[Marxism] Re: Questions from a stupid newbie

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Sun Nov 23 16:28:35 MST 2003


Matthew

Your questions aren't stupid at all, and you'll find that people here have
various opinions on them.

>>I happen to lean towards Lenin.

Good, so do I.

>>The capitalists have claimed that the Bolsheviks and other communists
leaders did mass genocide<<

This charge confuses several things. The Bolsheviks definitely did not
commit genocide, or even massacres,  on taking power. Later they were
defending themselves in a long and brutal civil war, and forces associated
with the Bolshevik regime did commit atrocities, which we have to see in
context. Later on the Stalin regime did, in my opinion, commit mass murder
(I think most here would agree with me on this, but probably not all.) In
my opinion, the Stalin regime represents the negation of Lenin. Western
propaganda blurs all these together. Despite the faults, I support the
original Bolshevik tradition.

>>Also, what are the opinions of Marxists on other "communist" regimes
besides the Soviets?<<

There are many views here on this. Some prominent participants on this list
are strong supporters of Castro. A few here are strong supporters of Mao.
Others express Trotskyist views, which see these societies are "deformed
workers' states". Personally I consider them to be "state capitalist".

You'll just need to do some reading on this and follow the debates. In
doing that I would suggest that you focus less on what, precisely, is the
technically correct analysis of regimes that are no longer around (because
the Soviet bloc is gone and China is introducing market mechanisms pretty
fast) and more on the question of what we can learn from their history to
achieve something better in the future. 

The general philosophy on this list is not to endlessly chew over old
debates, but to try to pose issues in new ways. 

I suggest you follow up the links on the Marxmail site as part of getting a
handle on these issues, and in all due modesty I might also suggest you
look at some of my own stuff at:

http://redsites.alphalink.com.au

You will probably find that some of us are happy to correspond off-list
about all this. I certainly am.

regards
Tom







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