21st Century socialist organization

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Wed Sep 13 06:52:18 MDT 1995


On Wed, 13 Sep 1995, Marcus Strom wrote:

>
> You say that :"There is as much political agreement on this list as
> there was in Russian  Social Democracy in 1902." Well, I'm not so
> sure of this. Not in one paper anyway. If you actually read Iskra

Louis: Well, you should make an effort to find out. That's what I did.
You should examine Vols. 4 and 5 of the Collected Lenin to see just what
the political framework for Russian social democracy was. You might also
try to get your hands on Noel Harding's "Lenin's Political Thought",
sadly out of print, which is the *only* scholarly work in existence that
deals with these exact questions. Much of what you talk about is a
projection into 1902 circumstances of the types of issues that you've
experienced as veteran of "Marxist-Leninist" formations today. You talk
about "discipline" incessantly. Can you tell me the number of expulsions
that took place--roughly--in the Bolshevik party from 1902 to 1917?
Everybody makes assumptions about the tough, disciplined Bolshevik party
that Lenin built. I would argue that it was a sprawling, contentious,
politically multifaceted organization--as it should have been--that
reflected the various contradictions within the Russian working-class.


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