Why do Social Democrats do what they do?

March 30, 2010

Dear Joe: A Letter to an Inquirer about The Communist Party, By Andrew Taylor, Tues. March 30th, 2010

Dear Joe,

I believe there is only one realistic way to overcome the economic crises, the grotesque current inequity of resource distribution and political power and the encroaching ecological meltdown that is even now beginning to compromise the earth's eco-systems, and it is a hard path that can only be won through the dedicated effort of the workers, led by socialist parties "of a new type" solely devoted to the cause of the working-class.

The goal is to establish a world of working-class power, with a socialist planned economy and public ownership of the key sectors of the economy such as energy and banking, etc. The socialist state's educational systems will self-consciously and assiduously apply itself to educate its citizens in socially aware, cooperative aspirations. In this socialist state, the key means of production are owned by the people themselves and the economy functions in a rational fashion through planning.

I do not believe a merely reformist social-democratic accession to government can conceivably be able to do what needs to be done in order to check and crush the power of monopoly capital, and to give birth to a socialist world.

While it may in certain conditions be a desirable measure, I do not see the nationalization of capitalist enterprises as necessarily a step toward revolutionary socialism. Keynesianism both old-style and in its 'neo' forms consists of an explicitly counter-revolutionary series of measures to save capitalism from its inherent self-destroying anarchic dynamism.

With my comrades in the canadian communist party, I reject mere reformism as an anti-working-class ideology because at bottom its premise is that the most the working class and all the the world's people can hope for is the adoption of reforms to the present capitalist dictatorship.

Reform-struggles are essential in the long struggle for socialism, but reforms are only in continuity with a path to revolution when there are strong working-class parties of Marxist Leninist theory and struggle leading the fight against mere Reformism.

Social democrats usually confine "Politics" to election campaigns and trade unions; both are necessary democratic areas of struggle and education, but at a nodal point in the struggle for democracy there will be historical points of opportunity when the organized working people must and can take unto itself that which has been unjustly monopolized from it by the parasitic capitalist class.

However socialism comes about in different nations and varied revolutionary struggles, it will have to be very carefully and deliberately carried out by an organised working class. Because of the logical, unyielding opposition to social ownership on the part of the possessing capitalist class, at all stages of the struggle for power as well as in the challenges of the revolutionary process, the working people have to be readied to defend their gains from police surveillance, agents provocateur, and perhaps the open violence of police and soldiers.

And here we must look at the experience of interferences in nations striving to become socialist, or simply sovereign, or national processes merely deemed to be "contrary to US national interests". And of course Canada has its own CSIS and RCMP that work hand to glove with 'external' CIA covert action.

All of these unhappy realities raise the question of the need for a disciplined Leninist party that has learned revolutionary realism and displayed an unflinching commitment to socialist transformation over decades of internal and international struggles with the enemies of socialism.

It is true "Society" can be conceived in a variety of different ways, depending on the operative (or unformulated) sociological theory. Let me speak more clearly, and as a Marxist-Leninist, of the State, including among its different arms, first, the courts, police, prisons; second, the government, the civil service, parliament, city council; third, govt. sponsored bodies like the public school system.

The Ruling Class requires police to guard property and break strikes as well as restraining the anti-social criminal. Parliament or Congress with the Courts maintain corporate class rule while keeping alive the fiction that anyone has the "right" to rise to the corridors of power and "serve the nation". A legal, formal right has never and does not now magically endow the worker with the power to transcend class barriers.

My examples are meant to illustrate that the State is not neutral; "Society" as its constituted in our several countries is partisan on the side of the antagonistic owning Class.

The transfer to Socialism will in itself produce a qualitatively more democratic state. The government of the socialist state is composed of the leading, politically educated elected delegates of the working-class and its socialist and pro-socialist parties, including opposition parties . The citizens elect and send their deputies to regional and central legislative bodies through free regular vote. They have the power to demand the recall of their legislative representatives.

This socialist State is also partisan, but in favor of the majority. It will defend itself from internal and external attempts at the overthrow of the Revolution. It will not tolerate the operation of parties advocating fascism, war,or hate crimes; it will not permit public political agitation intended to overthrow socialism and restore capitalism.

If the capitalist state is as I have characterized it in the foregoing discussion, a partisan possessing class stunting and distorting our creativity, our values, expropriating all in its path -- from our parliaments and judiciary to our factories and labour,-- then we must now work for the perhaps distant day, when the working-class takes power and creates a humanist civilisation.

This preparation demands participation in the collective struggle for deepened levels of democracy, it demands political education and standing shoulder together with one's class and allies. It demands facing imperialism, the latest and final stage of capitalism. Join the Communist Party and gain an experience of living at the heart of humanity!

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