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The proletariat is revolutionary or it is nothing - Karl MarxBeing a product of bourgeois society the socialist movement is linked to the vicissitudes of capitalist development It will assume different forms according to the changing fortunes of the capitalist system In circumstances which are not favorable to the formation of class consciousness it will not grow or will practically disappear In conditions of capitalist prosperity it tends to transform itself from a revolutionary to a reformist movement In times of social crisis it may be totally suppressed by the ruling class Since socialism cannot be established without a socialist movement it follows that the destiny of the latter ultimately will determine whether socialism will ever be realized All labor organizations form part of the general social structure and cannot be consistently anti-capitalist except in a purely ideological sense To acquire social importance within the capitalist system they must be opportunist which means they must avail themselves of the given social processes to attain their goals however limited the latter may be Opportunism and realism are apparently the same thing The former cannot be defeated by a radical ideology which opposes the whole of the existing social relations It does not seem possible to slowly assemble revolutionary forces into powerful organizations ready to act at favorable moments Only those organizations that did not disturb the prevailing social relations acquired any importance If they started out with a revolutionary ideology their growth implied a subsequent discrepancy between their ideology and their functions Those organizations opposed to the status quo yet organized within it must finally succumb to the forces of capitalism by virtue of their organizational failures This appears to be the dilemma of radicalism in order to accomplish anything of social significance actions must be organized Effective organizations however tend towards capitalist channels It seems that in order to do something now one can only do the wrong things and in order to avoid false
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