"Knowing what to do next"

Barry Stoller bstoller at SPAMutopia2000.org
Sat Apr 14 14:13:41 MDT 2001



Scott Harrison: [T]he mass line means A) gathering the ideas of the
masses  themselves about how to promote and advance the mass struggle;
B) processing these ideas (i.e. selecting from among them) by
determining, with the aid of existing Marxist theory, a comparison with
similar situations in the past, and a careful analysis of the actual
objective situation, which of these ideas of the masses are actually
most likely to advance the current mass movement toward revolution; and
C) returning these ideas to the masses and leading the mass struggle on
this basis. If mistakes are made, if the mass struggle does not for some
reason advance toward revolution, the method is used again.

If I may be so bold, there is nothing especially 'Maoist' about the
above. Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, et al have said as much. Common sense.
The devil, as expected, is in the details---namely, the SPECIFIC
'processing [of] these ideas (i.e. selecting from among them) by
determining, with the aid of existing Marxist theory, a comparison with
similar situations in the past,' etc., and EXACTLY how the 'determining'
is conducted. Or, WHO is authorized to conduct the determination.

Further, if I may say so, there is nothing especially constructive about
communicating great general ideas under the rubric of the
above-mentioned 'great men of history'---namely, Stalin v. Trotsky, Mao
v. Stalin, Mao v. Trotsky, and so on. These 'ideological differences'
waged under their names were primarily POWER STRUGGLES between
INDIVIDUALS contending for leadership. These struggles, needless to say,
are resolved. Let us communicate the wisdom of the above-stated 'mass
line' without the baggage of our 'great men' who, for so long, have
divided Marxists, even Leninists.

...........................

Barry Stoller

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