Stalin, Mao, idealism and voluntarism

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Wed Oct 11 10:39:29 MDT 1995


On Wed, 11 Oct 1995, Jonathan D. Jaynes wrote:

> Comrades,
> 
> Are we really so blind or so ignorant that we cannot seperate the 
> "murderous bungles" from the achievements?  Why is it so difficult to 
> admit that both positive and negative can come from the hands of a 
> single man?

Louis:
The masses make history, not single men [sic]. Leaving everything else 
aside, how could anybody lend their support to people like Stalin and Mao 
who encouraged others to carry their likenesses about in parades while 
they were alive. Disgusting. 

I don't know what got other people into this socialism business, but I 
hate idolatry. I hate idolatry of Jack Barnes, Bob Avakian, Stalin, Mao, 
etc. Long before I picked up anything by Marx, I realized that the 
orthodoxy and obedience to holy script required by Judaism was not for 
me. Long before I ever picked up anything written by Marx, I had 
identified strongly with the bohemian tradition in American society. I 
admired rebels like Thoreau, Allen Ginsberg, etc. I don't want to have 
anything to do with a state where people exist in the same relation to 
the maximum leader as a dog does to his or her master. I don't want to be 
on a leash. I don't want anybody telling me that Italian opera or the Sex 
Pistols or Robert Mapplethorpe are "bourgeois" and "decadent". People who 
admire Stalin and Mao in this country are simply telling American society 
that they're "bad to the bone", it is form of "epater le bourgeoisie". "Oh 
yeah, you're for Jerry Brown, we'll I'm for Stalin. So there."

It's one thing to scandalize your parents or co-workers. It's another 
thing to come on a Marxism list and talk that shit up while old buzzards 
like me are around.


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