Political Science Faculty Publications and Presentations
Marxist Political Theory, Diversity of Tactics, and the Doctrine of the Long Civil War
In The Communist Manifesto (1848), Marx and Engels “openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.” However, by 1872, Marx suggested that in some countries it was possible for workers to “achieve their aims by peaceful means.” Since that time, Marxist political theorists have debated whether a transition to socialism can be achieved by parliamentary means alone or whether the transition to socialism requires the use of illegal or even violent tactics. This paper argues that with the resurgence of a socialist movement in the US, the question of tactics is once again an open debate. For this reason, it is useful to revisit the tactical debates of the Second International, because they are directly relevant to contemporary discussions of socialist strategy and tactics in the US, where tactical positions already run the gamut from parliamentarism to armed self-defense.
Clyde W. Barrow (2019) Marxist Political Theory, Diversity of Tactics, and the Doctrine of the Long Civil War, New Political Science, 41:4, 622-653, DOI: 10.1080/07393148.2019.1686735
New Political Science
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