The Emptiness at the Heart of Marxism-Leninism Today

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Tue Oct 8 18:48:37 MDT 1996

At 7:31 PM 10/8/96, Vladimir Bilenkin wrote:

>  In reality, there is a struggle going on between the revolutionary,
>*proletarian* and the opportunist, *petty-bourgeois* elements...
>The struggle between these two *political currents* has been going on
>in all countries of the world without exception...
>  Without separation from this *current* , which by its waverings,
>its *Menshevism*... brings in the bourgeois influence on the
>proletariat *from within* the labor movement, *from within*
>socialist parties, without separation from this current, without
>a schism with it, without the EXPULSION of all its leading
>representatives - the solidarity of revolutionary proletariat is
>impossible.>> (Lenin, "A Letter to German and French Workers" 1920.
>CW, 5th, vol.41, 295-7. Trans mine).
>This is how we shall build a COMMUNIST International.

In 1920, you would have had an easy time finding millions of workers who
responded to this message. Now you'd be lucky to find thousands. Just how
do you go about building a COMMUNIST International under the circumstances
of 1996?

And before anyone brings up the term labor aristocrats, notice that this
was directed to German and French workers. Bark a paragraph like this on a
street corner in North Carolina and you'd be lucky not to be carted away by
folks in white, not blue.



Doug Henwood
Left Business Observer
250 W 85 St
New York NY 10024-3217
+1-212-874-4020 voice
+1-212-874-3137 fax
email: <dhenwood at>
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