[Marxism] Soviet (dis?)continuity? - was, "Workers in military uniforms"?

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Mon May 3 16:32:53 MDT 2004

In a message dated 5/3/2004 3:39:27 PM Central Standard Time, 
si at psychosisweb.com writes:

>As a matter of fact, Hayne's analysis is extremely historical. He 
portrays Stalin's ascendancy not as the / cause/ but as a /consequence/ of 
what he perceives as the revolution's  degradation, which itself is understood
as a consequence of numerous exterior pressures in the years 1917-25: the 
crusading Whites (and the consequent devastation of the already numerically weak 
proletariat, leading to  dramatic centralisation as democracy stumbled), the 
failure of the other Revolutions (esp. in Germany) and the death of  Lenin, to 
name those I remember.

So far as I understand it at present, the key difference between 
revolutionary Russia and Stalinist Russia was the dynamism of the democracy 
and attendant culture in the former versus the  overbearing subjugation of the 
and centralisation of the latter. I suppose my concern is the almost  
universal conceit in my peers that revolutionary socialism has been 'tried and 
failed'. If one can draw a line in the 
sand and say, from here there was no socialism: socialism failed, but its 
failure was not Stalinism itself but the  process leading to Stalinism, and that 
that process is not
a neccessary consequence of revolution (that is, point out historical 
specialities such as those above) then it is possible to win these people (humanists 
all) to the revolutionary cause. If there  is an argument to be made for 
Stalinism's humanism, then I will hear it - or read it (references please!) - but 
at the  moment (am I slave of bourgeois ideology?) the era from 1928 onwards 
seems to me one for the left to disown, even if it was the only  form of social 
organisation that could feed the people of the second world. Lenin's 
motivation may have been to feed the  people, but it doesn't seem to me that Stalin's 
was. He certainly did on the whole, but it was in my view only to retain the 
empire (there is of course evidence that he starved the 'kulaks' (eg the 
peasantry) to subdue them) rather than to enable the expression of  humanity's 
greater side, as I had thought it was socialism's function and purpose.<


Your honesty is noted and a breath of fresh air. 

However your last sentence is a tad bit to long. 

Any communist worth their salt rejects the concept of "humanism" because it 
arose as an ideological construct for all of us in the modern era as the result 
of the social revolution crowned by Lenin's Bolsheviks. 

The dispute is the concept of "workers in uniforms" or "workers in military 
uniform" and you chose to change the tread to "Soviet continuity." 

Your questions are valid but we need to stay grounded in Marxism. 

Comrade, a slave that does not get a weapon and lean to fight - and starve, 
deserves to be a slave. 

Do you disagree with how I personally described continuity? 

If so this is all right but what was described wrong? 

After all our task is to train the workers and win the vanguard to the cause 
of communism. 

Melvin P. 

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