“A conception of revolutionary theory which holds that the soul of Marxism resides in the ‘idea’ that capitalism will stagnate or collapse must, in effect, separate theory completely from practice. Theory becomes a passive commentary on the workings of the capitalist ‘economic machine’; it is an endless and impotent repetition of the assurance that the demise of capitalism is inevitable and the next capitalist crisis is ‘just round the corner’. Practice is the activity which is fatalistically motivated by these ideas. There is a Chinese Wall between the theory and the corresponding practice. What is missing in this conception of revolutionary theory is the notion that the truth or non-truth of certain propositions about the future of capitalism can only be proved in practice. As Marx put it in the second thesis on Feuerbach: “The question whether human thinking can pretend to objective truth is not a theoretical but a ‘practical’ question. Man must prove the truth, i.e. the reality and power, the “this-sidedness” of his thinking in practice” (1). In addition, the erroneous conception of revolutionary theory does not recognise that any theory or prediction must be, in fact, a programme of action towards a goal or end in reality. The recognition of this fact cannot be a passive footnote to the theory or prediction. ‘It must be reflected in the nature, development and structure of the theory itself’. In Marxism, therefore, a theory of crisis cannot be conceived in a purely ‘a priori’ and rationalistic manner. It cannot purely be a set of ideas which provide a simply rational basis for being a revolutionary socialist. It must be an investigation into concrete and conjunctural socioeconomic convulsions, from the point of view of practical activity to change reality. It is not enough to say that theory must be a guide to action – it must be a guide to action which is actually informed by concrete reality and has within itself the possibility of adaptation in the light of the accomplished action” [Geoff Hodgson, Trotsky and Fatalistic Marxism, 1975] [(1) “The question whether objective truth can be attributed to human thinking is not a question of theory but is a practical question. Man must prove the truth – i.e. the reality and power, the this-sidedness of his thinking in practice. The dispute over the reality or non-reality of thinking that is isolated from practice is a purely scholastic question” (ndr; f. ‘These on Feuerbach’, Marxist.org]