democratic centralism

Howie Chodos howie at magi.com
Tue Jul 4 10:28:25 MDT 1995


It seems to me that proponents of creatively updating democratic centralism
(DC) for contemporary purposes need to answer two relatively concrete
questions. First, does DC imply the subordination of the individual to the
party (alongside the subordination of the lower bodies to the higher ones)?
Second are we striving to create a single revolutionary party in every
country (with the implication that there is one single revolutionary line,
one single revolutionary plan of action and so on)?

For my part, as long as DC is identified with these two propositions, that
is, the subordination of the individual to the party as a principled matter
of organizational discipline and the quest for the single unified
revolutionary line espoused by the single representative of the
revolutionary working class, I will continue to look for alternatives. It
seems to me that the conjunction of these two propositions, both of which
are, as far as I can tell, firmly embedded in the DC tradition, is a recipe
for authoritarianism.

Howie Chodos



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