Lenin & Accounting-Reply to L. Proyect

Scott Solomon ss341 at columbia.edu
Wed Jul 12 07:54:20 MDT 1995

> On Tue, 11 Jul 1995, Rob Frantz wrote:
> > Lenin's denigration of the complexity of business methods and knowledge
> > and his assumption that valuation was the stuff "that any literate person
> > can do" is at the heart of why he and his followers never came close to
> > competing with Western capitalism economically and why it was doomed to
> > failure.
> Louis Proyect:
> I just can't figure out why libertarians bother with our irrelevant
> little Marxism list. If they were so confident in the robustness and
> permanence of capitalism, wouldn't they just leave us poor misguided
> souls alone?
Scott Solomon:

Louis, in all fairness I don't believe Rob is a libertarian.  He considers
himself a social-democrat.

I thought Rob was on to a legitimate point.  There certainly is a tendency
in Marxism to down play the impact an individual is able to make.  Here's
a crude example:   Drexel Burnham with Michael Milken was the most profitable
firm on Wall Street.  Without Milken, they went broke in two years.

The greatest accomplishment of the SWP was the 1934 Teamster Strike.  This
was thanks largely to the efforts of three or four individuals.  The SWP
was unable to parlay these gains into becomming THE mass, millitant
organization on the American Left.  The tendency is to blame "objective
conditions", but I believe it's more useful to understand the weakness
of leadership.  As the first line of the 'Transitional Program' asserts,
there is a crisis of proletarian leadership.

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