Foundations of Leninism

Chris Burford cburford at
Thu Oct 3 00:28:57 MDT 1996


Where do you get your position that the talks were given in April and May?
According to the notes, they were published in April and May. There is no
information about when they were given.

OK thanks for challenging me on that point of fact. I had read too
speedily. On rechecking, my 1945 edition of Problems of Leninism
says on the opening page of Foundations of Leninism

"Lectures delivered at the Sverdlov University in the beginning
of April 1924."

I don't think we are going to be able to take it much further.
Clearly your Woods and Grant quote does not give further details
for the February attribution. Perhaps they are quoting
a precursor lecture or text. I note that you think the changes
were as a result of a process of censorship. I think a number
of other explanations are quite understandable.

I have no idea about use of Foundations of Leninism within the
CPSA (SACP?). I think however we have established that it was a widely
available reference text that your enemies upheld as maintaining
continuity with Lenin, and you do not. It could therefore be
a useful line of demarcation in future from time to time.

I will not here cross swords more with you over all the other
specific points (no, Hugh, I do not think that imperialist
states can enter into a "trustworthy alliance" with a workers'
state!) except where they relate to Foundations of Leninism,
specifically the argument that

" The historical record on China, Germany, Spain, WWII,
Greece and Yugoslavia, China again, and so on, indicates more than
any book where Stalin departed from Marx and Lenin."

It is interesting that you and Robert emphasise this. Section VI
on the National Question, in the context of the conditions after
the October Revolution, might also be useful in drawing lines
of demarcation among those who claim the continuity of the Bolshevik

Have you read this section? There is a particularly
vivid passage about the Emir of Afghanistan, that Hugh, I am sure
you could confidently assert is not Leninist, even without reading it.

Take care,


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