[Marxism] Challenge to Lenin & Trotsky experts
steve4masterson at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Aug 30 07:06:10 MDT 2006
I put this challenge or question on the Green-Left list of 900
members several days ago. Not one comrade could meet
the challenge. Let us see if the Marxism list can do any better.
I am contending that the essence of Karl Marx's work was not
properly understood by any of his followers.
the alteration of men [Menschen = humans] on a mass scale,
an alteration which can only take place in a practical movement,
a revolution; the revolution is needed, not only because the ruling
class cannot be overthrown in any other way, but also because the
class overthrowing it can only in a revolution succeed in ridding
itself of all the muck of ages and become fitted to found society
anew." (Karl Marx - MECW, vol 5, p 53).
Let me re-write again that paragraph, as best I can for today, just
to implant its meaning deeper still:
>> In and through the process of human resistance against the
inhumanity of capitalism, in and through the fight for the
revolutionary overthrow of this dehumanising system only
then can we individuals, our collectives and communities rid
ourselves of the bulk of alienation, backwardness and
muck of ages that imprisons and chains our genuinely
human advance and self-emancipation.
Only when masses of us human beings change ourselves in
this process of resistance and revolution, only when we learn
to see, feel, think, love, be constantly developing only
then can we succeed in ridding ourselves of the muck of ages
and become truly fitted to found society anew. The ruling class
cannot be overthrown in any other way. <<
Arise ye starvelings from your slumbers the opening words
of our Internationale, also express the essence of Marx.
Now Marx himself does not believe that `all' the 'muck of ages',
that deep alienation and backwardness can be 'ridden' in one go
and he explains in various other articles that after revolution
it may take two or three generations to fully complete the `ridding'
process. However, his central theme in all his many works are of
self-emancipation, of human self-liberation, beginning NOW - as the
key to both revolution, and crucially, of securing it. Marx never
emphasised quality leadership of revolutionary parties as the `only'
way to achieve our revolution and secure our truly human new world.
Indeed, he called the 1st International a free association of working
Men [Menschen = humans].
If anyone doubts that the above is the central driving force in
Marx, the essence of everything he did, I can provide you with many,
many quotes, not just from the young Marx and his Paris Manuscripts
Of 1844, but also from later on in his life.
My challenge then, is for any comrade to find just a couple of quotes
of a similar character, of the essence of Marx, from either Trotsky, or
indeed, Lenin, or any other `Marxist' for that matter. I do this with the
greatest respect for the struggles, abilities and sacrifices of all
these comrades and millions of others but what I am stressing is
that the real essential Marx has not been understood at all.
I am also critical of non-deity Marx for having insisted that in his time
capitalism was dying and that humanity and the productive forces
were able to sustain revolution back in his days. That he and all
other `Marxists' have stated that capitalism was on its last legs in
their times too, was obviously driven by the deep mass inhumanity,
poverty, warlike character of early bestial capitalism. They wanted
change so badly, to stop that suffering and establish socialism,
that objectivity was unfortunately obscured. That is not to say I
would have done any different in those circumstances, and it is
important to grasp that I only do this with hindsight.
I am saying that how we build revolutionary movements today must
be conditioned by re-reading and studying Marx again or I do think
we will be going on to enviromental and/or nuclear destruction.
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