'Dual Power', Then... and Now?

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1886 ... August 29, 2019
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‘Dual Power,’ Then... and Now?

Richard Fidler

Global capitalist crisis, impending ecological disaster, and new responses by popular movements in some regions, particularly in Latin America, inspire radical thinking about the need to go "beyond capital." But how to attain the desired "system change" -- today, an ecosocialist regime in place of capitalist rule -- continues to be a matter for debate and experimentation.

Recently a number of Marxist scholars and activists have revived a debate on the role of electoral action, parliament, and efforts to build alternative forms and institutions of direct democracy to replace the domination of capital. Many of the major contributions may be found on John Riddell’s website. Other discussions of these issues can be found in the on-line publication The Bullet published by the Toronto-based Socialist Project, in a series on "The State and Socialist Strategy."

A central bone of contention: the viability of using representative democracy and parliamentary means to attain and retain workers’ and popular power even while attempting to achieve radical social change through promoting... extra-parliamentary mobilization and institutions -- a strategy of working both "in and against the state," as Panitch and Gindin express it.

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