Re: [DEBATE] : Chávez's U-turn on Socialism
lsifuentesore at gmail.com
Sun Jan 13 14:11:31 GMT 2008
If you have a source for the revolutionary nature of the concept 'concrete'
and its evil opposite 'abstract', do let me know.
I recall us making fun of it, along with a whole body of standardised
Party-Talk, in the British Young Communist League, c. 1953.
Much of this concrete, I recall, ended up in the Berlin Wall, or East
Berlin's Stalin Allee. Its function there was to defend something called
'Really-existing Socialism'. This concrete expression of socialism was
contrasted, of course, with that abstract kind of socialism being expressed
by 1) socialist critics of concrete socialism or, 2) flesh-and-blood
proletarians, occasionally breaking up the concrete and throwing chunks
So I am just wondering whether the revolutionary couplet ought not to be
flesh-and-blood v. concrete.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dominic Tweedie" <dominic.tweedie at gmail.com>
To: "debate: SA discussion list" <debate at debate.kabissa.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2008 8:26 PM
Subject: Re: [DEBATE] : Chávez's U-turn on Socialism
> There is a problem about a formulation like: "less empty words, more
> concrete results", or like: "concrete problems e.g., crime, inflation,
> housing shortage" (plus a further indefinite list of abstractions).
> I mean that the word "concrete" has a vulgar meaning as well as a
> revolutionary-philosophical meaning, and these two meanings are almost
> totally mutually exclusive. The forms of words that have been used
> here in theis thread do nothing to disabuse the reader of the
> impression that what is meant is "solid", or "real", or frankly,
> merely utilitarian.
> The revolutionary term "concrete" has everything to do with "the unity
> and struggle of opposites" and with the "ascent from the abstract". It
> has nothing to do with the "greatest good for the greatest number".
> I do believe this "DEBATE" is the kind of forum where such points
> should be attended to properly, and I do think that a proper
> appreciation of the relation of the abstract to the concrete is a
> necessary pre-requisite to progress in South Africa and in Venezuela.
> The theory of abstract and concrete is the only means by which it
> becomes possible to discriminate between what can be joined together
> and what cannot.
> It is also necessary to insulate the theory of abstract and concrete
> from any taint of "realpolitik", which is the inevitable trajectory of
> the vulgar, untheorised sense of the word "concrete".
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