Forwarded from Anthony (reply to Jared Israel/Borba100)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Oct 25 14:46:53 MDT 2000

Hi Lou:

Brief reply to Borba regarding revlutionary leadership

Borba wrote,

Re: Workers assert themselves in Yugoslava, Borba100, Wed, 25 Oct 2000
07:09:12      -0400 (EDT)

"It's really important to provide substantial evidence before one spaks of
working class revolution. Given the difficulties of getting inside
information on Yugoslavia ( we've posted some on emperor's Clothes and will
 soon have much more, by the way) , one can look for certain indications.
For  example, who were the  leaders of the Oct. 5 "revolution?"  "

I think that Borba's arguement that the type of leadership you find in the
current Serbian revolution is a good clue to its social nature is mistaken.

During the first stages o any revolution, the leadership is almost always
in the hands of people with some sort of position in the old society.

The figure of Father Gapon in the 1905 revolution was an example frequently
discussed. But you can look at any urban revolution and see the same
features. The different stages through which the great french revolution
passed is a good example - so too is the English "Puritan" Revolution. But
the best example of all is the Russian revolution's passage from February
through to October.

Yugoslavia - which I believe is passing through the first stage of a
democratic revolution (although admittedly I am at a great distance and
viewing events through the lense of this list and the bourgeois press) - is
still only in the Father Gapon/Kerensky stage.

Whether it will advance further is an open question. Quite likely it will
not. In the first place there is no revolutionary leadership in evidence:
contrary tot he Russian February. In the second place there are no
revolutionary organizations outside of Serbia which might aid the
revolution resist the power of imperialism. And in the third place the
pressure of imperialism is very powerful: militariily, economically, and

The most likely scenario is that this democratic revolution will succumb to
that pressure the way those in Iran, Nicaragua, Poland, Haiti, Argentina,
Indonesia, South Korea, and Nicaragua have.

None of those revolutions produced leaderships capable of leading the
revolution beyond the limits imposed by imperialism - geographical,
political, and economic. Hence they all regressed - not to 'fascism and
barbarism' but to the neo-liberal, parliamentary, globalized, new world order.

The Yugoslav revolution may be different - because maybe, probably, I hope
- the iniitial consciousness of the Serbian workers may really have been
qualitatively higher than in those other places. And, because the failure
of the "new world order" to fulfill expectations fo improvements in
anybody's life has begun to set in on a global scale.


Louis Proyect
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