Pat, pat, pat on the shoulder, MIM...

Maoist Internationalist Movement mim3 at
Thu Oct 12 12:01:42 MDT 1995

On Thu, 12 Oct 1995 om at wrote:

> Pat4MIM wrote:
> >On Wed, 11 Oct 1995, Jim Jaszewski wrote:
> >>   _Think_ about it.  Name *ANY* sphere of Comrade Joe's
> >> `accomplishments' -- COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP would've been VASTLY
> >> superior -- obvious _especially_ given 20/20 retrospect..!!
> >Pat for MIM replies: I'm not going to get into the many obvious
> >specific achievements of Joe until you give me a name or names. I'm
> >not going to take responsibility for reality while you get
> >off defending an idea, so give up that strategy.
> Pat,
>  The focus on leaders as individuals is *yours* - as in *your* problem.
> *Do* think about it. When asking Jim to specify the individuals in his
> "collective leadership", you are assuming that every individual in it
> is crucial to its accomplishments. Is it not this dependence on the
> individual that a collective leadership, as a opposed to your dictatorship,
> does not have? The way I understand it, this is no coincidence. It is part
> of the whole idea. You don't even have to be a leftist to agree with it.
> Otto
> PS

Pat for MIM replies: OK, I'm getting ahead of the game.
Otto, the reason I couldn't take the above seriously as stated
is that obviously, historically, the collective leadership of 1923
DID choose Stalin to lead. Since I know my critic did not intend
to take responsibility for that fact, I tried to give them
encouragement to take up another route of argument. Perhaps my
critic really meant to say the party should have elected Trotsky
or Bukharin leader. Or maybe my critic doesn't believe in majority rule
and democratic-centralism. I only know
that my critic didn't want Stalin as leader, and so he  needs to
reformulate his position or admit that he was so snowed by bourgeois
propaganda that he forgot that the party leadership did choose Stalin
as a collective.

Today when people of anarchist, Trotskyist or other idealist-critical bent
talk about this, they condense the topic into a matter of Stalin's
individual dictatorship. If people go back and read what actually
happened, they will find that for each bitter decision  Stalin
made, he had majority CC and Politburo support. It was collective
leadership and really until 1934, there's not much case for
saying Stalin even tried to take a strong leadership role in place
of slow, collected decision-making. That's just another reason it's important
to get the critics to specify what they are talking about
instead of making me guess what they intended. Jerry recently
couldn't handle this challenge to status-quo oriented idealism and
abandoned the attempt.

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