[Marxism] Re marism is fascism

robert montgomery ilyenkova at gmail.com
Mon Oct 17 14:15:54 MDT 2005

' In my political work I am coming up against Anarchists, liberals, and
Chomskyites who are accusing Lenin and Marxism itself  of having an
oppressive, totalitarian core.  This is followed by statements that Lenin
was a mass murderer and that the Bolsheviks betrayed the democratic
revolution to install a dictatorship which naturally ends in Stalinism.
I need to be able to refute these claims historically.  I dont know what
books to turn to in order to educate myself and I need your help.'

Actually, before beginning from within the classics I'd look at Howard
Zinn's wonderful little play, "Marx in Soho."
 The main point I'd stress is that the marxist tradition has never
been, in reality, monolithic or some kind of catechistic body of holy
truths. Just as you'll find Lenin arguing with Kautsky and Plekhanov,
Trotsky with all Stalinists and Social Democrats, Luxemburg with
Lenin, one varient of Trotskyist with another, you'll finally hear
Marx himself crying out, "I am not a Marxist." Additionally, the
understandings of what fascism is, or was, are many.  I'd always ask
the critic what he or she means by fascism. You'll get responses
ranging from simple authoritarian forms of political rule ("Bush and
the neocons are fascists") to more sophisticated ones from the
libertarian-syndicalist tradition. As you read Marx on the Paris
Commune (and Lenin's State and Revolution), among others from the
tradition you'll develop your own understanding that will form the
basis for dealing with these central questions.
In Solidarity,
Bob M

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