[Marxism] Marx as Left of the Marxists

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Feb 8 16:30:19 MST 2004

Tony Abdo wrote:
>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.

I think it would be more accurate to say that you are continuing to write 
posts that make me want to drop you from Marxmail. I have to restrain 
myself from dropping you right this minute. This is the crux of the matter. 
It takes an extraordinary amount of idealism and a spirit of self-sacrifice 
to join a Marxist organization in the USA. Although I am a sharp critic of 
most of the conventionally organized "Marxist-Leninist" organizations, I 
have to pay respects for the hard work they do building antiwar 
demonstrations and in the trade union movement. Even the American SWP, 
which I have a real personal and political animosity toward, does very hard 
work organizing tours for trade unionists.

"CRAIG, Colorado—Coal miners on strike at the Co-Op mine in Huntington, 
Utah, were the guests of honor at a January 24 labor solidarity rally and 
fundraiser here attended by 175 people. The meeting was organized by the 
Craig Committee to Support the Co-Op Miners, which includes members of 
United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) Local 1984 at the Deserado mine in 
Rangely, and of the Brotherhood of Operating Engineers Local 9 at the 
Trapper mine here, miners from the Twenty Mile mine near Steamboat Springs, 
and others from this area. UMWA Local 1984 and St. Michael’s Catholic 
Church co-sponsored the event, which was held at the church."

full: http://www.themilitant.com/2004/6805/index.shtml

It is obvious that SWP'ers are involved with this struggle, just as it is 
obvious that the WWP is building a critically important demonstration on 
March 20th and just as it is obvious that the ISO is doing solid work 
around a number of different issues.

There is nothing at all that these comrades do that suggests that they are 
"stormtroopers". Stormtroopers were used by German big business to destroy 
the trade union movement and terrorize Jews. Marxists in the USA risk job, 
life and limb when they go out and confront the US ruling class, a far more 
dangerous gang than in Nazi Germany. It strongly suggests to me that you 
hate the Marxist left more than you hate capitalism when you write such 
ill-considered, provocative and--frankly--idiotic commentary.

>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.

Tony, you should read "What is to be Done" if you have an inclination to. 
Lenin states repeatedly that his model for the Bolsheviks is the German 
Social Democracy and not some military formation. Here's what he says:

"Why is there not a single political event in Germany that does not add to 
the authority and prestige of the Social-Democracy? Because 
Social-Democracy is always found to be in advance of all the others in 
furnishing the most revolutionary appraisal of every given event and in 
championing every protest against tyranny...It intervenes in every sphere 
and in every question of social and political life; in the matter of 
Wilhelm's refusal to endorse a bourgeois progressive as city mayor (our 
Economists have not managed to educate the Germans to the understanding 
that such an act is, in fact, a compromise with liberalism!); in the matter 
of the law against 'obscene' publications and pictures; in the matter of 
governmental influence on the election of professors, etc., etc."

Obviously this has nothing to do with your caricature, which I should add 
is the standard anti-Communist fiction--that our movement was shaped by the 
"military" model of the Bolshevik party. 

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