[Marxism] Earliest use of word "Stalinism"?
tomcod3 at gmail.com
Sat Jul 31 13:01:02 MDT 2010
It seems to me though that this is a widely held caricature of the Jacobins,
if not of Blanqui (who always reminds me of John Brown for some reason) who
was a mass leader and the principal leader of the incipient Paris Commune
before his arrest, although according to Wikepedia he did hold some of the
ideas you attribute to him, although reading Lenin's Left Wing Communism
you'd never know he was a leader of the Commune.
As to the Jacobins, the widespread idea that they were a small group and the
French Revolution was some sort of a conspiracy of these illuminati was
later updated to precisely describe the Bolsheviks and the Russian
Revolution in that way of a communist conspiracy that staged a coup.
Trotsky in his history did indeed proudly compare the Bolsheviks to the
Jacobins and the Soviet Government to the Committee of Public Safety, but
not in that sense, but in the sense of a mass based leadership of a historic
struggle, of a revolution which he described as "the conscious intervention
of the masses into history". And of course we all know of his analogy of
Stalin with "Thermidor".
As far as I know, the Jacobins didn't even exist before 1789 but were one of
a number of impromptu groupings that arose, or were thrown up, in the wake
of the calling of the Estates General and the turmoil that ensued,
Robespierre having been a more or less anonymous 30 year old nobody when he
ducked his head into their camp. Incredibly this French Parliament had not
met in a 150 years and was called by the king to bail him out financially.
More so than England's Long Parliament of a century and half before whose
hiatus was a mere couple decades, the agenda almost immediately became the
termination of the monarchy.
On Sat, Jul 31, 2010 at 10:50 AM, Mark Lause <markalause at gmail.com> wrote:
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> The question's not whether there were mass revolutionary upheavals, but how
> the revolutionary leadership sought to channel those upheavals and
> institutionalize the mandate to govern. For the Jacobins, this was a
> question of a small organization taking charge and directing a government.
> There is a clear and quite interesting line from this approach to
> to that of Blanqui and that part of the movement that understood revolution
> in insurrectionary terms. The notion of having a small group come to power
> and direct the course of the revolution also developed in this tradition.
> Marxism came out of this, but sought to transform it. However, these same
> ideas do crop up within the Marxist tradition from time to time....
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