[Marxism] Further on the KKE

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue May 8 13:59:19 MDT 2012

On 5/8/2012 3:38 PM, Mike Hogan wrote:
>  Or put another way by a different commentor:
> "The KKE’s (classically Leninist) position seems to rest on two
> propositions. 1) Neither the parties of the right nor the parties of the
> reformist left have any credible policy for getting out of the crisis. 2)
> When the people realise this, they will rally to the KKE and its
> uncompromising programme of socialist transformation.
> The first proposition seems undeniably true. I have grave doubts about the
> second."
> I agree with this to a large extent and would dearly love to have my grave
> doubts assuaged.

This is the classic challenge that the United Front was meant to 
address. If the KKE was really "Leninist", it would form a 
government with Syriza in order to remove barriers that would 
allow its ostensibly revolutionary messages to get a hearing from 
the "reformist" Syriza ranks.

Lenin, Leftwing-Communism: an infantile disorder:

On the contrary, the fact that most British workers still follow 
the lead of the British Kerenskys or Scheidemanns and have not yet 
had experience of a government composed of these people—an 
experience which was necessary in Russia and Germany so as to 
secure the mass transition of the workers to communism—undoubtedly 
indicates that the British Communists should participate in 
parliamentary action, that they should, from within parliament, 
help the masses of the workers see the results of a Henderson and 
Snowden government in practice, and that they should help the 
Hendersons and Snowdens defeat the united forces of Lloyd George 
and Churchill. To act otherwise would mean hampering the cause of 
the revolution, since revolution is impossible without a change in 
the views of the majority of the working class, a change brought 
about by the political experience of the masses, never by 
propaganda alone. "To lead the way without compromises, without 
turning"—this slogan is obviously wrong if it comes from a 
patently impotent minority of the workers who know (or at all 
events should know) that given a Henderson and Snowden victory 
over Lloyd George and Churchill, the majority will soon become 
disappointed in their leaders and will begin to support communism 
(or at all events will adopt an attitude of neutrality, and, in 
the main, of sympathetic neutrality, towards the Communists). It 
is as though 10,000 soldiers were to hurl themselves into battle 
against an enemy force of 50,000, when it would be proper to 
"halt", "take evasive action", or even effect a "compromise" so as 
to gain time until the arrival of the 100,000 reinforcements that 
are on their way but cannot go into action immediately. That is 
intellectualist childishness, not the serious tactics of a 
revolutionary class.

The fundamental law of revolution, which has been confirmed by all 
revolutions and especially by all three Russian revolutions in the 
twentieth century, is as follows: for a revolution to take place 
it is not enough for the exploited and oppressed masses to realise 
the impossibility of living in the old way, and demand changes; 
for a revolution to take place it is essential that the exploiters 
should not be able to live and rule in the old way. It is only 
when the "lower classes" do not want to live in the old way and 
the "upper classes" cannot carry on in the old way that the 
revolution can triumph. This truth can be expressed in other 
words: revolution is impossible without a nation-wide crisis 
(affecting both the exploited and the exploiters). It follows 
that, for a revolution to take place, it is essential, first, that 
a majority of the workers (or at least a majority of the 
class-conscious, thinking, and politically active workers) should 
fully realise that revolution is necessary, and that they should 
be prepared to die for it; second, that the ruling classes should 
be going through a governmental crisis, which draws even the most 
backward masses into politics (symptomatic of any genuine 
revolution is a rapid, tenfold and even hundredfold increase in 
the size of the working and oppressed masses—hitherto 
apathetic—who are capable of waging the political struggle), 
weakens the government, and makes it possible for the 
revolutionaries to rapidly overthrow it.

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