Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Tue Nov 18 18:29:46 MST 2003

Melvin asks about "Third Period Stalinism."

It was a term derived from a schema that the Comintern (supposedly)
held, circa 1930 or so: the immediate period after 1917 had been a
revolutionary one, then there was a retrogression in the 20's, then
beginning in the late 20's the general crisis of capitalism erupted, and
the CP's everywhere were urged to go on the offensive. It was the period
when social-dems were branded "social fascists," etc., a generally
ultraleft stance, and replaced around 1933-34 with the People's Front
against Fascism line, which became pretty permanent. 

When people who come out of the Trotskyist movement refer to "third
period Stalinism" strictly speaking they're referring to the error of
groups who refuse to make united fronts with other forces because they
consider those other forces reformists and so on. That was the stance
(as Trotsky described it) of the German CP. Debating whether, or to what
degree, that may or may not have been true in fact is, of course, beyond
the parameters of this list. 

In the particular post Melvin quoted it played no ideological role, it
just struck me the post I was answering was spouting off all sorts of
leftist references but was quite rightist in content in defending
Christianity and European "civilization" of all things. Throwing various
things the original poster referred to back at him was just a rhetorical
device, to the effect of "stop hiding behind empty phrases we see right
through you."


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