[Marxism] What is a Marxist organization?
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Dec 4 01:12:04 MST 2014
On 12/3/14 10:14 PM, Scott J. via Marxism wrote:
> A fundamental weakness of the organizations of the socialist Left is that
> their members do not have a material stake in their organizations.
An interesting article that has already generated a lot of crossposting
and discussion on Facebook.
I tend to look at it from a somewhat different perspective. I think that
a large part of the problem is a replication of the distinction between
intellectual and manual labor that exists in capitalist firms. Keep in
mind that Lenin saw the need for a revolutionary party to adapt itself
to the new forms of labor organization that existed in bourgeois
society. This was Neil Harding's insight that I repeated in my analysis
"Economism belonged to Russia's past; orthodox Marxism was the way
forward. He saw modern social democracy as corresponding to the highly
complex and specialized nature of modern mass production. He saw
socialist parties as the working-class equivalent of large-scale
industrial plants. A centrally-managed, large-scale division of labor
was needed to move the struggle forward, just as it was necessary to
construct steam locomotives. Lenin was no enemy of capitalist technology
and mechanization. Rather he sought to appropriate its positive features
Part of the equation was creating a caste of membership called "the
professional revolutionary". In Czarist Russia this was simply a means
of keeping an organization going when leaders were being routinely
arrested. But in groups like those in the Fourth International
tradition, it meant basically created what amounted to management. The
intellectual laborers wrote the Militant; the production line workers
went out and sold it.
The answer to this is the dreaded broad-based anti-capitalist party that
people like Callinicos regard as anathema. I think that if Czarism did
not exist, Lenin would have adopted an organizational form much more
like the German social democracy that is geared to parliamentary
democracies such as those that exist in the USA today.
I have an article pending in North Star on Podemos that will touch on
some of this.
More information about the Marxism