[Marxism] Lenin, party-building strategy, etc.

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Nov 4 20:39:46 MST 2004

Octob1917 at aol.com wrote:
> The main reason for the split came, in 1903, over Lenin's insistence that 
> they should organise as a small, elite group of 'professional revolutionaries, as 
> opposed to Plekhanov and the Menshevik faction which favored a loosely based 
> mass party-type structure. Lenin, apropos of the Tsarist police's successes in 
> infiltrating their organisation up to that point, felt that only a small 
> exclusive group could operating on the principle of 'iron discipline' would be 
> able to prevent such infiltration happening in the future.

This is the standard interpretation of people who call themselves 
Leninists. For those who are interested in the history of these 
struggles, I urge you to look at my article on "Lenin in Context" at:


> Finally, as for the Panthers, they stand as an inspiration to revolutionaries 
> throughout the world. I've read Huey Newton's writings, and those of Fred 
> Hampton and George Jackson, and have no problem saying they were among the most 
> advanced revolutionary leaders ever produced in the United States. 

Advanced revolutionary leaders do not raise slogans like "off the pigs". 
You should read Malcolm X someday. He was *extremely* careful about 
looking reasonable to ordinary black people and would never dream of 
speaking in such terms. I'm afraid that the Black Panther's biggest base 
of support was in the white left. While organizing in the black 
community in the 1960s involved serious risks to both militants and 
nonviolent activists, you should never give the cops a handle with which 
to beat you over the head. Ultraleftism helped to destroy the black 
liberation movement of the 1960s and we have to be clear about this.

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