Re: [OPE] FWD: Important review of Kautskyism Past and Present

Date: Wed Aug 11 2010 - 16:03:35 EDT

> The problem with the 'renegade' argument, which originates with
> Vladimir, is that it obscures weaknesses in the 'classical' Kautsky.
Hi Paul C:
I wouldn't exactly say that Lenin's calling Kautsky a "renegade" was an argument: rather it was an assessment that Kautsky had betrayed revolutionary principles and adopted opportunistically to the imperialist war. This was not a theoretical claim. It was a biting criticism of what was at that moment in history the most burning political questions for socialists - i.e. whether to support or oppose the war, whether to support nationalism or proletarian internationalism, and whether reformism electoral strategies were to be preferred over a revolutionary strategy. Sad to say, but these remain some of the most burning political questions of our own time.
Having said that, I think that Kautsky's position on imperialism (which has parallels today to that of some marxians) can be discussed independently of the question of his later capitulation to nationalism, etc. Yes, I know there is a historical link - since WWI was, after all, an imperialist war. But, the contemporary issue of relevance - it seems to me - is whether in the period of 'globalization' there are still inter-imperialist rivalries or whether there is a historical trajectory towards a single world power. Interestingly, the latter position of "one world government' etc. is being advocated by the Zeitgeist folks. (Whatever else can be said for their claims, they do know how to produce a dramatic film.)
In solidarity, Jerry
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Received on Wed Aug 11 16:07:03 2010

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