- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Stollerism a good mix of slanders and contradictions?

Posted by: Lark on November 29, 1999 at 15:01:54:

OK Barry seems to be advocting his owh ideology here since, characteristically of any trot I've ever met, he commands a real knowledge of bolshevik literature, doesnt endevour to read alternatives or opposing views and notably hasnt joined a party under the leadership of anyone else so he must think he's the only really capable leader the worlds ever had (ignoring the fact that if people acted for themselves instead of becoming reliant on leadership there'd be a lot less bolshevik style putschs).

But I cant be trusted and lie all the time (At least Barry can agree with the Neo-Conservative scums there) so I better pull some quotes out of the air to validate my case. Barry's sectarian views etc. are evident form this page where everyone who disagrees with his mix of naive enthusiasum for dictatorship, centralism and authoritarianism is a weak minded liberal (yes, I can imagine Barry's Utopia of a mean world without feeling, weakness or mistakes populated by steelly willed, iron hearted Trotskyists or is that 1984) and he's even got Marcos to join his rabble now.

Here we go with evidence of the contradictions inherent in Bolshevism:

"The great Leninist innovation, hardly present in Marx, was the concept and reality of party rather than movement. The party became convinced that it was the embodiment of the working class, indeed of an international working class, just as clearly as the Jacobin Club had, for a moment of time, believed that anyone who opposed them was opposing the purest expression of that will; even worse, anyone who did not actively support them, or even failed to work hard, was a traitor or a saboteur.

Lenin's doctrine of the dictatorship of the proletariat is well known, as is his argument in the state and revolution and elsewhere that the party was the vanguard of history. He was an intellectual and marginally more tolerant than Stalin who succeeded him. But the old leftist view in the 1960's 'Lenin good, Stalin bad', now seems throughly suspect if one simply reads what he wrote and recalls what he did(See especially A.J. Polan, Lenin and the End of Politics (methuen,1984)). He would probably have imprisoned or exiled most socialist opposition but killed many fewer people than Stalin; yet his beliefs in absolute historical necessuty created tge apalling state of mind in which party dissidents were not simply punished but had to be brought, by whatever means, sometimes psychological as much as physical, to confess errors, not to admit to differences. There were no honest differences, only unpurged bourgeois deviations [Arthur Koestler's novel Darkness at Noon is still the best acccount of this, the interrogation of the old Bolshevik ideologist by the new Stalinist apparatnik]. Their opponents were not even allowed to die honourably, as revolutionaries themselves had often done in autocratic regimes.

Lenin had siad that the party embodied the consciousness of the working class, Stalin crudified this into his notorious 'Aside from the influence of the party there is no conscious activity of the workers'. (there can be no Christians without the Church). Myth has it that Trotsky, hating Stalin and hunted by Stalin, was Lenin's true heir if the famous 'Testament' of Lenin had ever been published. But Consider his words, in the Soviet Party Congress of 1924:

The party in the last analysis is always right, because the party is the single historid instrument given to the proletariat for the solution of its fundamnetal problems. I have already said that in front of one's own party nothing could be easier than to acknowledge a mistake, nothing easier than to say: all my criticisms, my statements, my warnings, my protests - the whole thing was a mere mistake. I, however, comrades, cannot say that, because I cannot think it. I know that one cannot be right against the party. One can be right only with the party, for history has created no other road for the realisation of what is right. The English have a saying: 'Right ot wrong, my country' With far greater histroic justification we may say: right or wrong, on seperate particular issues, it is my party'
[Isaac Deutscher, Stalin: a Political Biography]"

From Bernard Crick's "Socialism", Chapter 4: 'Marx and Marxism:Theory and Practice', 1987, Open University Press.

So in the last analysis the Bolsheviks where people who idealised the worst elements of imperialism and tsarist centralist totalitarian autocracy, Trotsky being no exception. What does Mr. Stoller have to say for himself now? Or am I just another liberal weak minded Utopian?

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