Lenin Enrolment

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Mon Aug 9 08:32:59 MDT 1999

David Welch: "I find the myth of a convivial Lenin (or Marx) and a nasty
Stalin rather unlikely, debate may be useful at a certain state of the
development of the party but the aim of Lenin (and Stalin) was to create a
fighting organisation."

L. Proyect: No, Marxism is about debate. Period. When Stalin outlawed
debate, it was at the very time it was most necessary. If debate had been
permitted, perhaps the disasters of the "third period" might have been
prevented. The Communist Party of Germany supported a ballot initiative by
the Nazis to remove elected Socialist officials in Saxony. This so-called
"Red Referendum" was a crushing blow to the workers movement, as the
rank-and-file of the Socialist Party witnessed Nazi and CP activists out on
the streets drumming up support for the removal of politicians that
defended the trade unions against the bosses. To show you how insane this
was, only a few years earlier in 1924, the Comintern collaborated with
these very same Socialist politicians in an abortive revolutionary
movement. In less than 5 years, the Socialists in Saxony had become
transformed from close allies of the USSR to "social fascists". This kind
of bizarre flip-flop facilitated the rise of Hitler.

David Welch: If Leninism is about anything then it should be about avoiding
this sort of silly ultra-leftism. The revolution cannot be successfully
completed, particularly in a colonial or semi-colonial country, unless the
proletariat wins
allies among as many classes as possible. What we might well consider the
ultimate example of Leninism in action, the October revolution, involved
the alliance of two classes, the workers and peasants.

L. Proyect: The peasants of Colombia were being cruelly exploited by the
Liberal Party. When Gaitan, a Liberal Politician, launched a left-populist
movement in the mold of Venezuela's Chavez against the landlordism of
Colombia's 2-party system, the CP newspaper attacked him as a friend of
fascism. Workers must make alliances with the peasants, especially in
agrarian societies like Colombia's, but it is counter-revolutionary to make
blocs with the ruling class parties. Lenin had no use, for example, for the
Kadets, the Liberals of Czarist Russia.

Louis Proyect

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