal channels from the point of view of bourgeois law, by way of which bureaucratic power is gradually imposing its hegemony. And we are witnessing how the ruling powers periodically "clean up the situation" converting into legal practices those which in recent times were considered "corrupt" such as lobbying, or the discretion of the largest managers on capital that is not theirs, or the suspension of legal guarantees for citizens under progressively police governments.
Here we have an inevitable terminological ambiguity that, for political reasons, it is necessary to specify. In a conceptual sense, considered from their own interests, this bureaucratic violence is revolutionary. It undermines the rule of the bourgeoisie and the bourgeois revolution also attacked the rule of the feudal lords. In a political sense, however, these radical actions, looking for a transfer of power from an exploiting class to another exploitative class, considered from the communist horizon, should be called reform.
There are then two types of anti-capitalist violence. From Marxism, we should call it reform if it moves still within the hegemony of the ruling class on the one hand, or if its horizon is but another change of the ruling class. We should just call revolutionary violence, however, one whose horizon is the end of all class rule. 
c. Political violence
In all the above reasoning I've used again and again the term "violence". Of course, for the prevailing politicking hypocrisy this is an unpopular expression. All sectors of small conventional politics, even when blessing weapons or legalizing repressive mechanisms, say to do so in the name of peace. They only speak of violence to stigmatize social action against the law ("crime") or against THEIR rule of law ("subversion"). They do not think of poverty as violence (there is a need to improve opportunities), nor misery in hospitals (the state is inefficient), or the destruction of public education (private do better), or the destruction of the environment (costs that we must "mitigate"), even the very decline of a liberal horizon of bourgeois law expressed in an increasingly repressive legal regime (we must stop terrorism).
Of course I'm not writing for mass media, monopolized in their property and in their simpleton common sense by the ruling classes. Nor for the powerless and ineffectual moralizing ethical idealism, whose cries are always so close to hypocrisy and cynicism. The issue is not the "agenda" of the media, or arising out of abstract ethical criteria. The issue is not peace. They say there is peace when they have consolidated their legal and cultural system of exploitation and domination. When they have managed to colonize the common sense with their selfish abstract ethics and their rampant conformism: "there is what it is, at least let's live in peace".
The reality is that what prevails is misery, mediocrity of life, dumbed work, environment stifling, food degraded by commercial interest, cities which combine concrete and noise, and isolate and oppress humans. The real, over any fantasies and cynicism, is violence.
Then it is not peace. Any revolutionary action, even if it only consists of individually and momentarily raising a banner, is inherently violent. The discussion up to us therefore is not whether the revolution may be peaceful or violent, armed or parliamentary. It is always violent, it will always have armed episodes. The real debate, the only useful and politically significant one, is what violence is involved. First, and foremost, with what content. Then, systematically and consistently, from them, in what forms. On the contents I've so far written many things, yet I have many others to say. Now I'll talk about forms.
If the revolution is conceived as a process, if revolutions are made by the people, if the formation of future bureaucratic rulers is to be avoided, then revolutionary violence must always be mass violence. And conversely, from the Left and as Leftists, we criticize and oppose vanguardist violence.
I use the expression vanguardist violence for the one that is intended to set an example, ie, is structured from radical acts undertaken by an enlightened minority to show that it is possible to challenge the power and with that enthuse the allegedly passive mass to follow suit. As is well demonstrable in the tragic fate of almost all guerrilla movements, and also in the lower tragicomedy of student barricades, the wisdom of the people, which probably senses in these enlightened persons its futures masters, and the workers, who have slightly but significantly more to lose but their chains, has consistently given back to these heroic acts, even under oppression or poverty that to a university intellectual would seem simply unbearable. And we've verified time and again how this lack of real popular echo is stigmatized by the vanguard, who prefers to disregard the common sense of the oppressed as alienation, cowardice or appeasement, instead of working politically from it. And we have seen how in this logic the action sought to be setting an example becomes purely testimonial, and ends up being a purely particular satisfaction to the ethical idealism ... and for the right-wing press.
