Revolution #279, September 2, 2012
THE PROBLEM THEN...
THE PROBLEM NOW—
AN ESSENTIAL TRUTH ABOUT OPPORTUNISM
Back in the day—during the 1960s upsurge—as I was being increasingly drawn to communism but still searching out and engaging different groups and programs, I encountered a “theoretician” of the International Socialists (now known as the ISO) who was visiting the campus at Berkeley, and we entered into a discussion, which more and more took on the character of a struggle, over the problem in the world and the solution, including the history of the communist movement and the experience of socialism in the Soviet Union and in China. Finally, as things were becoming increasingly clear and sharp, it occurred to me, and I said to him very simply and directly: The problem with you and your group is that you hate communism much more than you hate capitalism. He couldn’t refute, or even really deny, this.
Nor can it be denied, or refuted, that this has long been, and is today, the essential problem with opportunists in general, who claim to be against this system—or at least some of its more glaring outrages—but, at the same time, in their outlook and their objectives, actually cannot get beyond what Marx called the narrow horizon of bourgeois right. In essence and in its actual effect, their outlook and program amounts to accommodating to capitalism-imperialism, with all the horrors it brings about, while what they really hate and seek to undermine is the only real, and really emancipating, alternative to this capitalist-imperialist system—the communist revolution, and those who represent and fight for this revolution. If you honestly and seriously look into this—and compare and contrast the opposing viewpoints, objectives, principles, and methods—this is the unavoidable conclusion.
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