Czech Communist Party Gains in Popularity

Owen Jones owen.jones at
Sat Aug 28 17:10:30 MDT 1999

 My dear friend Sven said:

>>This is obviously an important development.
> Owen - your perception is unreal, really.
> That aside, your politics are as lousy as ever. The mere imagination that
> communists are back on the political scene must really be a shock to you
> and your cronies. After all, your friends of the bourgeoisie thought they
> had buried communism for good.

 Ouch. Who dragged the sectarian cat in? Now, I'm not going to pretend that
Sven or I get on. After all, I am a Trotskyist and he is probably a more
hard-line Stalinist than Stalin himself. But at least you could have
disguised the above as a political criticism rather the naked personal swipe
that it is.

 For those who have not had the honour of meeting Sven, he is the moderator
of the Marxist-Leninist list. This is a great list if you don't mind the
faux-pas on debate, the enforced ultra-sectarianism which is quite honestly
beyond the pale, complete ignorance of reality and truth, and an occasional
ritual which involves calling someone a Trotskyist bootlicker of capital and
fascism before their expulsion. But Sven and his friends reassure me that we
are more naive than evil.

 Sven has taken this opportunity to sharpen his claws because I posted
something he seems either unable or unwilling to respond to. I shall post it
again so that you have the chance, Mr. Buttler.

 Ah, the old accusation that Trotskyists are friends of the bourgeoisie. No
doubt Napoleon accused the Jacobins of being friends of the aristocracy. So
what are you implying above, that Trotskyists (I prefer the word Bolsheviks,
but that would probably lead to your usual barrage of childish insults) are
responsible for what has happened to Marxism? Is that a cynical piss take of
some kind on your behalf? You are an apologist for the counter-revolution of
1923, whereby the bureaucracy seized power of the USSR with its principle
leader Stalin, thereby presiding over the destruction of working class
democracy, international revolution and the freedoms given down by the
October Revolution. Do you think Lenin would have been impressed by
Stalinism, by its bureaucratic "Socialism From Above" policy, its
nationalistic chauvinism, its co-operation with the foreign bourgeoisie and
imperialists, its demolition of working class power, its restoration of army
ranks which the Revolution so proudly eliminated, its terror against the
people? Do you think for a moment a revolution could have succeeded in a
country that was still in the early stages of capitalism without spreading
the West? If you say yes to that, then I'm afraid you're at loggerheads with
Lenin and Marx.

 The Stalinist counter-revolution was inevitable considering what happened -
the civil war, the destruction of the economy, foreign invasion, the defeat
of international revolution, social breakdown. The collapse of Stalinism
itself was also inevitable. Though Trotsky argued for the complete overthrow
of Stalinism by the working class, he predicted that the other alternative
was the restoration of capitalism. This would happen when the bureaucracy
would want more than its material privileges, to have the right of
inheritance, and make profit directly out of the working class by direct
ownership of production - in other words, to become the new bourgeoisie.
That's just what happened! Three famous names being Yeltsin, Chernomyrdin,
Berezovsky - all incredibly rich (and corrupt) members of the bourgeoisie,
all ex-bureaucrats!

 Is it so hard to see the truth, to see fact, to see what happened? My
comment about the Czech Communist Party was one of relief, that even though
the repressive Stalinist system caused so much disillusionment amongst the
working class, that at least they have not been permanently turned away from
revolutionary socialism. The fact that I can still say with an ounce of
truth - "A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of Communism" makes this
period of extreme reaction seem a bit more bearable. But I do not want to go
through the Stalinist routine again, or have some reformist Social Democrats
masquarading as Marxists come to power.

 You will probably die with the beliefs you hold today Sven. Just know that
you are in an old guard nobody wants, that will never again oppress and
massacre workers, or live as bureaucratic parasites on top of a deformed
society. I am one of a new generation, a revolutionary youth, and who knows,
maybe this generation will have a decisive role in the revolutions that are
to come next century.

Owen Jones

"Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil,
oppression, and violence and enjoy it to the full."

Leon Trotsky

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