Stalinism and Social Darwinism?

Robert Malecki malecki at
Mon Sep 9 11:26:23 MDT 1996

Louis Godena writes.

>Thinking over Louis (P)'s definition of Stalinism,  I think we have to
>considerably broaden ourselves in that respect.  And I believe that there
>will be a maturing of attitudes toward the Stalinist era and its legacy
>which is very much with us today.

Louis G.s interesting article on a new analisis of Stalinism is quite
interesting. i naturally do not agree with it, however there seems to be a
definite tendency today to find and ideological basis for a period of ages
of Stalinism because of the backwardness for the developing countries (for

I think this tendency to see a Stalinist variant of development as a
neccessary stage in the transitional period of society from capitalism to
communism partially as and attempt to clean up Stalinism, but also to
introduce some Stalinist politics that have been proved fairly bankrupt in

What i find more amazing is Louis G's ideas of a sort of natural evolution
of these states along the lines of Darwinism of some sort. However i think
that he leaves aside the concious factor (the party) in this historical
process. I mean a lot of this stuff has been argued about the backwardness
of the former Soviet Union even in Lenin's time thus Lenin saw the
neccessity of expanding the revolution to one or more advanced countries in
order for the russian revolution to survive. However this did not happen and
the documents of the Left opposition have given quite a good analisis of
events after Lenin's death.

This even includes the Chinese revolution.

However Leninism as I see it was the extension of marxist theory in relation
to the concious factor--the party. This is naturally connected to what a
particular party does in relationship to the masses. But what I think is
that Louis in a certain sense says that the masses are not ready for a
Leninist party in the backward countries. At the same time that a Leninist
party did develop in just a backward country. I guess the point there was
that the masses although one could claim be culturally backward or basically
a peasant society as was the case in Russia at the time, thus the
development of Stalinism. However one could also say that because of this
backwardness and the fact that the 2nd International did not have a long
history of a reformist party in Russia created the conditions for a Leninist
party to develop. This i tend to think is  more correct. In fact this could
allso be the case in the United States where reformists along the Social
Democratic modell nor Stalinism has ever had any historical base. Thus the
possibility of a Leninist party developing there.

Finally to draw to  conclusions I oppose the Social darwinism of evolution
in regards to politcal parties in the world. But i do believe in the
concious factor of a party who has the historical experience can and will
show the way forward.

Naturally we have to have tactics in regards to the reformists and Stalinist
domination of the workers movement. this in relationship to the present
period we are going through, but also in understanding why a Bolshevik Party
of the Lenist model could not develop under these historical conditions
where they dominated the workers movement. Naturally connected to the
victory of Facism in Germany and the second world war. However things now
are changing quickly with the fall of the Soviet Union.

I think the discussion that Louis G's raises here proves that, but allso
this bizarr attempt by the "unity" list to gather forces is a signal that
something is going on.
Both the fact that the bougeoisie thinks it has won after the fall of the
Soviet Union, and the working classes responses to the attempts to take back
the gains of of the post October period not only in the former Soviet Union
but everywhere proves that the proletariat does not want to take this lying
down, but understand that the class enemy is trying to slowly destroy them
as a class.

So we are once again in a situation of finding a leadership and a combat
party Internationally that can lead the class in its attempts to fight its
historically deadly enemies. I think that Leninists Parties are the model.
Louis G. appears to be leaning towards the inevidability of stalinists
parties of some sort. While louis P. and others appear to be leaning towards
a new left modell along the lines of the USec followers.

But i think that these trends that appear on the list also show a modern
devision of a lot of the old devisions. Thus the struggles with the
economists, the anarchists, the Mensheviks, and naturally the struggle with
the Stalinist orientation are still with us however some new names have been
put on them. And naturally this is what we should be discussing.

Bob Malecki

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