"Crisis of Leninism"; Conference Course

Louis R Godena louisgodena at ids.net
Wed Sep 11 13:25:13 MDT 1996

Richard writes,  in response to my suggestion for the cyberseminar:

> Definately interested. I do not like the title "Crisis of Leninism". The
>future is ours! Be more positive!

But,  my dear Richard,  to deny that "Leninism",  as a political
institution,  is undergoing a profound "crisis" is somewhat akin to
obscurantism,  don't you think?    The collapse of communist and workers
parties throughout eastern Europe,  the Soviet Union,  and elsewhere (cf.
Mongolia),  the curtailment or outright abandonment of Marxism-Leninism as
official doctrine by revolutionary groups worldwide (eg. the PKK),  and the
general loss of influence by the remaining Leninist parties even among
Marxists would,  in my view,  constitute a "crisis" of the most severe and
historic proportions.

Nor,  in my eyes,  do recent events suggest that the blame lies with
"Stalinism"--that bugaboo that is constantly trotted out by liberals,
trotskyists,  and anti-communists of every description.    In fact,  it is
the "Stalinist" parties--in Peru,  the Philippines,  Nepal,--that seem to
have weathered most adroitly the current crisis.    For most of the rest of
the European parties,  Marxism-Leninism--as realized in "Actually Existing
Socialism"--has evolved into varying degrees of what used to be called
"Left" social democracy.

To (as I put it)  "clarify the essentials of communist party organization as
a system of political power" in order to analyze the recent transformations
of the heretofore Leninist communist parties into various "left" forms,  is
not to dishonor Lenin,  but is part of an attempt to learn from the past and
to apply those lessons in the cause of Marxist revolution worldwide.

Louis Godena

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