Factions are a sign of illness in a party.— Ernest Mandel
The most unusual Ernest Mandel quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening
Socialist democracy is not a luxury but an absolute, essential necessity for overthrowing capitalism and building socialism.
Precisely because Marx was convinced that the cause of the proletariat was of decisive importance for the whole future of mankind, he wanted to create for that cause not a flimsy platform of rhetorical invective or wishful thinking, but the rock-like foundation of scientific truth.
There are no conditions in which we subordinate the interests of the class as a whole to the interests of any sect, any chapel, any separate organization.
You need a vanguard organization in order to overcome the dangerous potential brought about by the uneven development of class militancy and class consciousness.
You can have relatively high levels of class consciousness with a lower level of class militancy than one would have expected.
Or check the curated lists with quotes from Ernest Mandel:
• Quotes about Class
The more workers you have in your organization, the better you are implanted in the working class, the more likely you are to come up with the concrete problems of the class.
Marxism is always open, always critical, always self-critical.
There is a process of social and of political differentiation going on in the real working class all the time.
Workers do not strike every day, they cannot do that the way they function in the capitalist economy. The way they have to live by selling their labor power makes that impossible.
On the contrary, history generally confirms that the more conscious and the better you are organized in vanguard organizations, the more constructively you operate in the mass organizations of the working class.
The only conclusion you can draw from the real historical movement is that by and large, in day-to-day life, what Lenin called trade union consciousness dominates the working class. I would call it elementary class consciousness of the working class.
The conclusion you can draw from these characteristics is that you have an uneven development of class activity and an uneven development of class consciousness in the working class.
Revolution is an instrument, like a party is an instrument.
Periodically, the workers do revolt against bourgeois society, not by a hundred, five hundred, or a thousand, but by the millions.
Socialist democracy is not, a luxury and its need is not limited to the most advanced industrial countries.
I do not believe in self-proclaimed parties.
Otherwise we get off the track and we do not fulfil the historical role which we want to fulfil: to help the masses, the exploited and the oppressed of the world, build a classless society, a world socialist federation.
Mistakes in themselves are unavoidable.
Only if you bring together the experience of the concrete struggles conducted by the real masses in the three sectors of the world (which are also called the three sectors of world revolution), then you have an overall, correct view of world reality.
Revolution is not a goal in itself.
For us, Marxism is always open because there are always new xperiences, there are always new facts, including facts about the past, which have to be incorporated in the corpus of scientific socialism.
We do not believe that the Marxist program, which embodies the continuity of the experience of the actual class struggle and real revolutions of the last one hundred and fifty years, is a definitely closed book.
Furthermore, there is absolutely no contradiction between the separate organizations of revolutionary vanguard militants and their participation in the mass organizations of the working class.
You cannot make a socialist revolution without really trying.
And you cannot have a socialist revolution commandeered from the top, ordered around by some omniscient leader or group of leaders.
For Marx, 'pure' economic theory, that is economic theory which abstracts from a specific social structure, is impossible.
There has been hardly a single year since 1917, and in a certain sense since 1905, without a revolution somewhere in the world in which the workers participated in a rather important way.
Only under conditions of revolutionary crises do you have the highest level of self-organization; this is the Soviet type of organization, which is to say, workers' councils, people's councils, call them what you want, popular committees.