Brest Litovsk & Socialism in UnoCountry

Scott Marshall scott at
Fri Feb 16 10:53:56 MST 1996

>I'm sure that our erstwhile 'official communists' in the CPUSA will
>be shocked to know that actual *factions* formed in the Bolshevik
>party on this very issue - and they were not 'illegal' factions, but
>were encouraged to emerge by the collective leadership of the
>Bolsheviks [which included reps from the three factions on this
>issue: Zinoviev, Lenin and Trotsky].


Please Marcus, I don't underestimate you, don't underestimate me. I have
read the literature and did understand what I read. As you know this was not
the first time there were factions by far. Several of the factions even had
their own newspapers including Trotsky who edited several if I recall
correctly. Because the party was forced to accept 'legal' factions at
different historical points of its development, does not mean to me that we
should do likewize. And to elevate factionalism to a prinicple of democracy
is rather silly to me. The culture I've seen from afar of building splits
and divisions as a matter of principle strikes me as not particularly
democratic. People forced to take sides and join groups etc desn't seem to
me the best way of collectively arriving at conclusions - a kind of winner
takes all form of political debate. This kind of culture also strikes me as
being very inner oriented - some of the deep position papers I've read from
'factions' have all the reality of a TV soap opera. Heavy, dense,
subjective, and lifeless. We had such a manifesto here on the list a few
months back. Sad.

Of course there will be splits and divisions and defections over the course
of time, we are engaged in the class struggle. But to codify and seek
differences and useless abstract debate seems to me to be some kind of
political dilltantism.

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