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One result of Marxist-Leninist critique of the cycle of revolution in France between 1789 and the successive revolutionary cycle ending with the Paris Commune (levied by the pre-revolution Stalin, among others) is that the utility and necessity of revolution to the working class, and the absense of a bourgeois class between themselves and those on the other end of extreme wealth and power disparity, would allow the Soviets to bypass the incremental installation of a liberal capitalist democracy, as was the case in France following 1789 (and, indeed, after the Commune, but after further radicalism– some of the most lasting changes came from, of all places, Napoleon during the second revolution, for example).
In the modern era, this debate has taken the form of how much "civility" is required of civil disobedience (and uncivil disobedience) to effect change. Following the protests against police in the murder of George Floyd, one such wellspring of debate was CHAZ (later CHOP, when its principals realized words mean thing and an autonomous zone definitely exceeded their ideological tolerance in favor of civility), wherein protestors held an area of Capitol Hill that included a police station. One aspect that caught my attention amongst all of the corruption and thoroughly counterrevolutionary violence that would seem to be against the interests of an anti-racist, anti-policing occupation aside, was the verbiage used by the, perhaps, more well-meaning actors involved.
An early thread of discourse involved how much, if any, of a show should be made of protecting private property; in this case, to "show the police" how civil they were towards the physical building of an empty police station, and then, surely, this would make any retribution by police look like a PR nightmare, right? RIGHT? This idea that police acting outside of the law, in violation of their own civic duty (even if the history of their profession is based in a number of metaphysical propositions that should offend the sensibilities of many even when entirely within the letter of the law), should be responsive to citizens validating their right to occupy said build and have it protected by the public as a first order concern is the exact kind of op one might describe as beyond parody from anarchists.
My point in connecting the two arcs in history is that the size of the return, if your goals are revolutionary, is at parity with the lack of legitimacy of the civil society you are revolutionizing. It is quite literally reformism of, by definition, an unreformable, illegitimate civil society to suggest it can be voted in or out of compliance with a popular revolutionary politic. This is without debating tactics, or even really ideology beyond agreeing, for example, that capitalism (its extreme forms like corporatism, imperialism, and the pervasiveness of these elements in western liberal democracies) is one influence on the corruption of said system's view of human rights.
This is not to denigrate the intentions and beliefs of the well-meaning, but the arc of history is not in agreement with their ideological view of human nature, and that a collectivizing incentive has typically not only been required, but through revolution, made responsive formally to demands of a working class. As Trotsky, who god knows did not agree with Stalin on very much, puts it in Terrorism and Communism, of Kautsky:
Marx accuses the Commune of not having at once begun an attack against the Versailles, and of having entered upon the defensive, which always appears “more humane,” and gives more possibilities of appealing to moral law and the sacredness of human life, but in conditions of civil war never leads to victory. Marx, on the other hand, first and foremost wanted a revolutionary victory. Nowhere, by one word, does he put forward the principle of democracy as something standing above the class struggle. On the contrary, with the concentrated contempt of the revolutionary and the Communist, Marx – not the young editor of the Rhine Paper, but the mature author of Capital: our genuine Marx with the mighty leonine mane, not as yet fallen under the hands of the hairdressers of the Kautsky school – with what concentrated contempt he speaks about the “artificial atmosphere of parliamentarism” in which physical and spiritual dwarfs like Thiers seems giants! The Civil War, after the barren and pedantic pamphlet of Kautsky, acts like a storm that clears the air.
In spite of Kautsky’s slanders, Marx had nothing in common with the view of democracy as the last, absolute, supreme product of history. The development of bourgeois society itself, out of which contemporary democracy grew up, in no way represents that process of gradual democratization which figured before the war in the dreams of the greatest Socialist illusionist of democracy – Jean Jaurès – and now in those of the most learned of pedants, Karl Kautsky. In the empire of Napoleon III, Marx sees “the only possible form of government in the epoch in which the bourgeoisie has already lost the possibility of governing the people, while the working class has not yet acquired it.” In this way, not democracy, but Bonapartism, appears in Marx’s eyes as the final form of bourgeois power. Learned men may say that Marx was mistaken, as the Bonapartist empire gave way for half a century to the “Democratic Republic.” But Marx was not mistaken. In essence he was right. The Third Republic has been the period of the complete decay of democracy. Bonapartism has found in the Stock Exchange Republic of Poincaré. Clémenceau, a more finished expression than in the Second Empire. True, the Third Republic was not crowned by the imperial diadem; but in return there loomed over it the shadow of the Russian Tsar.
with Kautsky, in this case, and not to mention figures like Bukharin, with whom there are even wider ideological divisions, perhaps not tactical divisions, over the prevailing revolutionary order, who view civility as a requirement of effecting this particular change, if the alternative is Marxist-Leninist statecraft, and in favor of what winds up being termed bourgeois liberal capitalism.
Part of this is all just to say not to discount the role of historical materialism in trying what has already failed, or reducing to failure what was successful if not for the intervention of motivated opponents, upon whose failure your success was predicated– this is distinct from existing in a vacuum, it is requesting to evaluate real world conditions, rather than theorhetical ones, for testing what are political and economic theory. Marxism demands of its adherents synthesis in its application to those conditions, and precious little of that seems to happen even as an intellectual exercise when this discussion invariably crops up in response to revolutionary sentiment, in favor of pseudoradical ideological posturing that, all other things being equal, still upholds the prevailing social order in its inability to form anything of a movement, if not upholding it in its supposedly principled tolerance of the status quo.