In the booklet that contains the Main Discussion Documents on pp. 24-25, under the heading of MARXISM, it says the following:
"Marxist methodology absorbs and metabolizes new experience; it gives special weight to new phenomona."
"It isn’t about timeless abstractions, pure forms, ideal types, categorical imperatives unsullied by inconvenient facts…"
"Marxist methodology insists on a concrete presentation of every question and an exact estimate of the balance of forces at any given moment."
At the end of our district convention the other day, someone passed around an article that was unsigned. The document was part of our pre-convention discussion and says that we need to deny our "socialist" past. The author points to crude examples of "mistakes and excesses" and doesn’t produce even one example of what those mistakes and excesses are! The author writes like a transcendental capitalist, not like a Marxist.
First of all, to understand the past, it is necessary to understand the conditions that existed in the period being studied. I can say all day and all night that the Communists and their parties did bad things, but without a point of reference, why should anyone believe me? Is the author saying that the Communist Party of China did bad things? Before they came to power in 1949 with the aid of the Soviet Union, the Chinese people ate mud and drank boiled urine. So what would the author have us believe is worse: the excesses of the party that allowed the Chinese people to eat rice,Â or the diet of urine and mud?
Prior to the Cuban revolution of 1959, the Cubans suffered from malnutrition. There was widespread prostitution, drug addiction, and gambling. Now because of the "mistakes and excesses" of the Cuban party, illiteracy has been overcome, there is healthcare for anyone that needs it, their rate of infant mortality is next to zero, the medical and pharmaceutical development is the envy of all Latin American and Carribean countries, the island’s shortwave radio station can be heard all around the world, and there are no children living on the streets. All this "excess," despite the US blockade.
Kind, humanist author, we do not live in a perfect world. We live in a world where there are spies and finks. We don’t need an idealist, humanist party. We need a strong, disciplined party that can do battle with the capitalist class. If we have a soft underbelly, the capitalists will chew us up and spit us out, and many more human beings will die. That’s not to say that we cannot be nice people. I meet nice people every day. But when all is said and done, does apologizing for building socialism really contribute anything positive to the convention discussion? Why should I say I’m sorry for being a proud Communist citizen of the USA? Why would anyone want to join a party that apologizes for the struggles for socialism around the world?
Imagine this scenario: "I’m sorry! I’m from the Communist Party, USA and I’d like you to join."
Reply: "I’m already a Democrat."