Richard.Bos at hagcott.meganet.co.uk
Mon Aug 12 15:12:46 MDT 1996
Louis R Godena wrote:
> Hashing over the CPUSA and Clinton the past few days, I was again led to
> wonder why Marxist parties in the English speaking countries lay in such a
> disreputable state?
> Surely part of the answer lies with the practice of relying too much on
> full-time party cadre for not only day to day operations, but for much of
> the policy making, as well. The full-timers are frequently people
> unleavend by outside day to day experience in the real world (many of them,
> in my experience, have never held full-time jobs, have an unsatisfactory
> work history, numerous inter-personal difficulties, etc.). This
> naturally makes them prone to a certain political myopia that is aggravated
> all the more by the daily exposure to their own dreadful propaganda, which
> in many instances has only a tenuous connection to reality. Add to this
> five or ten dreary, poverty-stricken years in a morose, politically
> oppressive environment and you have a fairly sound recipe for the normal
> isolated ennui of most leftist groupings. How can people so equipped
> proceed to organize a revolutionary movement, especially in a country as
> complex and hetrogeneous as the United States?
> Of course, this situation exists because of the stagnant isolation of the
> American left, its failure to integrate itself into the running stream of
> American life. The drafting of unsuitable or incompetent personalities
> to accomplish fundamental tasks because there is simply no one else is the
> bane of our existence. This is one reason why I argue so passionately
> for a communist politics that is part and parcel of the mainstream of
> American political life.
> Any comments?
I understand what you mean, but it doesn't say much for the ideological
strength of that party's members. You get a leadership that reflects the
health of the party, so you can't put all the blame on the leaders. Our
movement has been under heavy attack during the prolonged cold war, which
still has not ended (even though the mass media tells us otherwise).
We are all influenced by the society that we live in. That can express
itself in many ways. The replacement boom after WW2 led people to believe
that the Capitalist system worked. This allowed the strengthening of
Social-Democratic ideas at the expense of Marxist ones. That (coupled
with the barrage of propaganda that we have all been brought up on)
allowed some of those ideas to filter into Communist parties. In Europe
it went so far that many parties decided to dissolve themselves. A few
government agents could not have done that alone, even though they played
a part. That has left a vacumn on the left of politics, with a plethera
of organisations claiming to be the vanguard of the working-class.
Some of the organisations which are emerging are very unhealthy, and they
will dissappear as so many have done before. Others give me great hope of
something better. Many on the Left are really trying to learn all the
lessons from the past. Sure they will make mistakes, but I think that
there is at least the possibility a strong Marxist-Leninist party
emerging from the mess we are in now. I am not claiming that it will be
my party, by the way. The NCPB is a party that I feel good in. It is not
perfect, but it is trying.
I do not know enough about the situation in the US and it would be
presumptious of me to comment on whether the American left in stagnant
and isolated. The Left in Britain is certainly isolated, but not
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