Re: [sixties-l] on selling out

From: Carrol Cox (
Date: Mon Sep 04 2000 - 02:37:21 CUT

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    doug norberg wrote:

    > . Reform, or
    > "incremental vision," will never achieve those goals, not in many lifetimes.
    > Rather than abandon the large goals, as some on the list are advocating or are
    > apologizing for, it is essential to see them in a larger time frame, as well as in
    > a global context, and proceed in the long-term building of
    > communities/cultures/politics of resistance and revolution.

    There is an important perspective on this that cuts across the binary of reform or
    revolution. Looking back over the last century and a half it is possible to claim
    that reforms of any significance (and durability) for the most part were won not
    by reformists but by revolutionaries. Even if it is true that there will never be a
    successful revolution against capitalism (and it seems that those who predict this
    with certainty are claiming an almost supernatural power of foresight), real decency
    within capitalism, winning of real reforms, requires a historical perspective on the
    present which, in substance, must be a perspective on the present from the
    viewpoint of the future. We can't understand and act decently in the present
    unless we see in it the necessity of a classless society (and necessity does not
    mean it will happen, but only that the present, whatever will happen in the future,
    only makes sense from that perspective)

    Carrol Cox

    P.S. The metaphor of "selling out" is not a very good one. It suggests a consciousness

    or deliberateness which is usually not present in specific cases..

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