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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