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The way forward.

There are three pieces in the Septembeer 1984 issue to which I want to make reference. "A Lesson from History" (Review of the Month), "Workers and State Power" by Norman Best, and "The Left and Elections by Fritz Silber.

The writings have much in common and signal a ray (still too dim) of hope. To paraphrase Grant Naughtly, New Democratic Party of Alberta, "we must break out of the limitations of the past." I can see a similar trend in these three articles. While we always learn from the past, we have to evaluate situations and potentials that surround us today, grasp and use them.

The one situation is the increasing submissiveness of all working people due to regressive laws and the ecnomic slump. The existing potential lies in the many groups that have formed starting in the 1930s and increasing at an accelerated rate during the past six years. As Silber states, "the ranks of issue groups and coalitons are fragmented and spread thin." How can we extricate the working people out of their indifference and submissiveness is answered by Best's writing: "Before U.S. trade unionists (and I hope also non-unionists) can regain the power of the 1930s, they must regain the indeological independence of the 1930s when production for use concepts and laws to increase people's influence in the capitalist state were a part of everyday political dialogue."

"A Lesson from History" establishes a line of thought that could lead to a consolidation of the fragmented groupings and interests and steer (or stir) us into action for a change to bring about true democracy. Your promise to further explore questions arising from such an undertaking will be eagerly awaited.

MONTHLY REVIEW has pioneered in two profound changes in Marxist theory. One is the exploration of synthesizing the best from religion with the best from Marxism. The other is in describing the rise of a new form of class society in the Soviet bloc instead of the classless society predicted in the Marxist classics.

May I offer the thought that there is a close connection between the two? the "liberation theology" Christians have learned a great deal from Marxism--class analysis of politics and the need for revolution. We Marxists have something to learn from religion. First of all, humility, in light of the gigantic errors now evident in our own theory. And second, that every society needs a moral and ethical code far stronger than what exists in the managerial states of the Soviet bloc.

I hope that MONTHLY REVIEW persists in its heretical search for the truth, just as our religious brothers and sisters bravely persist in their revolutionary zeal.

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Title Annotation:letter; includes two letters
Author:Koppel Anci; Cartwright, Perry
Publication:Monthly Review
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Jan 1, 1985
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