Carrol Cox cbcox at
Sat Dec 30 16:17:22 MST 2000

Jurriaan Bendien wrote:

> Charles, I know what I wrote, and what you wrote. I realise that the
> Stalinist world view can be propped up with selective quotation from Marx,
> and it is precisely in the nature of the Stalinist mind to do that.

This is not necessary. I have adopted a practice of ignoring posts from
the point at which they start throwing labels about. I agree with Jurriaan
on the importance of contingency to any materialist view of history, and
I agree that propositions re the 'inevitability' of socialism are in profound
contradiction to the premises of marxism. But when someone begins
throwing the label "stalinist" (or "trotskyist") around, I begin to doubt
their serious interest in building a marxist understanding of the world.

I think Jurriaan owes both Charles and the list an apology for introducing
this mode of polemics. Whatever one thinks of the political practice and
theoretical principles of the Third International, it is necessary to recognize

that in empirical reality of the last 50 years "anti-stalinism" has all too
been either anti-communism in substance or a way-station on the road
to anti-communism.

It is possible to argue vigorously without use of these labels.


More information about the Marxism mailing list