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Rejoinder To Left Reformism

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Chapter Summary

It was important that the discussion on reformism should be reopened and that it should be done as well as Henry Collins has done it. Collins puts the case for contemporary left reformism with all the lucidity with which Bernstein put the case for left reformism in his own time. Reformism is not just a set of theories about society. Reformist theories are themselves part of the social life which they attempt to describe. Of what kind of social life are they typically part? They arise within a capitalism which has learnt some degree of rationalisation and of control. The stage before reformism is the stage of capitalist expansion in which the working-class movement may preserve an outward semblance of revolutionary aims and theory, but becomes in fact directed towards the goal of securing the maximum benefits for the working-class within capitalism.

Keywords:capitalism; Henry Collins; left reformism; socialist theory; working-class movement

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