However, the problem with this vanguardist violence is not its repeated lack of efficacy, but its logic itself. The problem is the idea that in the popular movement there would be some who know the task and the way and other who do not know and are constantly deceived by power. This logic, which is nothing but the pedagogical approach of the Enlightenment, is what leads to the formation of groups of consequent people who proclaim themselves as vanguard, whose main effective task is but endlessly disputing that quality among themselves, in a race of honors, exhibitions and exemplary acts and demands of "revolutionary consequence" that ends fighting more and more sharply against the Left than the Right.
This is a logic that is crossed by ethical idealism. Communism is thought of as an ideal (a utopia, an afterlife); the perspective is thought of as a line (which must be distinguished step by step from "deviationism"); allies and enemies are thought of as "good" and "bad", which leads to characterize them in a moral way (exemplary fighters against evil, cruel, willfully perverse oppressors); action is reasoned based on a dichotomous moral, in which the good is simply and abstractly different and foreign to evil; there is permanent suspicion, due to these purity requirements, of the allies themselves, which are always on the edge of inconsistency and claudication.
It is fully to be expected then, under these constraints, that the vanguardist violence has the logic of revenge ("when the tortilla turns"), that it does not hesitate to threaten individuals that have been attributed irreparable moral defects and a key importance as political examples. It is not uncommon that this logic will hold a gross double standard regarding Human Rights, claiming them when you are loosing, and denounced them as bourgeois ideology when you're ahead. It is not uncommon in these conditions that the purge of in-consequent allies becomes alike or more important than the fight against their objective enemies.
Incapable of any policy of alliances, always valuing more the military than the political element, these vanguards are almost always doomed to isolation, to a character of vociferous minority that only contributes to enmierdar the discussion among the Left and facilitate the enemy's propaganda. However this is not their compulsory destination. If it was, I would not need to stop to argue against. It may happen, and it has happened, that the temporary and local military weakness of the enemy, and the degrees of excessive oppression, meet in crucial historical moments that make the whole people finally willing to support the systematically failed forecasts of the avantgarde . In such cases, a "revolution" becomes viable, that occurs as an event (a day, a square, a hymn, a decision), in which it manages to win a government. If that taking of the government survives the resulting civil war the outlook is dark. Revolutions taken from a vanguard, by predominantly military means, through political processes that appear to be decisive and final, have invariably led to the formation of these vanguards as bureaucratic power. We've seen it.
Of course, those vanguardists who are defeated in this drift by another fraction that was more cunning and had access to power, will interpreted his failure again in a moralizing way. They are corrupt, deviated, the power somehow mysteriously turned them into evil, or finally revealed how evil they had always been. From a Marxist point of view, of course, all these explanations, even if empirically documentable, are fallacies in its foundation. They just describe something, never finding its material explanatory root.
The material question is always, and forever, who directly and effectively controls the social division of labor. The conversion process of the Bolshevik revolt (which overthrows a government) into a bureaucratic revolution (which manages to replace the bourgeoisie and the landlords as the ruling classes) is nothing but the process in which the Bolshevik vanguard policy becomes the productive, industrializing forefront. The process through which the government, conquered together with the people, but essentially without it becomes real hegemony, but hegemony precisely of those who directly gained power.
The doctrinal reason, in short, to oppose vanguardist violence, well below the trivialities of their idealism and their militaristic enthusiasm, is that when it fails is but useless sacrifice, which only favors the enemy and when it triumphs, it becomes the revolutionary path leading to one of the forms of bureaucratic class domination.
For this issue of foundation, and also by an ethical value that comes from a non-idealist, post illustrated ethics, revolutionary violence must always be thought of as mass violence.
