"Stalinism" out of power

Gilles d'Aymery aymery at ix.netcom.com
Fri Dec 6 18:52:00 MST 2002

[Lou Paulsen wrote]

My own party and the CPUSA are at the opposite ends of the left in terms
both of politics and of organizational culture, and yet they are supposed to be
the unregenerated "Stalinists" of old, and we are getting called "Stalinists"
about 100 times a day by somebody or other.  All this convinces me that a
taxonomy of the left in the year 2002 that includes the concepts of "Stalinism"
and "Trotskyism" as major categories is not terribly useful.  Anybody who
doesn't like you, and also doesn't like Stalin, will call you a Stalinist no matter
what you do.  If he thinks you're too 'left' he'll charge you with "Stalinist
authoritarianism", and if he thinks you're not 'left' enough he'll charge you with
"Stalinist class-collaboration."

Just my personal take,

Taxonomy -- classification -- drawers -- labels...

Lately in the US, the WWP has been relentlessly attacked in many segments
of the media, including the so-called "leftist media" (e.g., The Nation) as an
extreme party, a fringe party, a "Stalinist" party, a party that defends North
Korea and any "enemy" of the great nation called the USA. They are a "bunch
of nuts," extreme, radical, etc.  We all know the reason: The WWP was
instrumental in organizing the Iraq antiwar demonstrations of late October.

So, name-calling flies a-plenty in a concerted effort to discredit the entire
antiwar movement.

No one however took the time to elaborate on what the WWP meants by
being "pro North Korea." What counts is to insinuate that the WWP is anti-
American. (propaganda anyone?)

Being an American is never defined.

Being a Stalinist is never defined -- including on Marxmail.org

Being a Marxist is never defined -- including on Marxmail.org

There's a good reason for this. We all have out own definitions...and they
somewhat differ.

Considerable time is spent -- including here -- in an effort to define the other,
the one who (is it which?) is not us.

When I review my Swans e-mails, I am either an extremist, a radical, a
commie, a leftie, a bourgeois, a reactionary, a you-name-it. (rainbow coalition

For of course we all know the "Truth."

The truth is never defined either...evidently.

I would respecfully suggest or submit that whether party A or Party B is this
or that, or more of this or that, is a waste of energy (and time).

Labelling others is the least creative endeavor in which one can be engaged.

Meantime, instead of asking whether 1917 was good or bad (Note to Lou: It
was good but it is irrelevant -- and it's a similar test as the one prodding
whether one is more or less stalisnist, more or less this or that [second note to
Lou, I am contacting you shortly about your most appeciated didactic and
helpful expanation re the "far left"]) we should ask a series of questions.

Do we agree that the present system is abhorent? etc. (we all know the
questions -- though not necessarily the answers...)

And then we can become much more specific. Property 'wrongs', women
equality, minority rights, dismal poverty, ecology, energy, racism... (I mean,
the list is real long and here a classification would be more than useful.)

Then what do we do about it should be the order of the day. We may not
agree on the road to change but it has nothing to do with whether one is more
or less, or not-at-all a Stalinist, or this and that.

Taxonomy is a disease in regard to social sciences...

My own take.

Gilles d'Aymery

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