1st May: International Workers’ Day

April 30, 2009 at 11:40 pm (Jim D, socialism, trotskyism, workers)

“For us, questions of cultural work are inseperably connected with politics, with socialist construction. This is as basic as ABC. When we speak of of cultural work, and in particular of club work, which is destined  to hold a special place within the overall system of our cultural work, what we have in mind  in the first place is propaganda work and the practical  realization of the basic propositions of Marxism – or to translate into the language of our era, Leninism.

“Just the other day I came across a phrase of Marx’s, which I am ashamed to say I had forgotten – a phrase that brings us right to the heart of the question. While still quite young, Marx wrote to the well-known German radical writer Arnold Ruge, ‘We do not step into the world with a new doctrinaire set of principles, saying: “Here is the truth; get down on your knees to it!” We develop new foundations for the world out of the world’s own foundations.’

“A superb formulation, and one that is pure Marx. We do not bring truth to people from the outside, as though truth were something inflexibly fixed and given for all time, and we do not say to the people: ‘Here is the truth; get down on your knees to it!” No, we take the world as it is, and in a practical way, actively, we extract from the foundations of this living world the means of building a new one.”

-Leon Trotsky, “Leninism and Workers’ Clubs”, July 1924, “Problems of Everyday Life.”.

NB: apologies for the Guevarist and Maoist imagery in there.

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