Occupations, political strikes, marches, and even a general uprising, are forms of mass violence. Even be the barricade may be. If any big city gets on fire with barricades, that is mass violence, if a barricade is set up at the door of the university only to the delight of the right-wing press, that's vanguardist violence. The number of participants or, rather, the social call is not at all a minor detail, it is just the crux of the matter. It is actions that convoke and sum up. Even is not everybody is directly involved, it matters that a solidary reaction of available support that is verifiable occurs.
But also for its historical projection, mass violence is not betting on a great, decisive and definitive event (the "seizure of power") from which only reconcilable social contradictions would remain to be resolved, but rather a wide perspective, which may involve taking and loosing power often, by military or peaceful means, but whose progress is not measured by the maintenance of the government, but by building productive hegemony. The government, the social domain, is always a means, a tactical purpose, but it is not itself the strategic goal, not even a guarantee that the strategic objective will be met.
The Big Left, composed of many leftist currents, must first explicitly put in the social discussion the problem of violence and assert their right to oppose institutionalized violence through the violence of the masses. But it must, secondly, in the same discussion, critique vanguardist violence. First for its prognosis, but also from a situated ethic, for its connotations of revenge.
The Big Left must always oppose terrorism which, as we know, almost always comes from the same ruling powers who hypocritical say they fight it. But it must also resist the occasional terrorist-type policies that may arise from the Left itself.
The Big Left should oppose violence against personal targets, even assuming that all violent struggle will damage people. It must recognize the universal validity of the human rights of our enemies even if facing the blatant fact that they did not recognize ours.
The revolution must be thought of as an act of justice, not of revenge. What should always be the center of discussion and action is its content, however necessary it may be to discuss its forms.
4. The communist horizon
a. A post Illustrated idea of communism
To recover the revolutionary potential and verosimilitude of Marxism it is necessary to talk of communism in a direct and explicit way. A clear strategic perspective is required, fully accessible to common sense, firmly anchored in the most radical possibilities of reality. A perspective that may fill specific content to our policies, enabling us at all times to discuss more about contents than about forms.
For this it is necessary, of course, to go beyond the "agenda" of the media and beyond the linguistic therapy authoritatively imposed on us, for which "it is no longer used to talk about this", and "those words they aren't fashionable any more", and that requires us not to talk about the people (just "people"), or bourgeois ("entrepreneurs") or exploited ("aspirational sectors"). And it is necessary to go beyond the logic of defeat, forcing us to a purely socialist discourse that has succumbed to the tide identifying communism with Soviet totalitarianism, or even with surviving parties that only continue having this name because they have not dared to take the step of resolutely declaring themselves Social Democrats.
This is to speak of Communism in a non demagogic, non populist way. Not as pure rhetoric about something that is presumed in advance as merely an ideal, an unattainable utopia, that only justifies our intention to fight endlessly. This is speaking of Communism objectively, not purely value-based, as a real possibility already contained in the present, beyond the also very real difficulties its realization may present. To develop a non utopian horizon, which can be translated into a strategic agenda, which in turn can be converted into the road map of concrete policies.
To make this possible, it is however necessary, both at the philosophical, doctrinal level, as well as in our daily work and from common sense, to move away from the Enlightened conception of communism that has prevailed in the Marxist tradition. A concept that it is utopian, proceeding for good accounts from Rousseau's ideal of general happiness, which is nothing but the secularization of the Catholic ideal of "Heaven". To move away, in short, from the harmful and totalitarian idea of "building Heaven on Earth".
Contrary to what has been the trend of the classic Marxist discourse, strictly speaking what we want is not everyone to be happy, we all being equal and everyone to know everything. The Marxist argument does not require the notion of general, uniform and permanent happiness, nor a homogenizing egalitarianism, or permanent cognitive transparency and security of each subject on the subjectivity of those around him. Those fantasies that are not only impossible but aren't even desirable, are not what we seek.
