"Stalinism" out of power

PeterKalve at aol.com PeterKalve at aol.com
Sat Dec 7 04:21:12 MST 2002


Ben comments on phrases such as "Stalinism" and "Trot" being employed as
terms of abuse.  Having once had the label of "Commie bastard" levelled at me
(dubious in terms of the former, and strictly innaccurate in terms of the
latter), I do agree that often such terms are used as generic insults without
much understanding being made of them by the user.

Part of this stems from the relative unawareness of so many nowadays
"outside" the Marxist camp of what these terms actually mean.  In a media-led
age, where the soundbite is the new authority, knowledge and understanding
often pass people by.

But there is another, more telling, aspect to this, often found when those
"within" the Marxist camp use the same generic (and often sweeping and
unhelpful labels) to describe their comrades.  Here, I think, we can see the
problems of sectarianism, and  personal desires over-riding the common goal
which we as Marxists should be aiming for, namely, unity against the
capitalist modes of production.

But then, am I not using labels by describing the aims of Marxism in that
way?  I wonder if comrades might share with us all what they understand
"Marxism" to mean nowadays?  Is it just another unhelpful label (I hope
not!), or is there value and use still for us to use the term, and if so,
what?

Peter Kalve

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