Stalin, Mao, idealism and voluntarism

g.maclennan at g.maclennan at
Wed Oct 11 07:13:48 MDT 1995

On Tue, 10 Oct 1995, Maoist Internationalist Movement wrote:

> Proyect laughs at Stalin and Hoxha as a means of breaking with the past,

I think our Maoists friends have missed the entire point of Louis' posts
on Stalin.  I have read them carefully and there is no hint of humour
just honest recongition of a monster at work.   Pat for MIm keep harping
on the achievements of Stalin.  I have previously written that Stalin was
the gradedigger of the revolution.

Pat ignored this.  I don't mind if the Maoist posts are confined to
econmic and debates about class.  But when they try and raise the banner
of Uncle Joe then I object strongly.  Louis called them knuckleheads.
Ralph wants them purged. Chris seems to think they add flavour or variety
or something. I have tended to side with Chris but their continued
defence of Stalin makes me feel unclean and I do not exaggerate.

For me  they rerpresent the absolute degradation of a noble political
project - the Marxist programme.  To worship Stalin now in the 90s is
truly repeating history as farce.  To tout Stalin's murderous bungles as
"achievements" is insufferable.

With regard to Mao I am inclined to accept Deutscher's verdict that he
was both the Lenin and the Stalin of the Chinese Revolution.

But as for Stalin the results of his slaughter of a whole generation of
revolutionaries, including many who came from abroad, are now too well

The mistake of orthodox Trotskyists like Trotsky (!) and Deutscher was to
underestimate the politcical implications of Stalinism and to put too much
faith in the abolition of private property.  The killing of the
revolutionaries of yester year paved the way for the Yeltsins of today.
The degeneration of the Bolshevik party was Stalin's lasting legacy to
Russia and the shit he poured over Marxist ideas and ideals is his lasting
legacy to the international movement.

We are or we should be desperately trying to salvage the reputation of
Marxism as an emancipatory discourse and project.  Pat for MIM is doing his best to
destroy that.

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