What we want instead, in a much more earthy and material way, is that the class struggle is over. That there be no institutions left which reify human suffering and make it immovable. That human beings can suffer and stop suffering face to face, in a purely intersubjective way, with no institutions that set them in either state. That they can handle the mystery of the other's subjectivity, the uncertainty of freedom, the virtues and difficulties of difference in a world of abundance and free labor, where the back of each of these potential particular evils is also so fully as possible, its overcoming. It is not to eliminate the basic conflict of life, of liberty, this is to contain it in a social space that is fully treatable, in a purely intersubjective way.
The material condition of all this is that we live in a society of abundance, and it is extremely important to note, and to call everybody's attention to the fact that we already live in a society of abundance. The conditions of injustice and lack of freedom are today only and purely political.
Of course it is necessary to humanize alienated abundance patterns, chaired by wasteful, banal consumption and by the brutal distance between those who are able to participate in it and the great excluded humanity. This is to remove the institutions that force us to participate in the actual abundance only through the unfair ways of profit, enjoyment or salary, or just condemn us to be absolutely excluded. It is to put an end to a situation where the direct producers of wealth are exploited, and their administrators, as bourgeois or bureaucrats, are who derive most. It is, in short, to end the class struggle.
But this post enlightened political horizon must be explicitly translated into a global model of society. We must be able to clearly specify under what concrete social conditions we would say we are in a communist society.
I argue that we can call communist a society that has been overcome the social division of labor. A society where free work time is much higher, quantitatively and qualitatively, than the socially compulsory labor for the material, productive, basic tasks, allowing the viability of the whole. That said subjectively, a society in which our individual lives do not depend on the division of labor, just because there is a socially shared core of necessary labor that makes this possible. Or, said in a much more concrete way, a society in which the general socially necessary working time is of not more than five or ten hours a week, and all the rest of the time makes room for free work and human fulfillment .
b. A substantial long march
The only way in which the direct producers can grow their hegemony over material production which essentially belongs to them is appropriating what exploitation alienates. I argue that the strategic way to achieve this is not simply prohibiting the private ownership of means of production in a unique great act, claiming to be definitive. Addressing the issue in this way, which is precisely what classical Marxism imagined, is but operate on the legal expression of something deeper, about what I have already stressed several times: the control of the social division of labor. Other legal expressions, from another ruling class may well be interposed between direct producers and wealth. And that is exactly what has happened.
What I contend is that the problem should be addressed directly from that material link, progressively reducing the working day to make that those legal forms and the domination they express cease to make sense as a strategy for sharing the social product. The only feasible way to reappropriate the historically alienated product is distributing the gains in productivity of labor among the direct producers, or through the reduction of working hours and the corresponding expansion of a growing area of free labor, free human production.
Interestingly, as I indicated in a previous chapter, this idea was proposed more than eighty years ago by the same perfectly bourgeois economist who inspired the main way in which we have sought to make it impossible: John Maynard Keynes (see Part I, Chapter 4 section f, Reviews anti capitalist after Marx).. As I mentioned in that section, the exact opposite of his proposal, what is usually called "Keynesian economics" involved the creation of two mechanisms that prevent his own forecast: creating useless work, just to keep the labor market and consumption running; as well as the displacement of hard unemployment to the capitalist periphery, where the absolute marginalized were mercilessly gathered.
The artificial creation of unproductive labor, which is what is usually called a "tertiarizing of the economy", and in particular on purely ideological valuation of some of its forms (just the most unproductive) represents the ideal meeting of the capitalist and bureaucratic interest, and should be seen as the material base that cements their alliance as a block of ruling classes. And this is currently the main mechanism by which rising inequality in the share of social product is generated. On the reverse side of full employment of those integrated there is the absolute and rising unemployment among the marginalized. On the other hand the gap is growing between those who manage the ideological legitimation of their unproductive trades, the bureaucrats, and those who are just the producers of real wealth, the direct producers.
