The Emptiness at the Heart of Marxism-Leninism Today

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at
Thu Oct 10 14:37:43 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.

Wotsizname points at a difference between 1920 and 1996.

1) It has never been easy to find *millions* of workers to respond to a
Bolshevik message. At the height of a revolutionary mobilization, yes, as
the result of very *difficult* preparatory work. Since similar preparatory
work had not been carried out in imperialist countries, the millions did
not respond in the same way as in Russia, despite revolutionary situations,
and the treacherous reformist or adventurist leaderships won the day and
took the working masses into defeat and slaughter.

2) Thingy should ask *why* there is such a difference between 1920, with
the tried and true Bolshevik revolutionary leadership in charge of the
world's first workers' state, and 1996, with over seventy years of
Stalinist and Social-Democrat betrayal at the head of the world labour
movement. To state the question is to answer it.

And as the cliche says -- Don't curse the darkness, strike a light!



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