[Marxism] Barnes on South Africa

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Fri Feb 16 06:34:46 MST 2007

Phillip Ferguson wrote:

The attitudes of himself and Walter to the SACP-ANC read rather like the
supporters of the Provisonal Government in Russia in 1917.  Lenin would
be spinning in his grave.
I doubt it. More likely, Lenin would be criticizing the ANC government in
the same terms as others on the South African left, rather than parroting a
formula derived from his experiences in 1917 Russia. Replace the present ANC
government with what?

Yours is another example of what happens when theory is abstracted from

Lenin's call for the replacement of the 1917 Provisional Government by a
government of the soviets was entirely based on the fact that these
institutions of dual power existed and were spreading thoughout the Russian
empire  - the product of a revolutionary crisis brought about by
war-weariness and characterized by land seizures, military mutinies, factory
occupations, and the abandonment of political confidence in the Provisional
Government by increasingly well organized and politically conscious Russian
workers and peasants. The soviets weren't the product of Bolshevik
agitation; they arose independently of them and preceded the Bolshevik
ascendancy. Lenin's political genius lay in his ability to recognize the
turn in the objective situation and to boldly adjust his politics to bring
the party into line with it. Absent these conditions, there would have been
no April Theses.

Where exactly do you think the parallels lie?


More information about the Marxism mailing list