The road to communism must therefore pass through the simultaneously anti capitalist and anti-bureaucratic struggle for untertiarizing the economy, that is, for gradually getting the services out of the market. Both from the wage system and from paid consumption. A first direct struggle against the commodification of education, health, housing, connectivity, culture, scientific research. And contained in it, then a step further: a struggle to convert all these activities into smooth and simple human rights, for which no one has to pay, and which are pursued by people who do them freely and voluntarily, without receiving a salary in return.
This is to combine both tasks: to reduce the workday distributing productive work among all human beings, keeping the wage system for such work, in order to free those services from the tyranny of wages, which more directly express the human condition. Let all who want to make art, or science, or exercise educational tasks, or provide health services, earn a living wage by producing physical, tangible, real goods, and at the same time have enough free time to perform the services that their vocation prompts them.
The sense of this perspective is not, as I have indicated, to prohibit or remove private property, or bureaucratic usufruct, at once but to progressively undermine their power, their material hegemony.
As should be very with the graphs on the absolute and relative surplus value that I have drawn in Part I of this book, each achieved real reduction in working time, while maintaining and even increasing wages is a direct reduction, a reappropriation, of the surplus value normally intended for capitalist profit and its dealings. It is therefore a path directly antagonistic to its advantages as a ruling class. It is to be expected that their answer will not be very peaceful.
But the possibility of a non-militarized breakthrough, of a series of agreements that will limit its power, is to maximize the technological possibilities for socially distributing the productivity gains. This is what allows, more than a single, dramatic defeat, a progressive loss of hegemony on the benefit of all mankind.
I certainly don't expect, nor is it wise to do so, that this fair way to a historic defeat will be the one accepted by the enemies, especially the larger ones. Violence is to be expected and it is wise to have it always present. But a road of compromises may be proposed, and this is a long march where we have everything to gain.
Radically untertiarizing the economy, shortening the work day by spreading work among all, maintaining and improving wages at the expense of surplus value, liberating the most important services from the logic of the consumer and work force markets. That is, in my opinion, specifically, the long march toward communism. This is the center of building a real, substantive, proletarian hegemony rooted in the world of actual material production.
But of course, although this is a very concrete way, it is not enough. There are urgent problems (such as predation of natural resources), and deep easements (such as the colonization of free time by the entertainment industry), which are concrete, immediate, obstacles to any path of liberation. We do not want time to be consumed by celebrities, we do not want wages just to keep a living for consumption patterns based on alienation and waste, we do not want a hegemony only to be swindled and administered by state bureaucrats.
That is why, in parallel, strictly correlated to the decrease in working hours, several major tasks, of broad historical projection are needed, whose general sense is to radically change the style of industrialization that today is functional to the dominant powers, and leads directly to the destruction of all of humanity, ruling classes included.
On the production level, first of all, a radical decentralization of food production is necessary. Removing their industrial production, promoting food self-sufficiency of local communities, radically reversing the process of genetic alteration, whose only meaning is the large-scale production and, of course, putting an end to the monopoly on seeds, and the practice of their infertilización for commercial purposes, which should be considered a crime against all humanity.
This is an excellent space to produce a match between citizen empowerment and the mechanisms of small private property and short range market exchange, freed from the pressures and obligations of purely abstract capitalist competition. It is a space that is not adversarial to struggle against those capitalists, who detach from the actual production to reproduce only their capital, while supporting and promoting the small private productive owners, a bourgeois bound to the land rent, not exceeding the limits of the local community in which they live.
On the same level of production, secondly, a radical decentralization of the production and management of energy is needed. Again, to technically empower local communities. To remove the base to the self-proclaimed legitimacy and power of the catastrophic oil and nuclear power industries.
And this should go hand in hand, at the social level, with a radical decentralization of cities, whose only current sense is to maximize the exploitation and prolong the idiot work, and whose main result is to expose all people to aggressive forms of pollution and burden. Of course, a condition for this is to fully release digital connectivity, which should be considered as one of the basic human rights.
