Lenin Enrolment

David Welch david.welch at SPAMst-edmund-hall.oxford.ac.uk
Mon Aug 9 09:08:11 MDT 1999

Louis Proyect writes:
> 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.
Quite what this example has to do with anything is unclear. As for "No, Marxism is
about debate. Period", marxism is about several other things as well,
including the maintenance and strengthening the dictatorship of the proletariat.

> 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.
So in fact Leninism isn't about class independance, but alliances that support
the revolution, ok then. Nevertheless I think elevating this example from Colombia to
the status of a general principal is unhelpful. The alliance of
five classes, including sections of the bourgeoise, furthered the revolution
in China for instance.

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