[Marxism] Stalinism and Bakuninism (was: Earliest use of word "Stalinism"?)
tomcod3 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 1 11:54:50 MDT 2010
What a mish-mash! So the CNT, the IWW and the Kronstadt sailors were petty
bourgois gangsters imposing their will on the working class? Yeah, right!
More troubling is the interjection of stock right wing arguments invoking
horror stories about revolutionary violence with everything except the
Jacobins "reign of terror" thrown in. Give us a break. history is never
clean and revolutions are often a bloody business, but its important to keep
this in context, to keep in mind who the real perpetrators of violent
horrors were: counter revolution and its agents. Thus any excesses of S.
African oppressed people in dealing with informers, whether from below or
not, for example, need to be placed in the context of the brutality of the
apartheid regime and its crimes. Trotsky deals with dead on in "Their
Morals and Ours" in response to exactly these arguments regarding the
Bolshevik Revolution and Civil War and HG Wells deconstructs the Jacobins'
reign of terror in its historical context as well very excellently, that in
London during the same period as many or more poor people were executed for
petty economic crimes etc.
As to Sendero, they definitely had their problems, but were not an isolated
group, but almost succeeded in taking state power in spite of themselves.
The excellent Peruvian documentary, "State of Fear" deals with this with
its starting point being their Truth and Reconciliation commission talking
about the dismal conditions of workers and peasants there and the crimes of
the Fujimori regime in addition to the excesses of Shining Path. Finally as
Shawcross points out in "Sideshow", the material conditions for the Pol Pot
regime were created by US imperalism's invasion of Kampuchea and its
"secret" carpet bombing there that caused a failure of the rice harvest two
years in a row and flooded Pnom Penh with refugees, denuding the countryside
of much of its labor pool.
Sadly, power politics in the 20th Century after a certain point IS about
gangster methods to a certain degree. As Trotsky alludes in "Fascism: What
it is and how to fight it" after a certain point progressives need to
respond in kind in order to win just as in war one does not respond to
weapons with pacifism. In any event, let's not use hypocritical whining
liberal moralism to place the onus on oppressed people and the Left with
such shopworn neo-con like arguments that would make even Karl Kautsky
On Sun, Aug 1, 2010 at 9:39 AM, Lüko Willms <lueko.willms at t-online.de>wrote:
> > 2010/7/31 Lüko Willms <lueko.willms at t-online.de>:
> They are both a petty-bourgeois current exploiting the working-class
> movement, but the social basis is different.. ..
> It is this program of a "barracks communism" (Kasernenhofkommunismus),
> as Marx called it in its critique of the Bakuninist split of the first
> the gangsterism of a petty bourgeois layer detached from a real unity with
> the working classes, the strong-arm tactics against political opponents and
> the mistrust against the working class as such which has to be commanded
> but not led, all this is first found in Bakunin and his followers, and
> develop to a larger extent only after the foundations of a workers state
> brought about by the Russian Revolution provided such a layer a power base,
> on which same-minded groups in other countries could rely on.
> The horror of the Pol-Pot-Regime is another manifestation of that.
> Also think of the burning tires as "neck laces" to "discipline" Black
> by a stalinist wing of the ANC.
> This insight came me after reading Martín Koppel's pamphlet "Peru's
> Shining Path - Anatomy of a reactionary sect", published in 1993 by
> Pathfinder Press (Spanish as "Sendero Luminoso - Evolución de una secta
> estalinista" in 1994 <http://www.pathfinderpress.com/s.nl/it.A/id.599/.f
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