Leninist Party hoo-ha

Alan Bradley alanb at SPAMelf.brisnet.org.au
Sun Jan 21 15:04:08 MST 2001

> From: Philip Ferguson
> However, we are in a different political situation.  'Leninism', or as
> Lou calls it 'Zinovievism', is today the refuge of scoundrels.
> 'Leninist' self-proclaimed 'proletarian' parties, certainly in the First
> World, are simply minor sects, presided over by jumped-up little middle
> class ratbags, by and large.  They are neither proletarian, in any
> genuine sense, nor Leninist (in the Bolshevik sense).

I think Phil is a little behind the game here.

First, as, admittedly, he allows, what he is saying is simply untrue
outside the First World.  For example, the various outfits in the
Philippines that are self-consciously 'Leninist' are not simply minor
sects, but quite significant parties, with real mass organisations,
armies(!), and so on.  This is true elsewhere as well.

Secondly, even in the First World, what he is saying is at least a little
less true outside the Anglophone states.  It's hard to provide a totally
satisfactory example (which parties are 'Leninist' anyway?), but the left
in general tends to be far more significant outside the
US/UK/Canada/Australia/NZ (in descending order of population).  An analysis
essentially drawn from this last group of states will not necessarily be
accurate. (Should I have included South Africa?  It has its own interesting
characteristics that tends to set it apart from the others on the list.)

Finally, the thing which set off this debate is precisely the fact that an
interesting phenomenon has emerged in Scotland, and the driving forces
behind this phenomenon came from the ranks of the damn silly
'Leninist'/Trotskyist sectarians.

Phil seems to be a little unable to engage with this.  This is why I am a
little cynical about 'truisms' like the following:

> What is needed NOW is to be as analytical and creative in working out
> forms of revolutionary organisation for our time as Lenin was for his.
> or even industrial as opposed to craft organisation (I think).

because Phil is showing no signs of actually doing this, and is instead
repeating formulae, and not necessarily even formulae that are correct.

Ouch.  That was a little sharper than I intended.  My fingers ran away with

Alan Bradley
alanb at elf.brisnet.org.au

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