[Marxism] Get real!

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jun 18 07:43:24 MDT 2004

LouPaulsen wrote:
> http://www.ex.ac.uk/Projects/meia/Lenin/Archive/19221231a.htm
> (I hereby incorporate Lenin's entire argument by reference)
> I realize that citing Lenin from 1922 doesn't automatically win an argument
> in 2004, but then I am not convinced that the US in 2004 has advanced to
> being a "color-blind society" and has become qualitatively different from
> the "prison-house of nations" in 1922, or that all of our practice on the
> national question is so superior to the Bolsheviks' that we don't have to
> think about the things that Lenin did.  When my position is called
> 'liberalism' (citing another response), that doesn't bother me because Lenin
> was accused of "national liberalism" in his time.

Lenin was dealing with the question of Stalin's treatment of the 
Georgian national minority, something that Melvin would have dismissed 
cavalierly I should add. It is persistent problem for revolutionary 
governments that inherit traditions of national backwardness and 
inequality. The FSLN had a problem with the Miskitos, etc. But I am not 
sure how this translates into a listserv.

There are no cops or soldiers on Marxmail. We have no way of enforcing 
the prerogatives of a dominant nationality, unless putting Melvin on 
moderation is tantamount to the Georgians being denied the right to 
secede from the USSR.

To be blunt about it, I think what is going on here is not much 
different from what we used to hear from Ulhas, a subscriber from India, 
who identified strongly with the neoliberal trend of the Indian 
government but used Marxish jargon to defend it. When he was challenged 
politically by me, he would basically argue that citizens of imperialist 
countries were demonstrating the same kind of arrogance as the British 


The Marxism list: www.marxmail.org

More information about the Marxism mailing list