Marx, Engels and Lenin and the party question (was Re: To Juan(PS))

russell grinker grinker at
Tue Aug 3 02:19:09 MDT 1999

There is not
>much in the history of the US or British revolutionary communist movements
>(taking them at their own estimation) to suggest that their contemptible
>performance this century would have been any different whatever line had
>come out of Moscow (incidentally, Stalin evidently agreed with Louis and
>Jose, since he had the Comintern scrapped at the beginning of WW2). It had
>already been dead for 20 years, and not because of 'stalinism' but because
>of the inability of the CPs to strike into the entrails of their own
>capitalisms. Whose was the failure, actually? And what, actually, is the

Was it not a problem of accommodation to nationalism at both the
international leadership and the national levels?  The encouragement by the
Comintern of nationalist tendencies in its affiliates seems to me to have
been the biggest problem.  Its own Socialism in One Country politics and
emphasis on defence of the communist motherland reinforced lurking
nationalist tendencies in national sections, most of which had a poorly
developed cadre.  Look at the discussions over terms and conditions for
entry to the Comintern for an indication of just how tainted national
sections were by all sorts of ideological problems (religion,
freemasonry...). The initial popularity of the Russian revolution also
brought all sorts of opportunist elements into communist parties for a
while.  Rather than the problem being an overly "sectarian"
attitude towards potential allies by national sections of the International
(a commonly heard criticism), was it not in fact their growing accommodation
to nationalism (encouraged by tendencies in the international leadership)
which ultimately rotted them from the inside?  I recall some good examples
from the German Party which I'll try to locate and post.


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