The struggle continues -- forever

Mark Engler just sent a link to his article Seattle at Five, about how little what he calls "the US globalization movement" has advanced since the protests in Seattle five years ago. He sounds a bit dispirited. I'm older, and have been through this before and long ago accepted -- emotionally as well as intellectually -- that ours is a very long struggle. It is possibly even a perpetual struggle, because every time we think we've won some space for greater justice and freedom (the 13 colonies in 1776, France in 1789 and Paris in 1871, the October Revolution, the Mexican and Cuban revolutions, etc.), the same old enemies reappear, sometimes within our very ranks. I think this is what Marx had in mind when he defined life as "struggle."

As a college student, I was deeply impressed by reading Eduard Bernstein, Evolutionary Socialism (originally published under the snappy title, Die Voraussetzungen des Sozialismus und die Aufgaben der Sozialdemokratie, 1899). I think I need to read it again. What I remember most clearly is his motto, "The end is nothing; the struggle is everything." There is no promised land, but that doesn't mean we give up trying to fulfill that promise. If you're curious and don't know the work, here's the reference: Evolutionary Socialism.

No comments: