[Marxism] The Leninist Party: an annotated bibliography

n.fredman.11 at scu.edu.au n.fredman.11 at scu.edu.au
Wed Mar 11 21:10:58 MDT 2009

Louis' reports a request:

>>I am engaged on a major writing project criticizing the rigid model of
“leninist vanguard party” that was established (and mythologized) in the
1920s in the comintern.<<

One hopes that our budding scholar of Leninism isn't merely hunting for quotes to prove a pre-determined conclusion of "Zinovievism" bad, something "looser" good, but will look at other opinions and evidence. Particularly how different organisations looking to some extent to the early Comintern now operate quite differently, e.g. Louis' little list of characteristics seems to apply to the UK SWP but at several points would be significantly contradicted by the practice of the Australian DSP and the European Mandelistas (in different ways). Louis is particularly ignorant of the practice of the Europeans (not to mention the Pakistanis, Indonesians, Malaysians  and Filipinos). I am no expert on them either, but then I don't pretend to have a grand unified theory neatly summarising what's wrong with any and all Leninists. 

Another pertinently debatable point is how much better, or even really looser, are the "looser" models. Take the Australian Greens. Most of them presumably think the fact that their parlimentarians don't have to follow party policy is a wonderful aspect of their democracy. I think it's totally undeomcratic, and quite fucked up that for example their leader Bob Brown, while admirable in many ways,  can consistently refuse to oppose the Afghan war, contrary to party policy. On the other hand, *all* of their debates, as I far as I have ever seen, are totally secret. Their parliamentary party room is closed to the public (and presumably ordinary party members),they have a secret members section on their website, there's no public discussion material there, their magazine contains no debate on policy, I've seen no mention of debates or reports of their conferences in the mass media, etc (my union's conferences are also closed to the public and the media except for a non-decision making session or two, by the way). The DSP by contrast has published counter-posed reports on it's site (including *outside pre-conference periods*). 

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