What should illuminate political practice – strategy, tactics, demands, and actions – is, first of all, life itself. And yet, in the minds of more than a few political practioners on the left, political practice springs, not from the dynamics, novelty, and new challenges that life inevitably presents, but from political texts that were never designed to capture the full complexity and dialectics of political life.

This is a problem. But not everyone sees it that way. As a result, we see the phenomenon of some people on the left scrambling around and performing tortuous textual somersaults to legitimize their practice in a moment that insists on broadly constructed strategic concepts and flexible tactical rules. Is it really necessary? Sometimes, a little common sense and political knowhow will get us to where we want to go.