Stalin and the Comintern

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Mon Sep 11 06:32:39 MDT 1995


On Sun, 10 Sep 1995 glevy at acnet.pratt.edu wrote:

> Louis:
>
> To what extent were the "21 point" conditions adopted by the Communist
> International under the leadership of Zinoviev and Lenin influential in
> changing the understanding of the CPs relationship to other tendencies on
> the Left?

I can't answer this question intelligently until you describe what the
words "changing the understanding of the CPs relationship to other
tendencies on the Left" means.

>
> Related to the above, to what extent did Lenin's understanding of the
> defeat of the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919 (and the Bavarian Soviet
> Republic of 1918) influence his change in policy regarding the nature of
> organizations affiliated with the Third International?
>

What was the "change in policy" you are referring to? I might add at this
point that Lenin was always changing his positions in light of changing
objective circumstances. He started out promoting the NEP, but would
have, I'm sure, agreed with Trotsky's criticisms of it had he lived.
Before the Russian Revolution, he polemicized against Trotsky's theory of
the permanent revolution but in the course of events in 1917 came to
support it implicitly.

But I'm less interested in what Lenin believed than in what we as Marxists
believe today. We are facing the same kinds of challenges that Russian
social democracy faced in 1900 and we have to learn to start thinking for
ourselves.

Louis


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