Small, walkable communities, autonomous in food and energy, freely connected, all this is concretely part of the road to communism.
But it is still not enough. Of prime importance at a time, but also parallel and correlative, on the political level, is a radical decentralization of management and state power. Small municipalities, which do not require a leafy administration, and procedures that charge their own taxes, in which citizens are very close to the management of education, public health, local transport, culture and housing.
The functions of the central state must be limited only to redistribution of unequal local wealth, to large infrastructure projects, to the management of large natural resources. And, of course, the power of the central government must be limited on all matters involving the sovereignty of local communities.
It is necessary, finally, at the level of subjectivity, a radical decolonization of leisure, nowadays almost completely run according to the guidelines of the entertainment industry, and fully dedicated to the unworthy task of restoring the workforce, leaving us in physical and mental conditions only to return to be exploited, or to the task of resigning ourselves to absolute oppression, the task of surviving to the fact of not being not even exploited.
To form social and community ties, to restore public confidence in that they are fully capable of sharing and alleviating their subjective discomfort among peers, without experts nor drugs. To recognize the multiple forms of family, and the many forms of genre. To return to the inter subjective coexistence its genuinely human character. Rather than creating a "new (sic) man", chaired by Enlightened slogans and idealistic imperatives, the road to communism simply passes on this plane, by re-humanizing the human relationships. It is through this task that the wisdom of the people can become a deep ideological support of any radical political action.
c. Strategic horizon, real politics
As should be obvious already, the argumentative strategy I'm following is to the center, first and foremost, the question of content. What do we want, what are the roads leading to it. Well above the obvious difficulty of these propositions, long before the expected repressive and violent opposition they will face, the essential question is what do we want.
When considering the type of concrete proposals I've done, it should be pretty clear too that what I want is to get the Marxist thought away from the classic horizon of Stalinism and forced industrial revolution, from its totalitarian consequences and the already lengthy and useless, purely destructive self criticism, that retain it in the misery of its defeat.
A different policy, another concrete way that can be called Marxist by its grounding in political economy and the idea of class struggle proposed by Marx, and its immediate consequence: to claim our right to revolutionary violence. But that can be called Marxist mainly by the communist horizon it proposes, and the nature of the specific tasks that I have stated for its realization.
For the Marxists this is today, urgently, the first of all things. Having a version of Marxism and of its strategic project that will allow us to resume the actual link to the tasks of the popular movement, with the possibilities of development of the productive forces, with the common sense of the great left that has grown and prospered in spite of all, so far behind our laments and vanguardist complaints. Our approach to real politics can only emerge, productively, from there.
In that real, immediate political action, I think that regardless of the holders of that bell today, of those who hold that label, those who believe that communism is possible should be called communists. That is actually the meaning of the phrase "our party" used Marx in the Communist Manifesto, long before the need and the illusions of the Fordist political machine created by Lenin.
Despite this to some extend romantic terminological precision, however, I argue that discussions among Marxists about forms of organization are now completely useless and notoriously self-destructive. As I have argued many times, in other texts, what we need today is not a single party and a correct line. What we need is a great left organized as a network, to be recognized in a common spirit.
It is impossible to face the dominant military machine and its ability to exert power through the administration of local authorities, with a uniform and centralized style of organization whose sole support would be to achieve a military power that is unattainable for us and that, in good accounts, would then result in bureaucratic administration.
When this great left is thought of as networked opposition, a discussion on network forms of organization becomes meaningless. All forms of organization capable of political action are acceptable. The great left must consist of multiple parties, movements and groups, each configured independently around various specific doctrinal convictions and programs which may be even partially contradictory.
The only important thing is to encourage a broad culture of respect and tolerance, well distant from the classical purists obsessions of Leninists and Trotskyists. A culture that recognizes that the network may expand or contract regarding each specific task, which recognizes the right of each module to participate or not in any particular task, without implying stigmatization, isolation, or useless complaints about the purity or consequence.
