[Marxism] Problems of Leninism
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Feb 6 16:24:13 MST 2012
On 2/6/12 6:05 PM, Dan Russell wrote:
> The question falls most heavily on the largest groups: would a formation of
> perhaps 2000 people be more effective than a few hundred continuing to
> build ourselves on the basis of politics and practice that we feel is
> superior? Louis wasn't the only one hopeful at the prospects of something
> like the NPA but it does not seem to have been an overwhelming success and
> I think the same could be said of smaller attempts to regroup in the
> history of the US left, albeit in periods of declining struggle.
I am changing the subject heading since Binh requested that we not use
his name. We also refrain from using subscribers' names in the subject
heading for just about the same reason.
If you think that the NPA has had problems, just go back and read about
the development of the July 26th movement with its divisions between the
urban movement and the guerrillas in the mountains. It was a total mess.
By contrast, groups in Cuba organized like the ISO had no such problems
to deal with. They recruited students and workers around a
Marxist-Leninist program, took part in protests against the dictatorship
and were generally a fairly benign presence even if they were ignored by
But to overthrow a dictatorship and create the basis for socialist
economic development requires being able to tap into the social power of
millions. No group organized on the basis of Leon Trotsky's
interpretation of "Bolshevism" has ever come close to reaching that
level of influence and *never* will.
I am not trying to persuade ISO comrades to follow a different path. I
know from experience that this is impossible. Anybody who said anything
like this to me when I was in the SWP during its dynamic phase would
have earned my contempt as well.
My remarks are directed more to the thousand-plus subscribers of
Marxmail who are looking for a different approach. Some of them, I can
tell you from conversations I've had offlist, are in touch with far more
working people than the ISO has ever had any contact with or ever will.
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