Stalin, Mao, idealism and voluntarism

Jim Jaszewski jjazz at
Thu Oct 12 17:11:20 MDT 1995

On Thu, 12 Oct 1995, Maoist Internationalist Movement wrote:

> > 	Christ.  Any TWO Bolsheviks were better than Stalin hisself.  And
> > probably most any ONE...  One doesn't need to study theory to figger THAT
> > one out `Pat'...
> Pat for MIM replies: This is whishful thinking Jim and again
> not very concrete. I will take Kirov as your "one." He had
> no major programmatic differences with Stalin  till the day he died.
> I'll take Molotov, one of Lenin's pall-bearers, and believed
> in Stalin even after Stalin arrested him.

	How could any of us take _this_ worm seriously?

> Those "two" would have chosen Stalin as leader, but presuming that
> by divine intervention they hadn't been allowed to select Stalin
> as leader, it wouldn't have mattered politically.
> If you give me Kirov and Bukharin, I'd still have nothing to
> complain about till 1929. Even by the early 1930s, Bukharin admitted
> he was wrong about the pace of development possible, and credited
> Stalin.
> So no, I'm not going to allow anyone to take the easy way out with
> bluster for "anyone-but-Stalin." It's just another lazy kind of idealism.

	What's so lazy about this:

	"The first and most important recommendation, which Lenin announced
on December 23, was that the number of members of the Central Committee
should be increased to one hundred.  In this way, Lenin hoped to attenuate
conflict between rival leaders, revive the rather tarnished prestige of
the Central Committee, and entrust it with a new task: that of
reconstructing the whole state apparatus on a new basis.

	"Lenin does not explain why the prestige of the Central Committee
needed to be revived; but it is easy to see how, when faced with the
twenty other members of this body, the seven members of the Politburo
enjoyed excessive influence."

    -- Moshe Lewin, _Lenin's Last Struggle_, ppg. 118-119
					MR Press ISBN 0-85345-473-6

	My point being, Pat, that we're not even discussing the same thing

	You fixate on the frozen past and only consider those few souls
Stalin gathered around himself, and those who paid the price for _not_
doing so -- your POV is focusing on the individuals of your cherished
beastiary/pantheon, because they're all that've ever crossed your
conscious scrutiny -- all else has been beyond your imagining (up till
joining this List, that is... :)

	I merely point out here that the CC, and indeed the ENTIRE
structure of the USSR never had to be the way it came out -- it could have
ended-up ANY way.  There could've been ANY people in the Politburo and CC.
Your making a fetish of Stalin and placing him at the base of your rickety
construct is one of the main reasons that others here consider your
defence of the indefensible a joke.

	The argument that a strongman/king, by virtue of being able to
make timely and prompt decisions, is superior to a committee, may be a
stock argument for capitalist apologists, but it doesn't want to deal
with the ugly fact that MOST(half?) kings are incompetent at best --
paranoid and criminal at worst.  And there're few able to stop them...

	I merely point out that a committee, which may well create camels
in place of horses, does _in actual fact_ usually come to wider and wiser
decisions than any one talented individual could on their own on a
consistent basis...

	Comrade Joe was, in the final analysis, a rather mediocre genius
-- and had to KILL and kill OFTEN in order to maintain his fiefdom...

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