Australian left history

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Mon Jul 7 21:39:02 MDT 2003


I had a glance at Chris Gaffney's comments on Australian ISO history. Nice
guy; writes rubbish. Take this example:

>>The IS has argued consistently that the bureaucracy based on the Soviet
party and the state came to power with the victory of Stalin after Lenin's
death in 1924<<

Not true, actually. We usually cited 1928, when Stalin launched the
five-year plans. It has to do with the accumulation of capital. But anyway,
a couple of paragraphs further down he writes:

>>More surprisingly the IS seems never to have been able to tell us exactly
when this counter-revolution took place. We are left with references to the
late 1920s, although mostly it is equated with the triumph of the Stalinist
faction of the Communist Party without specifying any particular time. This
lack of precision, in what is critical to their case historically, leaves
open the suggestion that the new state capitalist class achieved power, not
in a revolutionary way, but gradually over a period of years.<<

Which is it Chris, 1924 or later? are we consistent or not? But anyway,
what is so terrible about thinking change took place over a period of time,
and not at one precise instant? He says:

>>This opens up the possibility of the peaceful, or gradual, transition
from one class society to another, which entirely contradicts Marxist
ideas.<<

But wait Chris, don't you think the USSR used to be a workers' state? And
now don't you think it's capitalist? And did that transition happen at one
exact point, by violent counter-revolution? Of course not -- the USSR (from
your perspective) restored capitalism in an evolutionary (though stormy)
process.

Marxist ideas are more flexible than you imagine.



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