Jj Plant jplant at cix.compulink.co.uk
Wed May 22 23:42:00 MDT 1996

In-Reply-To: <960520201641_539302994 at emout16.mail.aol.com>
>lets do like jena sez & talk abt vangardism or
what i call

OK. Its an important area to discuss. ( My style
of writing is not very much like yours however.)

I'm not 100% in agreement with the idea
'vanguardism=leaderism'. There's nothing really
wrong with the existence of a vanguard - a
section of a class or movement that is more
'advanced' (as the jargon rather condescendingly
has it) than the mass. For all sorts of good
reasons people will be at different stages in
developing their politics and activity.
Vanguardism probably refers to the habit or
practice of concentrating excessively on the
vanguard and neglecting the rest of the movement.
This will usually be wrong both tactically and
strategically, but in some circumstances it may
be right to concentrate on working in and with
the vanguard, if you are a small group without
much of a platform for your ideas and in
situations where you have not had much chance to
test them out.

> leaderism is a macho idea that were all a bunch
of dogs that have
to be led around on a leash by some geezer who
thinx hes hot stuff like lenin
or something. leaderism comes from the idea that
daddy knows best. its really
a form of daddyism, which is why theres been so
few women leaders.

My friend and comrade Cyril Smith, in a footnote
in his recent book 'Marx at the Millenium' puts a
similar view like this :

        "I cannot resist the urge to report here
the Three Principles of Democratic Centralism, as
formulated by my friend Don Cuckson : 1 Father
knows best ; 2 Not in front of the children ; 3
Keep it in the family'

Recent political experience has not presented a
preferable picture of female leaders compared to
male. Thatcher, Meir, Bandaranaike, Ghandi etc.
It would seem to be more a question of what's in
your head than what's between your legs.

>lenin himself was sorta like musolini, a
leftwing muscle flexer who built the
red bureaocracy in russia & paved the way for
stalins red fascism.

At this stage I would just like to write that I
strongly disagree with your description of Lenin
and the relationship between Lenin and Stalin.
Its a topic that has generated a large amount of
literature, most of which is designed to assert
that the workers' revolution should not even be
attempted because it will inevitably end in the
horrors of stalinism. I don't want to get into a
long response at this stage because I am not
clear enough about your view of Lenin.

"Red fascism" is an interesting idea. My view of
fascism is to a large extent based on Trotsky's.
Which means that I see fascism as a way by which
the ruling bourgeoisie needs to organise to
defeat the workers. I don't use 'fascism' simply
as a term of abuse or accusation, but as far as
possible as a scientific description. There were
some Russian revolutionaries, especially the
'Decists' who developed the theory that under
Stalin the SU had become a fascist state, but
their views are not widely known even today in
the West. Trotsky, while opposing all the
criminal activities of Stalin, denied that the
bourgeoisie had regained control of Russia. This
did not of course make the ruling bureaucracy any
better, it only described it more accurately.
Would you like to say something more about your
idea of 'red fascism' so that we can discuss it
further ?

>stalin was the great father. think abt it.

Quite right. Stalinist propaganda material often
deals with 'the father of the nation' and similar
concepts. Under Stalin the family was
energetically reinstated as a means of social
discipline. All the social and sexual freedoms
that had been fought for and achieved by the
Bolsheviks were overthrown.

>yeltsin got trained by leninists. & thats the

By the time of Yeltsin's political training
almost everybody who had any experience of
Bolshevik politics in Lenin's time had been
purged, and many of them had been killed.

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