Simon writes, poetically:

>Our job is not to pull the baby out of the womb. We are the baby, to use
>the metaphor, being born. Or rather, we are a butterfly in the making,
>reconstituting from a caterpillar via the pupae phase (the political
>understanding, i.e. the form) to bursting from the chrysalis as a new
>creature by the logic of its own material existence having a series of
>historical forms.

Trouble is, he wipes out reality and its contradictions with this image of
his. If he sees the caterpillar as imperialism, and the butterfly as
socialism, then he sees the same creature, the same agent transforming
itself. But the class whose interests keep imperialism alive is a different
creature, a different agent from socialism. The bourgeoisie will not be
poetically transformed into the socialist producing/owning class, it will
be abolished. And in abolishing the bourgeoisie, the working-class will
also abolish itself. The working-class must act as midwife to get the
socialist baby out of the prison of the imperialist womb.

Simon's metaphor shows that he understands actual historical economic
developments to be natural and ahistorical, the product of one
undifferentiated humanity, and not a process determined by class struggle.
This is of course equally obvious in his criticism of Dave's presentation
of Marx's view of value, in which Simon sees value as the eternal,
historically undifferentiated product of human labour (or worse, essence of
human labour).

This leads to a political line that is compounded of theoretical fatalism
(it'll happen as a natural process, inevitably) and its hyperactive
counterpart, individual heroics ("we, the heroes, must act since no-one
else understands anything). The main expressions of this in the workers
movement or on its fringes today are state capitalist currents (which just
see the Soviet Union emerging from October as more of the same and bringing
no change) and anarchism, petty-bourgeois heroics (usually rhetorical,
sometimes terroristic) that shy away from the concrete political problems
of understanding, organizing and winning the actual class struggle against
the imperialist bourgeoisie.

Marx had a reason for preferring human beings to butterflies when he chose
his metaphors.



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