The Emir of Afghanistan

Chris Burford cburford at
Sun Oct 13 05:55:35 MDT 1996

Hugh counsels patience while he searches for
arguments that Lenin would not have regarded
the Emir as progressive.

And yet Hugh is in favour of no holds barred.

For someone so reliably caddish as to quote Catullus
on Lesbia, in the original Latin, when
I had merely quoted a Wordsworth poem
about Lucy to illustrate the prevailing sense of
disillusionment with the list,
(thereby causing me to waste half a weekend
identifying the quote a few weeks ago),
this is clear proof that he does not have to hand
a convenient Trotskyist critique of this area
Leninism where he claims Stalin
is most remarkably at variance with Lenin.

And if Hugh does not have such a critique to hand,
it does not exist.

And yet he and Robert, and no doubt many other
Trotskyists, consider the record of international
relations of the Soviet Government the most striking
example of how everything that went wrong with
socialism (and quite a bit that went right)
can be conveniently be summed up as "Stalinism".

This simplistic Trotskyist position cannot
be demonstrated to be consistent with Lenin's
approach, and is fundamentally an idealist
refusal to analyse the actually existing
contradictions and the material balance of forces
on a world scale.

It would be better if marxists from different traditions
were prepared to reexamine the record of the strengths
and the problems in the Bolshevik tradition, and overcome
this simplistic polarisation favoured by some
Trotskyists, of Trotskyism versus "Stalinism".

So Hugh, I find the delay unaccountable. But I shall
continue to wait.

Meanwhile, I never knew Catullus wrote
that sort of thing. Fascinating.



From: m-14970 at (Hugh Rodwell)
Date: Sat, 12 Oct 1996 13:38:42 +0100
Subject: Re: The Emir of Afghanistan

Chris hopes:

>Well the quotation has been exposed in this toxic environment
>for two days, and it is untouched by corrosive. And of course
>in view of the widespread publication of Foundations of
>Leninism over several decades, and the number of Trotskyists
>intent on criticising "Stalinism" for good motives and bad,
>we can assume that if this passage could be demonstrated as
>un-Leninist, it would be part of the Trotskyist tradition.
>But the passage cannot be shown to be un-Leninist.

Patience, old son!

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