Karl Carlile joseph at indigo.ie
Wed Jun 5 04:51:43 MDT 1996

To You:

>It is essential to understand is that the whole purpose of the convention
>at which this historic split took place was to form a party where none
>existed. It was Lenin and Plekhanov's intention to form a new social-
>democratic party on the model of the Western European parties. It was
>not, as our contemporary "Marxist-Leninists" believe, an initiative to
>innovate some new "democratic-centralist" type of party. Plekhanov
>was the father of Russian Marxism and Lenin considered himself a
>disciple of Plekhanov. In the articles leading up to the convention,
>Lenin continuously pointed to the example of Kautsky's party in
>Germany as something Russian socialists should emulate.

If Louis is correct then there would have been no significant basis for a
split between the Bolshevik and the Mensheviks since Martov and the
Mensheviks supported the establishment of a social-democratic party.

>As often occurs in the socialist movement, Lenin was confronted by
>roadblocks. The most important of these was "Economism". Economism was a
>current within Russian social democracy which tended to limit struggles
>to bread-and-butter issues at the individual factory level. It was
>suspicious of any efforts to make the struggle nation-wide and general,
>such as was the goal of more orthodox Marxists like Plekhanov and Lenin.

Economism, as Louis mistakenly believes, was not simply about "bread- and
-butter issues" The principal feature of economism was its attempt to put
Econimists, in effect, argued that marxism was a politics of OPPORTUNISM.
The struggle by Lenin against opportunism was both doctrinal and
political in character. It was a conflict concerning the character of
marxism. Significantly Louis misses this point which helps explain his
sustained and confused outpourings over the many months in which I have
been on the Marxism List.Incidentally Martov joined in with Lenin in the
battle against Economism. To simply identify economism with bread and
butter issues is to miss the entire point. This is just what the Socialist
Workers Party in Britain and Louis Proyect share in common. They
mistakenly view Lenin's conflict with the Economists as one concerning
the generalisation of the workers' struggle. Both Lenin and Economism
supported the generalisation of the struggle. The decisive difference is
that  Economism  was OPPORTUNIST and Lenin was revolutionary and thereby

>Lenin was a master of getting to the heart of underlying socio- economic
>dynamics. He explained that "Economism" was a reflection of the more
>primitive, handicrafts phase of Russian capitalism when shops were smaller
>and more isolated. He noticed the great concentration of large factories
>in major cosmopolitan centers and concluded that a more professional and
>more generalized approach was needed in line with the changed

So  according to Mr Proyect "Lenin was a master of getting to the heart
of underlying socio-economic dynamics" because he "noticed the great
concentration of large factories in major cosmopolitan centres and
concluded that a more professional and more generalized apporac h was
needed in line ith the changed circumstances. Bully for you Louis! The
very line that the Economists took was recognition of this very obvious
facts. The former was a fact that was staring ever one in the face. Even
"the Russian dogs in the street" knew this. If one is to take "our" Louis
seriously  the Economists must have been  "masters of getting to the
heart of underlying socio-economic dynamics"

The Economism of Louis explains why Louis urges all "marxists" to join
together and become one big happy family: "We're here because we're
right!" eh Louis!

                                        Yours etc.,
                                                          Karl Carlile

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