[Marxism] Re: A sectarian approach

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Nov 13 19:19:28 MST 2005

Andy wrote:
>The dispute over the statutes described in One Step Forward was
>by no means irrelevant. Lenin is quite clear in the pamphlet that it
>symbolized two different party conceptions, with his being one that
>would fight in a unified way to lead a revolution rather than being
>a talk shop in which all were welcome.

You'd think that from this business about "talk shops" that the Bolsheviks 
were expelling people at the drop of a hat. In fact, the only Bolshevik 
that ever got expelled seems to be Bogdanov, a colorful character who had 
developed some unusual ideas about philosophy that prompted Lenin to write 
"Empirocriticism". Even after members of his own central committee broke 
discipline over the seizure of power in October 1917, they were not 
expelled. If people are interested in the real history of the Bolshevik 
party as opposed to these projections into the past, I recommend Neil 
Harding's "Lenin's Political Thought" that won an Isaac Deutscher prize 
some years back. I also, of course, recommend reading Lenin. For example, 
there is only reference in What is to be Done to how a vanguard party 
should comport itself. This involves among other things defending the right 
of artists to create controversial art--more or less in the spirit of "Piss 

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