Applied Dialectics -- Reform # Revolution: Radical Dualism or Dialectic?
[wherein "Reform # Revolution" is meant to be read-off as "Reform [dialectically] contradicts Revolution"].
In discussing the "options" of "reform" versus of "revolution", e.g., in the context of the current global failure-crisis of the capitalist system, one often hears opinions of a kind of which the following is an instance --
"A revolution, by definition, cannot merely "reform" the global capitalist system, because a revolution, by definition, seeks to "overcome" that system altogether.
The phrase "revolutionary reforms" is an erroneous formulation, because "revolution" and "reform" are mutually exclusive."
There is another, dialectical view of this issue of "revolution" "versus" "reform".
This dialectical view sees a deeper continuity, as well as a dis-continuity, as characterizing the transition from a predecessor human-social self-formation to its successor human-social self-formation [e.g., the continuity in the growth of the human-social forces of production].
This dialectical view sees revolution as simply the name for the deepest degree of "re-form" of a given "human-social self-form-ation"; its "self-re-form-ation", or "radical self-re-organization".
It therefore sees a path, from where we are today -- a condition of not even any reform, but of the repeal or roll-back of almost all previous, e.g., Social-Democratic and "New Deal", reforms -- to real reforms, with immediate benefits "positive feedback", but reforms that immanently drive-on, to a "point of no return" where, even to secure the gains of the past, the popular, radical, and largely nonviolent [although the primary beneficiaries of the old system can be expected to attempt the most vicious and gruesome mass violence -- for recent models, see Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Syria, etc., ad nauseam, unless, or until, the will to violence of those primary beneficiaries is overwhelmed by the massive demonstration of popular will, as in the circa 1989 overthrow of Russian Stalinist proto-state-capitalism] -- the necessity for the radical self-re-organization of the capitalist system, in the direction of a full, comprehensive political-economic democracy becomes evident to the vast majority of humanity.
This dialectical view sees the "Reform # Revolution" relation, not as a radical dualism, but as a dialectic.
For an instance of such a dialectical view, please see the essay entitled "Reform versus Revolution", by the Equitists, via the following link(s):