Canon and Democratic Centralism

James Daly james.irldaly at ntlworld.com
Thu Nov 7 09:05:37 MST 2002


> Date: Thu, 07 Nov 2002 12:35:47 +1100
> From: Shane Hopkinson <s.hopkinson at cqu.edu.au>
> Subject: (fwd from Richard Harris) Re: Canon and Democratic Centralism
>
> > the idea that the Russian Revolution was defeated in 1918, which appeard
to
> be Harris' position, belongs to the history of anarchism and Narodnism, is
> hopelessly bad as history and has no place on a Marxist list, I would
argue.
> As for Marx's 'humanism', that is something which he definitively
abandoned
> as early as 1844.
>
> Mark
>

Mark Jones wrote of

the idea that the Russian Revolution was defeated in 1918, which appeard to
be Harris's position,

which is simply a misreading of Harris's post. He goes on to say Harris's
alleged position

belongs to the history of anarchism and Narodnism, is hopelessly bad as
history and has no place on a Marxist list, I would argue.


According to James White (Karl Marx and the Intellectual Origins of
Dialectical Materialism, London, Macmillan, 1996) the term Narodnism was
claimed by nobody, but was invented by Plekhanov to cover and disparage the
many parties he had been a member of. Plekhanov had no support from Marx,
and behaved fraudulently -- towards us! -- in regard to Marx, with
disastrous consequences for an understanding of Marx, and especially of the
great preoccupation of his later years with the Russian Mir or commune,
which made Marx rethink his entire life's work.

Mark goes on:

As for Marx's 'humanism', that is something which he definitively abandoned
as early as 1844.


The theory of Marx's alleged break with his humanism is untrue and
disastrous. For Marx the words human, social, and communal are equivalent,
and express the Feuerbachian "I - thou" familiar or family relationship of
love, but unlike Feuerbach, Marx claimed it was to be found in "production
from each according to ability, distribution to each according to need".
Althusser's "theoretical antihumanism" is a Stalinist counter to Sartre, and
has nothing to do with Marx.

Comradely
James Daly.



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