- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Politics not personalities.

Posted by: Lark on November 12, 1999 at 11:46:50:

If there's one marx-ist I dont mind so much it's Gramsci, he made room for the human will in an otherwise entirely deterministic pusedo-science and was one of the first to give an assessment of institutions from a socialist perspective (honestly guys, apart from Marx's praise of the commune or the pre-bolshevik putsch soviets there havent been any models of socialist institutes or thought about them republican or liberal institutions have sufficed, although the theory is broadly democratic) but he suffers, although less so, from the whole personalities not politics fixation that Marxists have.

I have to be honest if you consider Capitalism, Anarchy, Liberalism, Conservatism you dont get the same sectarian veneration of leaders, great men, master theorist, I mean do you get Friedmannists, Novakists or Bakuninists or Kropotkinites fighting it out? When was the last time the Disraelites and the Thatcherites engaged in bitter sectarian rivalry? Do the J.S. Millites hate the Spencerites more the socialists?

It's like Monty Pythons the Life of Brian.

This is poisionious, this tendency, it leads to spliting the labour movement and civil war within the progressive ranks. The idea that labelling such as he's an anarchist, he's a trot, he's a marxist can convey anything is terrible and the idea that people who proclaim themselves to be sincere and ardent socialists can be blasted for a lack of conformity even worse.

Now this makes Vanguardism impossible because you dont get one but a million vanguards and when the vanguard is successful, as in Russia, China or Cuba the veneration of leadership and personalities leads to the most terrible blood letting of all opposition. The revolutionary, if they're really successful in persuading everyone (persuasion is the true vanguard and the true revolution and before you scoff think about the changes implemented by Thatcher and Regan and the fact that everyone is convinced human nature is naturally possessive) they should be indistinguishable from the next man or women, they shouldnt know you from Adam.

Denying vanguardism exists is a bit stupid everything is by degrees vanguardist, every political party definitely is, the key anrachist groups could be said to be the vanguard, the Roman Church is the Catholic Vanguard and the various Church Councils the Protestant varient but making it important, raising it's status rather than taking it for granted and ignoring it, and giving it a Machavellian centre stage is a plan for dictatorship and death.

Marx was actually against this because he kicked Bakunin out of the international for anarchist vanguard tactics and this is well documented, just read Chomsky's 'Socialism real and fake' in "What Uncle Sam Really Wants", so it's a hopeless distortion on Lenin's part to suit his own infatuation with power and the state, 'The State and Revolution' is nothing more than the account of a reluctant syndicalist who is trying to slowly force the state back into the centre stage.

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