Stalin and the Comintern

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Mon Sep 11 09:18:01 MDT 1995


On Mon, 11 Sep 1995, Scott Marshall wrote:
>
> My point is that a one dimensional vulgarization of history is harmful to
> any real understanding of the real lessons and mistakes. There is more than
> ample reason to reject Stalin and Stalinism - but none that I can see to
> jump into the arms of folks like Lovestone, Wolfe or Draper. There were real
> political issues involved, the struggle took place on a real battle ground
> in the class struggle that had many more, and many more important, dimension
> to it than just the Stalin telling parties what to do dimension.
>
Louis:
I think at the grass-roots level the CP has been an exemplary
organization since its inception. I do not consider myself an opponent of
the CP. I am a member of the CofC which recently split from the CPUSA but
still retains a lot of the core CP political beliefs. I am a comrade of
Charlene Mitchell, who was the CP presidential candidate some years back.
I am also a comrade of Barry Cohen, who used to be the editor of the Daily
World.

I think growth of the CP is good for the left. All CP's in the world
today are basically on their own and can go through some startling
evolutions, such as the South African CP or the East German CP have gone
through. If I were in either of these 2 countries, I would be an enthusiastic
member of either party.

My basic point of disagreement with Scott is that I don't think the CPUSA
is the nucleus of the vanguard of the American revolution. This type of
notion has led to sectarianism and dogmatism on the left, and I have been
battling it for 14 years now. The articles I am posting are simply an
elucidation of ideas that I've had for a long time. When I'm finished, I
probably will package them into a long article and try to get it published.

I am deeply indebted to the sharp and thoughtful criticisms of people
like Scott, Yuri and Marcus. Basically, I think that the four of us are
operating within the framework of Marxism and should see each other as
comrades. The type of Bolshevism we need is the kind Lenin endorsed:
democratic centralism in action, and a party newspaper that allowed
different tendencies within Russian Marxism to contend with each other.


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