[Marxism] Moderator's note/China

D OC donaloc at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 22 04:56:43 MST 2006

>I don't think so, Michael. He (Lenin) saw the Soviet Union as a beachhead 
>for the world revolution in contrast to Stalin who began to look inwards. 
>At the very time the USSR was in full swing with the NEP, the Soviet Union 
>was sending Comintern agents to help the German Communists overthrow the 
>government. Of course, this backfired on them but that's another story 
>altogether. Perhaps the best analogy is with Cuba during the OLAS years, in 
>more ways than one unfortunately.

Lenin was having doubts about the potential of revolution in the main 
imperialist centres soon after the October revolution. There is evidence 
that Trotsky too had a similar belief at this time - although it dissipated 
soon with him.

The core issue is that this view is eurocentric. It presents Soviet 
interests in 'exporting' the revolution to the Western countries only i.e. 

It is clear from the Baku conference that Lenin clearly saw that the 
potential was not restricted to the imperialist core countries but in fact 
sought to develop this in the colonial nations.

Stalin is portrayed as a man with no interest in exporting revolution. He 
was personally involved in the invasion of Poland and was clearly committed 
to that project. Further, he was instrumental in developing the Mongolian 
revolution (which I suspect few Eurocentric marxists/trotskyists even 
discuss). Also, Stalin was hugely involved in the Chinese revolution and 
ensured that it retained its focus on achieving the democratic goals despite 
the onslaught of the treacherous KMT and subsequently of the Japanese 

The notion that Stalin wasn't interested in exporting revolution is 
mistaken. He didn't do it in the manner the Trotskyists would like and 
didn't share their confidence in the proletariat of imperialist centres but 
he did actively promote it. His priority was consolidating the revolution in 
his own state; however. Just consider Mao's view of Stalin and the then very 
different opinion that Mao had of Khruschev. Doesn't this suggest that Mao 
thought Stalin offered a qualitatively different amount of support to 
Chinese Communists than his successors?

As for China, I think that I am insufficiently informed to make a definitive 
judgement. But I will try to give some sense of my thoughts. Clearly, what 
China's communist leadership are about is countering the imperialist threat 
by any means necessary and they feel that if that requires capitalist growth 
then so be it. In a sense, this comes from the Maoist dialectical principle 
of the 'principle contradiction' a concept which I think is dangerous as it 
is untrue and idealist. However, most Chinese immigrants I speak to have an 
amazing understanding of this strategy.

I think that the Chinese might have achieved greater stability if they had 
continued to pursue the socialist road. The greatest threat to China today 
is not US invasion, I suspect, but US intervention with the aim of 
increasing internal destabilisation. The growing divisions associated with 
capitalism will only aggravate that. Chinese will no longer be as willing to 
sacrifice for the common good when they live in such an unequal and selfish 
society. My instinct then is that China should have not pursued the 
capitalist road and it should have maintained the course where it used 
socialist growth to maintain internal cohesion, unity and could maintain its 
defences at an adequate standard. A pity that Mao adopted Stalin's earlier 
rather than later approach to purges. Overall, I believe that as marxists 
must base ourselves on a class-based analysis not one predicated on a crude 
nationalism alone.

The two extremes of communist thought are Trotskyite delusions and sectarian 
practices developed in imperialist centres where objective revolutionary 
circumstances have not existed for generations and on the other hand 
opportunist tail-ending of overseas third world national bourgeois 
strategies to counter imperialism. The task, as always, is to chart a course 
between idealist ultraleftism and right-opportunism. The lesson of 21st 
Century socialism so far is that this new vision must be based on empowering 
the proletariat and dispossessed layers themselves.

Le meas,

Windows Live™ Messenger has arrived. Click here to download it for free! 

More information about the Marxism mailing list