on the Bolsheviks
g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Tue Oct 8 20:35:35 MDT 1996
This list has been really depressing me. Being on it is like being at an
Irish wake without the grog. The atmosphere is truly poisonous. when
someone from the lurkers' battalion speaks up it is no longer to bring a
breath of fresh air but like Stuart Sheild to demonstrate to us that once
things start to degenerate it is impossible to stop them. Truly the list has
developed a terminal condition.
The exchange between Vlad and Louis does however get to the heart of the
matter. Louis is anxious to redeem the past. To me he is like the angel in
Benjamin's meditation. He wants to reach back towards the wreckage that has
piled up under the banners and slogans of revolutionary Marxism and endeavor
to save something of the Leninist tradition.
Part of me thinks this is noble and part of me thinks this is misguided of
him. Recently an Anarchist colleague (How they annoy one!) interrupted a
Trotskyist comrade who was defending Lenin by denying that Leninism lead to
Stalinism. The Anarchist tartly replied that yes he agreed that Leninism
led to Leninism.
I am reminded of this when I read Vlad's orthodox defense of the Bolshevik
tradition. Neither he nor Rodwell, nor Malecki, nor Neil, nor Sheild will
allow themselves to be rescued by the "menshevik traitor" Louis Proyect.
Their best and only friend they insist on naming as the enemy. No they will
raise the banner once more and chant very loudly that they are Bolsheviks,
Trotskyists and Communists and somehow the walls of Jericho will come
tumbling down. I could almost smell the stink of revolutionary virtue
behind Vladimir's "communist". Such sanctity. Such revolutionary piety,
such mindlessly boring dedication to irrelevance.
Again part of me tends to be fascinated by this. But then I also tend to
remember what it was like to be in organizations with people like this. I
recall the Thought Police. those whose sole reading consisted of internal
bulletins and the pathetic party paper. More than anything else they feared
anyone who would read widely. Like the Roman Church they remorselessly
attacked intellectuals and raised up the workers and the near illiterates
not because they were pro -worker but because they knew who could never
threaten their grip on the organization.
They were Sectarians and psychologically deeply crippled people who could
only lead an organization if they kept it from growing. Just one such
named Mick Armstrong popped onto this list a brief while ago. But there was
nothing for him to scavenge because Malecki had already got there and pissed
all over the pickings.
We have talked before on this list about such things. But the sad truth is
that they - the party people - will not change nor will they admit the
validity of our experiences of their kind of politics.
Let me be clear here I do not oppose all those who belong to a group. I also
exempt Adam Rose from the above strictures. We have our disagreements and
they can be sharp, but at least when I read his posts I feel that I am in
contact with a mind. What sickens me is the constant chorus from those who
think that every discussion can be solved with a little slogan. This is
the disease that Rodwell has. Malecki is merely this reduced ad absurdum.
But there is no hope for change and we should now proceed I would suggest to
the long delayed funeral of M1.
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