The past is valuable regardless of allegiances. Mistakes are valuable if we
learn from them. What I was referring to is some of the more totemistic,
charismatic styles of thinking and writing that socialist movements have
been plagued with, which Meszaros' article is blissfully free of.
Trotskyist groups, for example (and only an example), are a source of lots
of ideas and experiences (I don't know whether you could speak of great
"successes" -eg, Mandel's writings, value-form school) but some of them
(here Sparticists come quickly to mind) operate as though they were some
sort of secular religion. We can do without worship (or vilification) of
Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, etc.

I sometimes worry about the praxis rather than techne side of human
capacities for socialism when I look at the spectacle of derivative
"communist" parties and even home grown ones, throwing up "the cult of
personality" with chilling regularity. I have to remind myself that feudal
culture has a stronger grip on our imaginations than we sometimes realise
(especially in pre-revolutionary Russia, Chine, Korea, perhaps even
Yugoslavia), and that elevating military authority structures in communist
parties to the status of an absolute organisational principle rather than
temporary expedient provided fertile soil for such a culture. In my darker
moments, I ask whether we will ever be really up to the demands of the the
collective ownership of the means of production (but only in darker
moments, and only wondering - I am knowm usually for my irrepressible
optimism). But this has probably cost me more time than I really have.

>Ian H writes:
>>I do not have the time to say too much, but would like to say that I  also
>>found Meszaros' article a really good read, and would like people to take
>>up the challenge to articulate a clear vision and strategy for socialism
>>unemcumbered with the baggage of our political past
>I'd like him to be a bit more specific about what he thinks is useless
>baggage from our past and what he thinks is valuable knowledge and
>experience -- I assume there's something in the past that's worth keeping?
>PS Whose past is "our" past, by the way?
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