Popular Protagonism in the Transition to Socialism

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2156 ... July 28, 2020

Popular Protagonism in the Transition to Socialism

In this interview, Michael Lebowitz explores the importance of participation and democracy in the construction of socialism, while reflecting on the internal contradictions of the Bolivarian Process. He was interviewed by Cira Pascual Marquina of Venezuelanalysis.com.

Cira Pascual Marquina (CPM): You have written a great deal about the transition to socialism, and one of your emphases is the role of participation through cooperatives or communes. Why are participative and cooperative experiences so important in the transition to socialism, and how does your emphasis differ from other perspectives on the transition?

Michael Lebowitz (ML): Capitalism, which destroys human beings and nature, must be ended, but you cannot build socialism without the protagonism by which people change themselves. Can you revolutionize society while leaving people unchanged? Marx and Engels answered a writer who posed this possibility by stating that in revolutionary activity, "the changing of oneself coincides with the changing of circumstances." Through their activity, people transform circumstances and their capacities and thus make themselves fit to build a new world.

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