[Marxism] Marx as Left of the Marxists

Tony Abdo gojack10 at hotmail.com
Sun Feb 8 13:14:54 MST 2004


Damn, Juriaan.    Due to the sensitive nature of certain people, it's 
dangerous to make even the most obvious remarks.    You're in trouble now 
for saying that some marxists act like little storm troopers (something that 
any marxist themselves, that have spent any time around the Left, have seen 
over and over again).    And I'm in trouble for esssetially hinting at the 
same thing.

It seems rather obvious that the Leninism as practiced for almost the entire 
last 3/4 of a century, originally came out of an underground mode of 
operation during war time conditions.    It has had a certain overly martial 
air to marxism that does create problems for peace time functioning of 
comrades in the Advanced Capitalist economies, where conditions are quite 
differerent from those faced by the anti-Nazi Resistance or anti-Czarist 
Bolshevics.    Yet this is the model that was held up as The Epitomy of how 
individuals should behave in becoming revolutionaries by much of the marxist 
movement.    This model has hindered the adaptation of marxism to changing 
developments throughout the world.    And this model rooted itself, often 
times, deep into the Labor Movement.

Unlike some on this list, I don't think that 'Zinovievism' was the original 
cause of this mindset, but rather that all the Bolshevics were forced into 
this, for better or worse, by the conditions that confronted them at the 
time.   This mindset was fossilized into stone by the rise of the Soviet 
bureaucracy, certainly.     But the mindset began much earlier, and predates 
Stalin's rise.

To hell with all this though.    The real question is how to create today, a 
revolutionary movement that can actually hold and benefit people?      And 
what people should it hold?     I think that the new movement of the 21st 
century will have to be a synthesis and combination coming from the eco, 
anarcho, and marxist branches of anti-capitalist resistance.     Is it 
really so non-marxist to posit this idea?    But I am certainly not alone in 
doing such.    Even in marxist circles.


I merely generalize to what factors need to go into building this movement 
that will actually build a rank and file mass, as opposed to building a 
'cadre of leaders'.    A cadre of leaders will have lots of little 
stormtrooper types, and not much else.    While an organization that has a 
healthy and growing rank and file might actually be much more like one of 
the more liberal and healthier churches, for example.   It will not have the 
ambiance and mindset of ALWAYS being a "combat organization".     "Leaders", 
and theory mongering, might be in short supply?    Support might not?   In 
short, it might be more like what we have seen in poorer barrios in places 
like Chiapas, Managua, and Caracas....    Though having travelled to 
Nicaragua in the '80s, it is easy to see that the martial mindset of little 
leaders, in the traditional marxist 'combat' mode, is a tendency that is 
difficult to entirely eradicate from the Left anywhere, under whatever 
circumstances.

The funny thing is saying this rather obvious stuff, is that I feel that I 
am merely repeating positions that many of this list have already said.     
They merely demand that it be said with the exact same vocabulary that they 
do, and at all times in that way alone!     This is copying a tendency of 
many leaderships of vanguardist parties that harshly oppose an idea, to then 
adopt it later on, but in the most rigid and most disfunctional manner.   
The reverse is often true, too.    These leaderships often come up with 
ideas themselves, and then penalize any  who do not copy the manner of 
stating it bureaucratically 100% as the leadership does.     Anybody care to 
shoot down this statement for being a generalizion by me, once again?    Let 
me say before hand, this is not meant to be an attack on anybody on this 
list.....     It is merely a generalization, observation, and abstract 
opinion based on concrete experiences with many a marxist of all stripes and 
variety.

Tony Abdo

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