Marxism: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Mattick, Paul
Year Published:  1978
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX10521

Until now the history of revolutionary Marxism has been the history of its defeats, which include the apparent successes that culminated in the emergence of state-capitalist systems. It is clear that early Marxism not only underestimated the resiliency of capitalism, but in doing so also overestimated the power of Marxian ideology to affect the consciousness of the proletariat. The process of historical change, even if speeded up by the dynamics of capitalism, is exceedingly slow, particularly when measured against the lifespan of an individual. But the history of failure is also one of illusions shed and experience gained, if not for the individual, at least for the class. There is no reason to assume that the proletariat cannot learn from experience.

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