Against the Rotten Block

Vladimir Bilenkin "achekhov at unity.ncsu.edu" at ncsu.edu
Sat Oct 5 23:29:57 MDT 1996


For the last month or so this list has become a place of a
concerted gang-style attempt at the political and personal
assasination of the small group of Trotsky's followers.

This gang - and this is the only proper name for this group -
did not stop at anything: dirty incinuations, slander, open
provocation, psychological blackmail and hooliganism.
The politically instructive lesson of this witch-hunt is that
the gang consists of seemingly most unlikely partners and
combines the methods of Stalinist "amalgamation" with the
entire arsenal of bourgeois yellow propaganda.  Some time ago,
when the intentional and concerted character of this assault
became obvious for me I identified its political essence as
a "rotten block." I did it then by most part intuitively,
without a clear understanding of its political logic.

I began writing this document in order to elucidate this logic
for myself when there came a temporary stop to this witch-hunt.
Adolfo made a constructive step by offering to translate for
the list some most valueable, IMO, intimations of the front-
line defenders of the Peruvian ruling class. I hoped,
perhaps very naively, that in the face of the indisputable
class enemy the slander might stop and the warring factions
may seek and find some common ground. So I decided to stop
writing this piece to avoid any further confrontation.

Unfortunately, my hopes did not come true. A new and
even more vicious attack against the group of orthodox Trotskyist had
soon followed.  Hugh Rodwell was slanderously accused in
anti-Semitism for saying that Trotsky was a Russian Jew, the
attack whose stupidity and hypocrisy was exact repetition of that
against Robert Malecki for his satirical metaphor "cockroach").
Even more wild accusations against both of them were
thrown by Adolfo.  The lumpen-stalinists began barking again.
Proyect has made his "organizational" conclusions against the
"proletarian vanguard" in the list, and raised his compaign of
slander and intimidation to an even shriller pitch than before.

Well, I was mistaken. No peace except the rotten one is possible
with this gang. It must be ruthlessly exposed again and again.
No prisoners taken. Let us see what it is made of.  In this, we are
not going to fall to the level of these gangsters. Our target
is their political personae only.

		THREE COMPONENTS

1. A Group of Lumpen-Stalinists

	Who are lumpen-stalinists? This is a political concept
that denotes those sections of rank-and-file stalinists from
mostly petty-bourgeois and semi-proletarian classes who have
found themselves in political wilderness in the wake of the
final dissolution of neo-stalinist state bureacracies, their
self-unmasking as capitalist restorationists, and the open
surrender of Western neo-stalinist party and
union bureaucracies to the liberal sections of big
bourgeoisie.  Isolated and atomised, lumpen-stalinists -
many of whom are just honest simpletons - are desperately
seeking for new shepherds.  In Russia, they have a significant
presence in the motley assortment of the right-opportunist
parties and movements, from the national-bourgeois "left"
CPRF (Zyuganov) to the "bolshevik" sect RPB (Nina Andreeva).

The US based lumpen-stalinists have no way to go, so to speak.
On this list, they are used as a part-time lapdogs by the
metropolitan
Left and the right opportunists from organized communist
movements in the South-East sector of Global Capitalism. They
are disposed of as soon as they have done their barking.
Unable of rising to any level of theoretical analysis,
the lumpen-stalinists of M1 perform exactly the same sort
of stalinist ritual as everywhere else. Like their Russian
counterparts,
they post the same assortment of a dozen quotes from Lenin's
polemic with Trotsky before 1917. What a dreadful lot! In Moscow,
they also come out for a walk on Sunday mornings around the bust
of Marx, across the Bolshoi theater. They hold small portraits
of the Great Linguist and the Great Friend of All Gymnasts too,
and they quietly talk about good all days. The word "kikes" seems
to occupy a specially honorable place in their not so expansive
vocabulary.

Alas, the US
lumpen-stalinists are deprived even of this innocent little
pleasure. Poor US lumpen-stalinists! But then they have M1.
True, they cannot walk around here with small portraits of
the Great Friend of All Fishermen and the Great Scientist of
All Sciences too.  Their sighs and sobs about good old days
do not reach us through this heartless medium, their tears too.
They remain unseen and unheard. Poor US lumpen-stalinists!
Only a dozen of quotes from the same Progress Publishing House
in Moscow. From the same book edited by "revisionists
Khrushchevites." Only a dozen, again and again.  Enough of this
poor lot.
Now to their masters!

A line from Alexander Pushkin came to my mind when
I observed their first bashful signs of mutual sympathy, first
fleeting exchanges of tender feelings:

	"I love you, but my love is strange"

Just recently they were smashing each other's skulls and
scalping the fallen in a ferocious fight for the turf in M1.
There were no rules then: thinly disguised racism, threats
to call cops, blackmail and provocation.  Everything went then!
And yet in some seemingly mysterious way they now shared the
same bed! It took weeks of work in the archive for me to realize
that this was actually a recurrent affair, that lovers came
together and broke apart time and again, before the conditions
of marriage were agreed upon and the conjugal bed made ready
for a rotten block in M1 between

	the Metropolitan Left and Right Opportunists

	against the revolutionary followers of
	
		Lenin and Trotsky


What is the Left? In the space of this document, it is
impossible to provide even a sketchy outline of this complex
and multifunctional socio-political formation . Even the Marxist
component of the US Left cannot be covered in any satisfactory
manner. For now, it is suffice to say that the Left is a
part of modern bourgeois order and is absolutely necessary for
its smooth functioning and reproduction.

