[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 
revolution  itself. 
 
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 
capitalist institutions. 
 
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 
barricade fighting. 
 
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 
 unionism." 
 
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  
itself. 
 
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. 
 
More later. 
 
WL.
 
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