"Stalinism" out of power

Ben Courtice benj at connexus.net.au
Fri Dec 6 21:20:20 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."

Ben comments:
And the term "Trotskyist" is used similarly. The class-collaborationist Communist Party of
Australia (previously Socialist Party of Australia) (who were Moscow-aligned and seem to
retain an attachment to Uncle Joe) like to call us Trots. Anarchists like to call us
Trots. The media like to slip in as an outrageous revelation that we are "Trotskyists".
Old pece, green etc movement opponents call us "Trots". And the DSP really hasn't been
Trotskyist since the 1980s, although we retain an attachment to old Leon, just like we do
for Castro, Guevara, Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, etc. It's just a term of abuse.
On the other hand the ISO always used to call the DSP "Stalinist" and even now we saw
their document re the Socialist Alliance glibly stating this "we have two differing
conceptions of revolution, from above or from below" or words to that effect.
And when you say "taxonomy" what do you mean? I don't know the word, it's not in my
dictionary -- or should it have been "taxidermy"? ;-)

Ben Courtice

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