A reply to Karl

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Tue Jun 11 15:42:58 MDT 1996

On Tue, 11 Jun 1996, Louis R Godena wrote:

> Stalinism, above all,  needs to be viewed within the recurrent themes of
> continuity between the development of Soviet Communism and aspects of
> Russian history, culture and religion.    To do otherwise, in my opinion,
> amounts to so much cant.

Louis Proyect: "Stalinism" is a word that I don't even like to use since,
like Karl's "opportunism" and Malecki's "Menshevism", it functions more as
an epithet rather than a precise political category. I shouldn't have even
used that word in the context of my bicker with Karl. I should have said
something like Moscow-oriented CP's instead of "Stalinism". With respect
to Moscow-oriented CP's, there's not much question that without a CP in
power in a USSR that no longer exists, it can not possibly enjoy the
preeminence in revolutionary circles it once had.

When I was in Zambia visiting ANC headquarters in 1989, it seemed like
every other person there had been on a scholarship to a university in the
USSR or Eastern Europe. Nowadays, the SACP has to fend for itself, like
just about every other CP. There's nothing wrong with this. It will give
these parties greater inner resilience and opens up the possibility that
they will be able to fuse with a broader revolutionary regroupment, such
as the kind that took place in El Salvador in the 1980s under the
leadership of Shafiq Handal.

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