By this same culture of respect and tolerance (with the left we always talks, it is right that we fight with), the very idea of "political alliances" loses much of its meaning. Set up an opposition network is already, in itself, exercise a permanent policy of alliances. For Marxists, and in rather doctrinaire terms, the meaning that this old expression retains (originating from Lenin's Illustrated wiles) is to maintain an ongoing awareness about the multi-class character of the opposition to the dominant system, the permanent need to cross class analysis and stratification analysis when setting up concrete political tasks.
In short, to distinguish the great left as anti capitalist and anti-bureaucratic opposition, the only important thing is the content that defines their common spirit: what we want is the end of the class struggle, communism. This is why I stopped at the determination and specification of the strategic tasks that define it.
It never hurts, still in a section devoted to Marxist Political Theory, to say something about revolutionary subjectivity, considered as particular, personal subjectivity.
When the revolution is no longer sought, nor expected, as a single large watershed event, when we know that the great task is not for today or tomorrow, but but starting today and should continue tomorrow, it is not so difficult to get back the old idea first forged by utopian socialists and anarchists, that revolutionary militancy is most of all a way of life rather than the necessary doctrinal convictions or the desirable formal militancy. A way of life inspired by a deep faith in the possibilities of human history, and animated by a permanent outrage at the obstacles, created by human beings themselves, which today prevent their realization. Active hope, something to be fought and built, something that you can not just wait. Active outrage, which results in opposition and struggle. A deep sense of belonging that translates into militancy, into permanent search and construction of sense of community.
Neither academic sophistication, so sharp in its harmless criticism, nor alienated individualism, crossed by the liberal illusions, may be able to understand this hope, this indignation, this belonging. What I have seen, however, is that ordinary people themselves are perfectly capable of understanding them and, being actively and solidarily brought to reflect on the oppression that afflicts them, are perfectly capable of sharing them.
- It should be obvious here that I am confronting the failures of these sciences with THEIR own claims and rhetoric. In the previous chapters I have mentioned their contrast with the objectives and claims of Marxist theory, which are very different.
- See to this regard, Carlos Pérez Soto, Violencia del derecho y derecho a la violencia (The violence of law and the right to violence), Revista Derecho y Humanidades, N° 20, 2012, published by Centro de Estudiantes de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Chile.
- It should be obvious that these distinctions involve a number of consequences on the evaluation we can do of what were called socialist revolutions and their destiny. I leave these considerations, however, completely to those who want to insist on the politically vacuous exercise of nostalgia.
- From the Paris Commune, through the council governments in Hungary, Bavaria, to the eternal guerrillas in Colombia and Peru, there are many cases of premature term or permanent ineffectiveness of these assaults. From the Bolshevik Revolution and the Long March of the Chinese Communists, to the revolution in Cuba protected by a nuclear iron umbrella, the examples are quite a few wins. Marxism of the twentieth century, leading many with nostalgia until today, lived permanently fascinated by these heroic deeds, even though all of them led to dark results. Not any more. Enough is enough.
- Sorry for the precision but it is necessary, against nostalgic reconstruction: it overthrows those who had overthrown a government. The Russian people, organized in soviets the Bolsheviks didn't control, overthrew the Tsarist dictatorship in February 1917. The Bolsheviks reluctantly and only then realized the importance and potential of the Soviets, overthrew the revolutionary but "wrong" government in October. Lenin himself had the time and enough insight to consider, when it was already too late, that this lack of talent for partnership was a gross error.
- Let us repeat here this amazing quote: John Maynard Keynes, "Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren" (1930). It can be found in the anthology J. M. Keynes, Essays in Persuasion (1963), Norton & Co., New York, 1963, p. 358-373. Also on the Internet: www.econ.yale.edu/smith/econ116a/keynes1.pdf