If you are having trouble with the NLR website, please provide details here, and we will try to improve the site accordingly.
John Saul Replies
I don’t think I have misrepresented Alex Callinicos’s position. I do know that he has misrepresented mine. He says that one of my two criteria of a ‘structural reform’ (as distinct from a measure of ‘mere reformism’) is that it ‘form[s] part of an irreversible process of change’, and proceeds to twit me with the reminder that no progressive measures are irreversible, not even the provisions of the National Health Service. Yet the fact is that I did not advance the rather simple-minded position Callinicos chooses to criticize. What I did state (as the first attribute of ‘structural reform’) was that ‘any reform, to be structural, must not be comfortably self-contained (a mere “improvement”), but must, instead, be allowed self-consciously to implicate other “necessary” reforms that flow from it as part of an emerging project of structural transformation.’ In other words (and in contrast to Bernstein’s ‘the process is everything for me, and. . .the final aim of socialism is nothing’), the popular movement-cum-party attempting a programme of structural reform must constantly articulate both to itself and to its broadest potential constituency the goal of structural transformation/socialism. It is this alone that can situate and make revolutionary sense of short-term struggles and achievements and forestall a situation in which these latter take on no more than the vulnerable half-life of free-standing, one-off ameliorations of some particularly raw attribute of otherwise ascendant capitalism. 
Subscribe for just £35 and get free access to the archive
Please login on the left to read more or buy the article for £3