Their morals and ours
uburoi at panix.com
Wed Jun 7 11:59:20 MDT 1995
Jerry Levy should lighten up a bit about the icepick jokes. It's not only
Stalinists who make such jokes; anarchists have their own reasons for
rubbing salt into the wounded egos of icepick-heads.
Which brings us to Kronshstadt, 1921. Is the dichotomy outlined by
Trotsky between "bourgeois morality" and "proletarian morality" as
clearcut as he makes it sound? How ruthless does the revolution have to
be to prevail? Lenin argued that the Paris Communards went down in part
because they weren't ruthless enough with their enemies (e.g., they could
have seized the Bank of France, they could have marched on Versailles to
smash Thiers's army, etc.). The Bolsheviks, um, didn't make that mistake.
They wanted to make sure the working class prevailed even if they had to
shoot the workers for their own good.
It doesn't occur to you that Trotsky indulged in a bit of
prevarication in his justification for the suppression of striking workers
in Petrograd and the slaughter of the Kronstadt rebels? Do you seriously
believe they were led by White Guard officers in the service of the
Triple Entente? Look who was talking! It was Trotsky who put former
czarist generals in positions of command in the Red Army.
The more sophisticated Trotskyist argument about Kronstadt was
that it was a "tragic necessity." I don't buy it. All the arguments along
that line can be thrown right back in their faces (i.e., the persecution
of Trots and other dissident Communists by Stalin was "historically
necessary" because they were "objective allies of fascism")--get the
picture? This kind of moral flip-flopping bothered even stalwart
Communist intellectuals such as Bertolt Brecht in his play *The Measures
A hearty "fuck you" to Red Jesuits,
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