Brest Litovsk & Socialism in UnoCountry

Marcus Strom MSTROM at nswtf.org.au
Fri Feb 16 14:55:06 MST 1996


All and sundry

The following debate is very interesting. The whole Brest Litovsk 
thing is one of the major debates that showed the strength of 
Bolshevik organisation.

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].

This debate shows the strength of factions in a revolutionary party. 
When the debate started, Lenin's faction for peace with Germany was a 
*minority* initially. The Zinoviev faction for pursuing revolutionary 
war against Germany was in the majority on this issue. Trotsky's mob 
sat on the fence; 'neither peace nor war'. It was the full blooded 
*factional* debate within the party which won Trotsky and his faction 
over to the position of negotiated peace (This is entirely different 
to a position of socialism in one country).

For his 'sins', the CC gave Trotsky the job of negotiating the peace.

For those troglodytes who oppose factions because they are 
'disruptive', you are just plain wrong. For anyone who knows anyting 
about politics, factions develop whether they are legal or not. Look 
at the CofC faction in your own party (CPUSA). Factions actually 
strengthen unity of a party, they allow differences the full light of 
day so they can be debated out fully, throughout the whole party and 
in front of the class. The stop factions being built around 
personalities and concentrate on the politics. At the same time, it 
would be wonderful if there were no factions, this would mean general 
agreement on the strategic and programmatic line of the organisation. 
However, these periods will be short lived. Any truly mass 
revolutionary party of the working class will throw up all manner of 
angles.

Unity of the party through full factional rights! It is *unity in 
action* that counts, not being able to repeat absentmindedly the 
latest dictat of the central committee. [Trotskyists are not free of 
this sin by any means]. As it has been said: democratic centralism is 
the best form of organisation; centrally organised so that the class 
can 'strike as a fist' and democratic so that it strikes in the 
correct directions.

If you condemn the workers most lethal weapon, it's party, to 
homogeneity, you kill it.


> You(Scott) wrote: 
> >
> >Uncle Lou (P),
> >>
> >1) Doesn't this debate really go back to Lenin's position on the Brest
> >treaty where he took on Trotsky and others on making the peace and 
> saving
> >the fledgling socialism in Russia. And didn't he roundly reject 
> trotsky's
> >position of continuing to press Germany in the name of permanent 
> revolution
> >and the 'expected' uprising of the German workers?
> >
>     Carlos:
>     What is your source on this,Scott?  Trotsky never proposed to
>     "continuing to press Germany".  Rather he supported the possition
>     of "Neither peace nor war".  Lenin disagreed.  Then Lenin nominated
>     Trotsky for the Brest's negotiations and the rest is history. I
>     believe Lenin was right on this one, but is completely unrelated
>     with the "Theory of Socialism in one Country" which is a complete
>     responsability of Stalin. Lenin had the *opposite* position to
>     that of Stalin.  Did you read the book on resolutions and minutes
>     of the Third Four Congresess of the Third InternationaL?
> 
>     Scott:
> 
> >2) What should Russia's position have been? Or more to the point what 
> is the
> >opposite of 'socialism in one country' when that's all you have so 
> far?
> >Should those in the one country simply hand it back over to the 
> capitalists
> >and in effect say, 'sorry, the world proletariat isn't ready yet so 
> we'll
> >give it up until a better time?'
> 
>     Scott:
>     You first recognize you never read Trotsky and then try to          
>     caricaturize Trotsky's position on Stalin's theory of "Socialism
>     in one country".  Not to make to obstruse for you I will            
>     encapsulate the concept for you:
> 
>     "Socialism in one country is a reactionary, isolationist policy
>     of the Soviet bureaucracy that basically sustain that a socialist
>     system can emerge in a capitalist-dominated world.  The             
>     dictatorship of the proletariat is only, and I stress *only*
>     a transitional form of regime in a trasitional society towards
>     socialism.  Socialism is not possible until a significant number
>     of advanced countries achieve a revolutionary process through which
>     capitalism is overthrown.  This *have nothing to do* with a         
>     so-called critcism of the Stalinists that we, revolutionary         
>     marxists, are not for the defense of revolutions or transitional
>     regimes in their confrontation with imperialism and capitalism.
>     It has to do with the reactionary illussion of bureaucrats that,
>     having failed and miserably retreating from internationalism and
>     international revolution, now asserts that that doesn't             
>     matter,since socialism and communism can be built and lived in
>     in complete isolation from world reality.
>     On the other hand, Socialism in one country specify that            
>     international revolution have to be supeditated to the interests
>     of the Soviet Union -- rather, of its bureaucracy and not the
>     other way around as Lenin has established"
> 
>     Scott:
> 
>  I'm not trying to be funny, I really don't
> >see the point. It seems to me that it is highly unlikely that 
> revolution
> >will simultaneously happen in every, or even most, countries at one 
> time.
> >
>     Carlos:
> 
>     There you go again, Scott.  You are just confusing revolution
>     with socialism.  While the first is necessary for the second,
>     the second needs the first to be international to become.
> 
>     Moreover, Scott:
>     Neither Trotsky, nor any trotskyist to my knowledge has ever
>     wrote or defended the idea that "revolution will simultaneously
>     happen in every, or even ,most, countries at one time".
> 
>     Got it?.  BTW, you're being funny.
> 
>     Recommendation: Read Trotsky.  Your complaint that is               
>     complicated... sounds like Charlotte.  Is that your only
>     excuse?.  Read this: "Trotsky, with his writting talents has made
>     history and theory accesible to young readers and workers.  There
>     are very few revolutionaries who write with such clarity".  Want
>     to guess who wrote that one, Scott?
> 
>     Carlos
> 
> 
> 
> >That'll do for starters.
> >
> >Scott
> >
> >
> >
> >     --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---
> >
> 
> 
> 
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> 


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