The Legacy of Lenin?
adam at pmel.com
Wed Nov 29 09:08:16 MST 1995
> Lenin had a totally different concept of a vanguard, but his
> idea was nothing new. It merely represented mainstream
> thinking in Russian and European Social Democracy.
> George Plekhanov, eighteen years before the publication of
> "What is to be Done?" stated that "the socialist
> intelligentsia...must become the leader of the working class
> in the impending emancipation movement, explain to it its
> political and economic interests and also the
> interdependence of those interests and must prepare them to
> play an independent role in the social life of Russia." In
> 1898, Pavel Axelrod wrote that "the proletariat, according
> to the consciousness of the Social Democrats, does not
> possess a ready-made, historically elaborated social ideal,"
> and "it goes without saying that these conditions, without
> the energetic participation of the Social Democrats, may
> cause our proletariat to remain in its condition as a listless
> and somnolent force in respect of its political development."
> The Austrian Hainfeld program of the Social Democrats
> said that "Socialist consciousness is something that is
> brought into the proletarian class struggle from the outside,
> not something that organically develops out of the class
> struggle." Kautsky, the world's leading Marxist during this
> period, stated that "socialism and the class struggle arise
> side by side and not one out of the other; each arises under
> different conditions. Modern socialist consciousness can
> arise only on the basis of profound scientific knowledge."
> I think that Tom Condit and Scott Marshall's absolutely brilliant replies to
> Professor Rosser (he is a professor, it turns out) raise the question of
> whether a cyberseminar on the "Legacy of Lenin" is in order. After all,
> the conference the Brecht Forum held recently was a great success. These
> are the topics that could be discussed:
> 1) The organizational question: Did Lenin innovate anything at all?
> 2) Imperialism: Chris Bailey once asserted on the list that Lenin's ideas
> on imperialism have misoriented the left in the 20th century by putting
> forth the notion that capitalism was in a state of advanced decay. This
> leads to triumphalism. What is the reality?
> 3) Dictatorship of the proletariat: Are the ideas Marx's or Lenin's? Do
> they lead to Stalinist oppression or do they open up the possibility
> of democracy in the sense articulated by Aristotle: rule by the poor.
> 4) Nationalism: What were Lenin's exact views? Do they lend support or
> mitigate against black nationalism in the United States, the IRA, etc.
> 5) Soviet socialism: Lenin died shortly after the Soviet state was born.
> What economic policies would he have supported had he lived: Bukharin's
> pro-peasant NEP, Trotsky's industrialization model, Stalin's forced march?
> What do you think?
It's too much for one seminar :
Party + Class
State + Revolution
in one go !
You must be joking.
Either pick one subject or one period of Lenin's life or even just one
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