Formed in the framework of the Welfare State variety of class
compromise, the Left has recently entered a profound crisis with the
beginning of the all-out war against the Welfare State that capital
unleashed with the collapse of the SU. The Left thrives on the
middle. The rapid erosion and downsizing of the Western middle class,
the growing polarization of western societies threaten not only the
traditional political hegemony of the Left over sizable portion of
their proletariat and petty-bourgeoisie, but its very political
existence.  Its new project to regain lost positions is called
the struggle against "neoliberalism" and "imperialism," i.e.
the worst crimes that global capitalist reaction, encouraged by
the capitulation of neo-Stalinists regimes in Eurasia, perpetrates
against the working classes of the metropolitan and neocolonial
sectors of its empire. The objective class meaning of this project
is to separate "neoliberalism" and "imperialism" from capitalism,
to fight the symptoms of the decease instead of its effctive cause.

In this new historical juncture in the process of world-wide
class struggle, the Lenin-Trotsky tradition remains the only
heritage of October which *potentially* is still capable of
rallying the revolutionary energies of the Western proletariat
and the intelligentsia. While neo-Stalinism/Maoism still
preserves its sway over the leadership and the political
imagination of the masses in the neo-colonial world, due to
its social-cultural backwardness reinforced by the regime
of imperialist oppression, - Stalinism in all its forms is
now finished in the eyes of the working classes of
metropolitan countries. It has committed a political suicide
through a series of betrayals of international proletariat,
first, by Stalin himself, then by his "revisionist" bureaucracy,
and finally, by his "grandchildren" who have completed Stalin's
counterrevolution, restored capitalism in Eurasia, and become
the vanguard of world reaction.

Hence, in the eyes of the metropolitan Left, the Lenin-Trotsky
tradition presents now the only real political challenge to its
attempts to regain the lost positions on the basis of its
historical mission of serving as a reformist alternative to
capitalism in words and saving it in deeds. In its all-out attack
against this revolutionary tradition, the Left
is willing to forget its past criticism of Stalinism (which
essentially tailed the line of the openly bourgeois ideologists)
and to enroll in its service the lumpen-stalinists at home
(the lapdogs) and even to make alliances with organized Stalinism
in the periphery of world capitalism. Let us consider what interest
the latter may have in making rotten blocks of this sort.

The third component includes the opportunistic current
within the communist movement of the Southern and Eastern
Sectors of Global Capitalism, represented in this list
by Mr. Oleachea.

What is the essence of this opportunism?  In the nutshell:
a rotten compromise with the metropolitan Left to obtain their
support, or, at least, a neutrality re revolutionary struggles in
the South-East sector in exchange for helping it to
obstruct proletarian struggles in the North and the North-East.
This is the objective political nature of
Mr. Oleachea's brand of opportunism, which represents an
almost mirror-like double of the Stalinist and Neo-Stalinist
opportunism in relation to the First and Third World proletarian
struggles in the 1920s-1980s.  From the Webbs and Stalin to
the little rotten block in M1 there runs the same thread -
that of right opportunism! For Mr. Oleachea's brand of right
opportunists, the working classes of the North-East are
just expendable currency for the ascendence  of the democratic
national-bourgeois movements in the South-East. Their politics
is a betrayalof proletarian internationalism - the foundation of our
program for emancipation!  This is what Mr. Oleachea smuggles
to our nothern climates under the disguise of "defending Stalin
against his bourgeois slanderers and their Trotskyist hirelings,"
and by joining the gang against the Lenin-Trotsky's followers.

This is then where the little secret lies of the rotten block
between the professional anti-Stalinists of the Left and the
professional defender of Stalin "against the bourgeoisie"
Mr. Oleachea; between the metropolitan Azcuetas and Mothers
Courages of this list and the strict revolutionary judge of
their Peruvian counterparts.

This is then how we solve the apparent paradox of the arch-rotten
block between the social-imperialist defender of the U.S. labor
aristocracy Mr. Henwood and the flaming anti-imperialist and the
"smasher" of the U.S. labor aristocracy Mr. Oleachea.

The stamp of Stalinist politics is opportunism that sacrifices
the ultimate interests of the international proletariat for the
sake of illusory short term gains. The opportunistic elements,
presently prevailing in the organized communism of the periphery
must realise that they are playing a very dangerous game by ganging
up with the metropolitan left against the ONLY REVOLUTIONARY CURRENT
that still exists in the metropoly. They'd better take a longer view
of what is at stake behind the split of two tendencies coming from
the Third International of the Lenin-Trotsky period.  The fatal
lack of class solidarity between the working classes of metropolitan
and neocolonial sectors of global capitalism presents, in the final
analysis, the single crucial problem for socialist project, both
practically and theoretically. Here lies not only the key to the
overthrow of the bourgeois world order but also the monumental
problem looming immediately beyond it: the contradictions between
the victorious workers' states in the North and the revolutionary
regimes in the South. Without coming together by coming back to
the common revolutionary heritage of the Third International, these
two streams of communist movement will fail their internationalist
duty before the workers of the world.

Vladimir Bilenkin


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