In Frederick Engel's "The Principles of Communism," he separates socialists into three different classes, one of which is what he terms the "Bourgeois Socialists." He describes them as follows:
"[ Bourgeois Socialists: ]
The second category consists of adherents of present-day society who have been frightened for its future by the evils to which it necessarily gives rise. What they want, therefore, is to maintain this society while getting rid of the evils which are an inherent part of it.
To this end, some propose mere welfare measures – while others come forward with grandiose systems of reform which, under the pretense of re-organizing society, are in fact intended to preserve the foundations, and hence the life, of existing society.
Communists must unremittingly struggle against these bourgeois socialists because they work for the enemies of communists and protect the society which communists aim to overthrow."
What are your thoughts on this, aside from the revolutionary language? Violence is clearly not an acceptable means to reform our political system, but Engel's seems to have a legitimate point about the political philosophy of many on the left.
One has to be really cautious when reading communist texts on socialism because Marx in all his wisdom redefined socialism and socialists entirely. As the dictionary puts it:
"A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole
Policy or practice based on this theory
(in Marxist theory) A transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism."
It becomes hard to know which they are referring to at times (or at least I find it so).
In answer to your question I think it's way to soon to start considering it. If we want to move towards a more egalitarian and just society as leftists generally do then we should be working in concert to achieve that, not squabbling amongst ourselves. I do agree that fundamentally capitalism can only be "fixed" so much before we reach it's limits and a different system is needed.
It should also be noted that Engels was writing in a period when the word liberalism or liberal did not exist in it's present meaning a term I think might have fitted his needs a bit better.
I feel I have expressed this very poorly but oh well.
Well, I think his "bourgeois socialists" fit many liberals in the United States. Let's keep capitalism, provide a social safety net, and heavily regulate it. I'm currently undecided on whether I am ENTIRELY against capitalism, or just most of the aspects.
I'm in favor of food, shelter, and health care all being human rights, and all people being given opportunities to become educated and fulfill their full human potential. I'm still figuring it all out.
You're right about the transition. I just think some people are too vested in capitalism. They cannot see beyond it, so to speak.
You have it in one ! The word is 'Reform' run away from it and realise that when one is attacked a tick on a box will do nothing.........
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