[Marxism] That's funny...

Stacey Barber emusis at adelphia.net
Tue May 4 10:47:40 MDT 2004

Allow me to get to the point. The question is the Moscow Trails and the
of terror in Soviet society. Why did this happen? This happened because of
the personal qualities of Stalin as a leader. This does not exhaust or even
begin to describe Stalin's qualities as a leader that built an industrial
infrastructure not governed by unrestricted the law of value.

Gosh, that's funny Melvin.  The Trotskyism that you think is so
counterevolutionary has quite a bit to say about the nature of Stalinism.
The Moscow Trials had very little to do with the "personal" qualities of
Stalin as a leader and everything thing to do with the nexus of class forces
that someone like Stalin represented, especially the nacent bourgeois
elements that were infiltrating the Russian C.P. because of the N.E.P., even
though Stalin later freaked out and went after the Kulacks.  As far as I
could tell, Stalin would align himself with whatever segment it was that
would assure his semi-bonapartist rule.  He was opportunist to the core and
could only think in the moment and had very little of a longterm outlook.

His policies in regard to socialist revolution worldwide did major damage to
the "industrial infrastructure" of the Soviet Union.  I tend to wonder that
without there being other countries in the world who had economies that were
based on the genuine revolution of the working class, instead of countries
that had those changes imposed upon them, the sources for innovation, either
scientific or industrial, were something that were cut off from Russia from
the late 1960s onward.  I'm not really sure about that one, since my
knowledge of post-Stalin Soviet history is pretty foggy, but I'm inclined to
think that the more countries are involved in whatever socio-economic system
and the stronger the struggles of respective working classes have made the
working class and all of the spinoffs that the struggles of revolutionaries
and radicals can open up in societies in terms of creative endeavors, either
scientific or artistic, the more innovative that particular country can be,
and all the more innovative if there is more than one country in that

Thinking that individual personalities determine history is a very bourgeois
notion about how history operates.  At best, individuals are representive
figureheads.  I don't think revolutionaries can make a change in history
just because of their individual charisma or personalities, but because
their analysis reflects the actual nature of the society they live in and
has pinned down who is actually going to change that society, based on an
objective measure of what the working class's place in production is and
because revolutionaries act on the basis of that analysis.

But it seems to me, in regards to either Maoism or Stalinism, that part of
what props those two strains of Marxism is up are stories about the heroic
efforts of their two patron saints, and that a blind eye is turned to the
class forces that those particular leaders were summoning.

Stacey B.

More information about the Marxism mailing list