New societies in womb of old

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Thu May 23 18:36:53 MDT 1996


On Fri, 24 May 1996, Hugh Rodwell wrote:

"(Louis) believes that the 'great political leap forward' is actually
being *prevented from happening* by what organizations he usually
considers less significant than gnat droppings."

Louis: I stand corrected. Small sect-like formations such as the numerous
Trotskyist currents whose members haunt this list are not an obstacle
to a great leap forward of political awareness. The American political
culture and the relative prosperity still enjoyed by large sections of the
working-class is the main problem. But I stand on the main point: great
opportunities were squandered in the sixties and seventies because
thousands of student activists joined "Marxist-Leninist" groups that were
a dead-end. In the name of Lenin, they forestalled the possibility of
creating an authentic Leninist party. If Lenin were alive today, he would
join no party whose members were recklessly throwing around empty
bombastic phrases like "Leninist-Bolshevist analysis", "organizing the
vanguard of the world proletariat", etc.

Use of phrases like this are a symptom of a genuine illness that afflicts
large portions of the international left. It represents a kind of
romanticism that petty-bourgeois youth are subject to. The excesses of
youth are not really represented by the activities we engaged in to change
the world, but the far-fetched and self-deluding manner in which we viewed
our mission. If we had not seen the USA in 1973 as Russia 1917, we would
be much stronger today.



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