Ariel Sharon and Stalin

Tue Mar 21 14:53:05 MST 1995

I've been a voyeur for  about a week now, and have decided with some
trepidation (for I have experience with how time comsuming cyber discussions
can be) to jump.

Recently somebody (Iit's mystery to me how you folks figure out who wrote
what!) wrote the following:

 >The liberal criticism replaces party rule by
 >parliamentary rule, but this just replaces one
 >aristrocracy by another - a proletarian
 >aristocracy by a bourgeois one, and is the
 >fastest possible route to counter revolution.
 >Lenin understood this in his suspension of the
 >constituent assembly.

An argument (oddly in the style of Laclau & Mouffe) to the effect apperently os
some a priori necessecity between parlimentary rule and counter revolution.
the only connection offered is the hurried invocation of the wisdom of Lenin.
Surely such claims require careful historical and sociological evidence.  The
misunderstanding of Lenin's position is gross.  Lenin argued for the disbanding
of the  costituent assembly, after the Bolsheviks had previously promised to
honor the elections, becuase they didn't get a majority (Marcel Liebman's "Was
Lenin  A Stalinist?" is  good reference for this).  Whether or not that was the
right thing to do at the time hardly impugns parlimentary rule generally.

And the solution offered:

 >The question of how to avoid this in the future
 >is indeed open. I would advocate a combination of
 >a property qualification for the franchise - those
 >with property don't get it - along with random
 >selection of delegates to the soviets as to
 >a jury. The objective is to ensure that sovereign
 >bodies are dominated by representative members of
 >the propertyless classes rather than by the
 >propertied or by political machine men.

This has the peculiar anti-tyrranical virtues of combining a disregard for
universal sufferage with a disregard for political representation.  Not every
one gets a vote and those in the chamber don't represent any majority tendency.
This hardly appears to be remedy to me.

A modest (but better) step toward achieving the objective recognized above
would be publicly financed campaignsm   And presumably in a post-revolutionary
society there would already some constitutionally  prescribed limits on
property ownership.

Darrel Moellendorf
Philosophy Dept.
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Email: dmoellendor at
Phone: (909) 869-4754
fax: (909) 869-4434

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