A Note on Alexandra Kollantai

Jj Plant jplant at cix.compulink.co.uk
Wed Sep 18 22:06:00 MDT 1996

In-Reply-To: <3.0b18.32.19960918000325.006abd78 at vip.cybercity.dk>
Jorn wrote (inter alia)

>In this context it was a disgrace for Kollontai to give in on her original
>views. We can argue at length Lenin's points against Kollontai and Zetkin
>and vice versa. But in the mid-1930's this had very concrete and harsh
>social consequences, which no Marxist could support.

I think you're completely right on the politics of the situation, but perhaps
too hard on the personalities. From 1928 onwards life for oppositionists or
critics of the Stalin regime was increasingly hazardous, and the authorities
were willing to make use of their opponents families and friends as hostages.
There were very few who did not eventually give way under the pressures of the
time. Some survived by keeping their disagreements secret and hoping for
changed times. This may have been the case with Kollontai. Mike Jones
(Revolutionary History's main source about Scandinavia) tells me that there are
(as yet untranslated) letters in Scandinavian archives that establish that in
the early 30s at least, Kollontai was advising left currents in the social
democracy to make contact with the trotskyists.
jplant at cix.compulink.co.uk

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