Geary Middleton of Marxist Center explains what Marxists understand under “programme”, why it matters and what differences there are. This will be the first part of a series on the question of “programme”. I intent to write a three-part on this question. This will be an introduction. The...
Right from its beginnings in early 19th century, socialism has been bedevilled by debates over strategy in a way that right-wing ideologies have not. Would salvation come, as Fourier dreamed, from wealthy benefactors funding new communist colonies or maybe, as Proudhon envisaged, through workers ...
Marxist Center's insight:
From the authors: "But the whole depiction of democracy as ‘bourgeois’ is entirely unhelpful, not to mention inaccurate. So-called bourgeois or formal democracy consists of universal suffrage, the rule of law, civic equality, the freedom to organise, elementary civil liberties and so forth. Essential as democracy is to socialism, it’s not a purely socialist demand. Lots of other groups in society have an interest in the progressive democratisation of society, including minority groups, females, and even the bourgeoisie and capitalists, whose freedom to accumulate is severely constrained if the state is strong enough to operate the law in an arbitrary fashion."
"For socialists, however, the importance of democracy goes further: apart from being intrinsically desirable in themselves, democratic freedoms are necessary if we are to organise large organisations at all because millions of people cannot unite as members of free institutions unless there is the ability to democratically set the fundamental policy (the constitution, the core programme), elect, supervise and if necessary hold its leadership to account; if we cannot organise to propagate new ideas and fresh criticism and finally if there are legal restrictions on their right to do so in the first place. Democratic rights are a precondition – the light and air, as the orthodox Marxists put it – for a successful mass socialist movement to exist at all."
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