THE SENSE OF A LEFT-WING BATTLE

The year of 1917 is remembered today thanks to the so-called “revolution” that took place in Russia in that year. It was a beginning of work on a project called “socialism”, which spread to other countries and came to its disaster around fifteen years ago. People who took part in that project were guided by generous goals, but achieved result was equally disastrous everywhere. Their wish to overthrow capitalism and replace it with a classless society didn’t come true. Contrary to that, the world capitalist system survived and became stronger. After the collapse of socialism, a new world anti-capitalist movement appeared, this time under different name - alterglobalism. This movement is as critical towards its left-wing precursor, as it is towards its capitalist adversary. Breaking ties with socialism (communism) it tends to show off as a quite new movement capable of achieving long ago promised goal of creating more just world society. However, no matter how much it strives to present itself as different, this movement will, as far as I am concerned, inevitably share one of the characteristics with an old left-wing movement – it will experience a historical failure. I will try to explain why.
An old left wing, or at least its part that had the biggest influence on the course of the last century history, working on creation of more just society, invoked founders of so-called “scientific socialism”, Marx and Engels. The two of them created a theory of capitalism that hasn’t been surpassed yet. I am ready, however, to say that practitioners of “socialism” shifted from the theory to the extent that I can claim that Marx and Engels wrongly interpreted themselves alone. Namely, it stems from their theory that there are some necessary stages that humanity has to pass through during its development, if conditions are to be created for moving to that, so much desired, classless society. It means that we may regret the destiny of the people who became slaves at the crossing from classless original human community to the slave holding, as much as we want. It would be a useless regret, cause if society wants to progress both in material and intellectual sense, and to upgrade its quality of life to a higher level, human price has to be paid for it, no matter how great and painful it is. The mistake that was made by Marx and Engels as practitioners, their followers - revolutionists of the 20th century, and is being made by alterglobalists nowadays, is that they all hoped and still hope for the fall of capitalism before it passed through all historically necessary stages. Premature revolution leads to worse state of the one that is wanted to be changed, and an existing order increases its power, while the alternatives lose their attractiveness being compromised. In favor of this we can consider the term “alterglobalism”, which presupposes globalization a matter of choice, meaning it can be of one or another kind, with “human” or some other face. Contemporary left-wingers should understand globalization, such it is, as a historical necessity, which can not be considered a conspiracy of the rich against the poor. Exploitation of people by other people lasts for millenniums, and all those who think that they are the ones who belong to the generation predestined to cease that exploitation are wrong. They make the same error as their left-wing precursors.
What is then the sense of a left-wing battle? I’ll be clear – it doesn’t have a sense. I think I can describe it picturesquely in the following way: let’s imagine that capitalism is a vehicle that moves down the slope towards the abyss. If left-wingers are interested in a fall of capitalism, they should let the vehicle move freely down the slope, or possibly push it in order to move faster. However, both old and new left wingers do the opposite thing – they stick pistons in that vehicles’ wheels and make it move slower. Let’s take an example of privatization of a factory. If they privatize it, which left wingers oppose, a part of workers will be fired, but those who remain on the job will live better, because the factory will work successfully. If they don’t privatize it, everyone will lose, because the factory won’t work. If the factory doesn’t work, there isn’t production, so there isn’t a material base of any, especially more just society, either. Hence, opposing the privatization is sticking a piston in the vehicles’ wheel. Supporting the privatization is pushing the vehicle towards the abyss, given it means helping the capitalist mode of production to spread through the whole world and approach to its homogeneity. When it happens, it will face destruction for its inner contradictions. Only then left wingers should offer an alternative, for which creation conditions will appear in the meanwhile. What should they do until then? They should examine the world capitalist system, further developing Marxist theory liberated from ideological ingredients, in order not to think to early that the final moment of the system has come, and jump into a revolution without a chance to succeed. They should consider possibilities for building a new society, of course on a base created inside the scope of capitalism, in order not to let it be replaced with some reactionary order. Of course, until that critical moment many more people will suffer, but the consciousness of a great historical mission and the sacrifice for it will make their suffering easier. Only two centuries ago, even the richest man couldn’t afford a medicine against a bacterial infection, which can be cured today even if you are one of the poorest. Let somebody just tell me that nothing has changed. Many more diseases will be cured if people get rid of an illusion that they can change world as they wish, and gradually, excepting the reality, on a scientific base, make presumptions for their descendants to become capable of truly changing the world.