[Marxism] An ounce of theory is worth a ton of action

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jan 15 17:28:26 MST 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013
An ounce of theory is worth a ton of action

The old 'orthodoxy' such as it was, was the three pillars of the IS, 
state capitalism, permanent arms economy and deflected permanent 
revolution. The last two are now void and the first isn't such a 
tremendous intellectual head start any more. The SWP has no programme. 
What makes the party different and how? Why is it a distinct organisation?

Often it’s described as democratic centralism, but such a term is 
polyvalent, it means different things to different people. Democratic 
centralism is often attributed to Lenin as a key innovation, sometimes 
its blurred with vanguardism, another ‘Leninist’ term. Independent 
initiative is sometimes described as federalism, the opposite of 
democratic centralism and something to be wary of. Even in Lenin’s 
controversial What is to be Done the reorganisation of the party as a 
collective of professional revolutionaries dedicated to distributing 
newspapers, posters, leaflets and on, was meant to encourage independent 
initiative: the ultimate aim being a simultaneous (or practically 
simultaneous) uprising among the diverse and dispersed people suffering 
under the Russian Empire.

But step into our time again, a party whose point of differentiation is 
it’s own internal organisation is a step away from a party that exists 
to perpetuate itself.

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