[Marxism] The Struggle for a Petty-Bourgeois Orientation [was: RE: The Le...
Waistline2 at aol.com
Waistline2 at aol.com
Thu Mar 12 11:31:47 MDT 2009
On and off for at least 10 years the issue of the state of the social
movement and the organization of A Leninists type Party has been raised on this
list. Often we use the same terms but proceed from different concepts of the
meaning of a Leninist "party of a new type." A party in the image of Lenin has
been impossible to build in America for specific concrete reasons. It is one
thing to call oneself a Leninists party and adopt democratic centralism as a
form of organizational cohesion. It is an entirely different matter to become
an insurrectionary force, when a revolutionary crisis does not exist or is on
the immediate horizon.
The party Lenin built was constructed to accomplish one goal and one goal
only: to seize political power or act as insurrectionary forces. That is to say,
a gigantic revolution was unfolding in Russia, with all classes in play and
Lenin fought to build a party that would vie with the bourgeoisie for
political power, state authority.
What revolutionaries in America face is a tad bit different from Lenin and
the Bolsheviks. Lenin’s strategy was to build an insurrectionary force in the
context of a gigantic revolution unfolding in Russia; a process noted in a
preface to the Communist Manifesto. Revolutionaries in America, no matter what
their historical orientation are faced with the exceptionally complex task of
creating the strategy not so much for "a party of a new type" but the
The intent is not do "dis" or belittle comrades who deeply feel that our
task is to build an insurrectionary forces capable of effecting the transition
in political power from one class to another. Your passion is not disrespected.
Lenin did not have to create the strategy for the revolution, because
Czarism as a political institution, was collapsing in stages. The revolution
sprung from the revolution in the productive forces, as it created and expanded
new classes and new economic relations; and forms of wealth that destabilize
the existing society founded on wealth in the form of landed property -
feudalism; and compel all of society into inter and inner class conflict. Lenin
created a strategy to seize political power. To seize political power; preserve
the political and ideological independence of the proletariat; and create an
industrial society without capital in the hands of private individuals and
The sum total of organizational experience and wisdom on this list is
profound and needs to be harvested in a manner digestible to all. I tend towards a
federation form of organization, no matter what it calls itself or how it
attempts to implement democratic centralism; an organization with a three
paragraph program summed up as victory of the workers in their current struggle.
That is how we avoided much of the ideological splits some groups experienced.
This very issue was discussed on this list maybe eight years ago.
Building an organization that acts as an insurrectionary force is not on the
agenda at this point. This is not to say that events are not proceeding at a
breath taking pace in America today. The current struggle the Obama
administration finds itself in contains what may become a Constitutional crisis. Bush
W. 2000 election did create a tiny constitutional crisis, throwing the
political football into the hands of the Supreme Court.
Sectarianism has a historical character and in different time frames is
unavoidable because communists at all times are charged with safeguarding the
treasure house of Marxism. An aspect of sectarianism that is avoidable is
attempting to build an insurrectionary force in a timeframe where conditions
prohibit the transfer of political power from one class to another.
Building the strategy for the Third American Revolution - proletarian
revolution, is a totally different discussion that trying to build a party in the
image of Lenin. I have fallen on the side of these comrades who believe that
striving to build a Leninists party today is politically immature. Absolutely
no one, more than the "old heads" - those 50 and up, would love to see this
degenerate system of exploitation wiped from existence.
No matter what our passions, we are limited by objective and subjective
factors expressing the life of our society and the spontaneous movement of
various layers of the working class. Anything we attempt to build is going to
express the historical moment and the here and now if we are to be successful in
attracting a new generation of insurgents. Even Marx and Engels fell into in
error in daily assessments of the proletarian movement. Engels passionately
speak of how he and Marx were under the spell of the "old period" of
Why errors in assessment are unavoidable is worth a few comments. It is
simply not possible, (outside a daily mounting revolutionary crisis that places
the question of a transfer of political power on the agenda), to quantify
history and ones specific stage of combat, before change happens. The "change
that happens" refers to "changes in the form of struggle." 1905 Russia and the
emergence of Soviets as a form of struggle were not predictable in 1899.
Consequently, Lenin struggle was for the revolutionaries not to reduce the level
of their activity to that of trade union ideologists or as it is called "trade
The point is that Job 1 for communists, is to first figure out what it is
that we face as revolutionaries as an immediate task; our path to revolution. An
objective as possible analysis of social forces in America is needed. Our
immediate task is never reducible to the all important fight for concessions
and reforms. We already know how to fight for reforms and concessions and
possess medals and accolades to prove this dating back to the American Civil War.
We communist - Marxists, have been the first to "man up" in fighting for
every single reform and concession won by our working class since Marx. Our
victories have been legendary and our mistakes monumental.
My point is that we have to figure out the strategy for the revolution
Elections and our national presidential election is a gage for the working
class consciousness as measured through the voting section of the workers. It
seems we are on the threshold of an enormous mass movement, whose opposition,
at this time was expressed as 58 million people voting for Senator John
McCain. On the other hand hundreds of thousands of folks attending open air
rallies for Obama, which is without precedence in our history. Considerably less
masses attended Senator John McCain rallies compared with the Obama campaign
rallies. These open air rallies set a new bench mark, and contain a
configuration of the meaning of "the mass uprising." The importance of these open air
rallies are that as a form of struggle, the OAR (open air rallies) supersedes
the rebellions of the 1970's and 1980’s and the "Million Man March
"forum/form of the 1990's.
Such OAR combined with Constitutional crisis would be interesting . . . Yes?
I would also like to later register on the petty bourgeois character of the
Marxist movement and OAR and why it is a historical configuration, without any
religious like back flogging.
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