- Capitalism and Alternatives -

this is an olllld canard.

Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on February 22, 19100 at 15:25:14:

In Reply to: A few more comments on the October Revolution posted by Barry Stoller on February 22, 19100 at 10:36:08:

:The suppression of the Kronstadt rising was one of the saddest
necessities of the Russian Revolution. Unlike the sailors of the
November 1917 revolution, who were drawn largely from the industrial
heart of o Petrograd, and who were subsequently dispersed to the four
corners of Russia during the civil war, the sailors in 1921
were...usually the sons of Ukrainian peasants

Thats cobblers that has been subsequently throroughly disprooved, cf. Ida Mett's 'The Krondstadt uprising' published by solidarity - the committee of the mutiny was made up of experienced sailors, who were there in 17, and plenty of the rest were of the old guard as well - this is an olllld canard.

:... On furlough in their home towns, they were heavily influenced by the complaints of the peasants against the strenuous regime of War Communism,

And the complaints of the workers in petrograd, living under Zinoviev's tyranny.

:and against the Communists who led the regime. In Kronstadt itself, ant-communist elements---anarchists and Social Revolutionaries---were active in sharpening relations between Kronstadt and Petrograd.

No other party was involved, although the anarchists would like credit, no anarchist organisation was involved. Nor the whites.

:Outside of Russia, the reactionary elements regarded the Kronstadt uprising as a rallying pole for the counter-revolution---at first under the war-cry of 'Sovietswithout Communists'---a bridge to no Soviets at all.

Now there's a leap of logic if ever I saw one, substitutionism I'd call that...

:The Cheka, as I've stated previously, was originally the Revolutionary
Military Committee, a body created to fight sabotage, profiteering,
hooliganism and, later, the counterrevolution itself.

But which became a secret police - i've called Trots Red Fascists to their face before for defending secret police, and I'm doing it again. you, Barry Stoller, are a Red Fascist. Socialists cannot, ever countenance a secret police force, the logic is completely unstoppable - the working class cannot control them, they must subjugate and divide the working class themselves, a secret police is utterly against our class interest.

:Although one would hope for a socialist transformation of society under
entirely above-board, ethical, and transparent forces, the truth of the
matter is that civil war requires unfortunate measures such as the
deployment of secret police. Why? Because the enemy will not resist
socialist transformation with such above-board, ethical, and transparent
measures as one would hope for; they will resist with every dirty trick
in the book.

Exactly, as I have been trying to explain, revolution by civil war necessitates these social relations, social relations which are diametrically opposite those of socialism, and which will wreck a revolution.

:A revolution is not a tea party, RD, and your hope for a 5 minute
dictatorship of the proletariat is either a personal delusion or an
untruth intended to beguile potential members of your party.

No, it is our stated plan - once robbed of the state, what possibly can the capitalist class do?

:This is the most offensive thing you have said yet!
'Building liberal democracy' instead of pursuing a proletarian
government directly following the abolition of feudal autocracy---this
grossly misrepresents Marx and Engels.

I didn't attribute the idea to Marx and Engels, I simply pointed out that Liberal Democracy would be the best the workers could hope for, in that situation.
:You, on the other hand, would put Marx and Engels (and the whole of the
working class) into the service of the bourgeoisie, fighting alongside
the bourgeoisie against monarchal absolutism ONLY to stop at the
capitalist state. And that counters Marx and Engels' intention!

no, never to stop at the bourgeois state, but to build up the conditions which would then allow the workers to turn on teh capitalists - full, American style democracy, back then, would have been the best defence against the bourgeoisie in the coming years.

:Item: 'Moreover, we [Marx and Engels] have, ever since [its publication]
been far from repudiating it.'(5)

Now---on to the larger issues...

*sigh* the practical application of the principles will depend, as the manifesto itself states, everywhere and at all times, on the historical conditions for the time being existing, and for that reason no special stress is laid on the revolutionary measures at the end of section II. that passage would, in many respects, be differently worded today. In view of the gigantic strides of modern industry since 1848, and of the accompanying improved and extended organisation of the working class...

:Maybe from your educated, middle class, labor aristocracy point of view
it does, but from a working class perspective, your statement is

Divisive crap - I'm a member of teh working class, 90% of the population is working class - all work requires our voluntary submission, laws only exist because we obey them, if mass disobedience began, the police could do nothing to stop it, at most they can pick out the odd one.

:Those cops on the beat aren't there for ha-has. (Speaking of
cops, do you still hold the reactionary position that cops are 'just
workers' like anyone else?)

You mean the position you yourself defended on this forum? yes, I still do, there is no point beating up cops.

:I feel that it is altogether too EASY for quasi-socialists (and
anarchist quacks) to criticize the October Revolution. As a matter of
fact, it's pretty common these days to disown it.

We disowned it in 1917, when it wasn't fashionable...

:But have any of these
critics faced famine while the enemy class hoarded grain in the hopes
that the population, dropping dead in the streets of starvation, would
permit them to restore the rule of capital? Let's see all these
quasi-socialists (and anarchist quacks) face a situation like the one
the Bolsheviks faced---without resort to force, without resort to
terror, without resort to desperation.

I agree entirely, and that is the point of my case, that once they embarked on their project, they were forced by circumstance and by objective conditions into what they did, hence why I reject the vanguard model - i am not alledging perfidity of teh bolsheviks, I am alleging that their doctrine was wrong.

:THEN I'll be impressed by all
their grandiloquent yak about peaceful, 5-minute revolutions and the

Well, the whole reason for that talk is so I'm not faced with that sort of situation, and franjkly, not living in a feudal autocracy, I don't see why I should even bother with imagining what its like to overthrow one - I'm only interested in otherthrowing capitalism.

:Was the October Revolution premature? Undoubtably.
The Bolsheviks never intended the low level of capitalist development in
Russia to support socialism. They knew that their revolution must be
joined by others, especially those of industrially developed nations.
Germany, facing imperialist ruin in the wake of World War One, seemed
very likely to follow the lead of the October Revolution. Perhaps, other
nations as well...

Yes, this is probably so, but still, that only means that really we should all spend our time looking at why the german revolution failed - I would suggest that it was because there was a low level of support, generally, and because the german state and the means of violence remained intact, unlike russia.

:The Paris Commune was a failure, too, don't forget.

Indeed, and for much the same reason.

:Marx, knowing the inevitable outcome of that failed attempt, supported
the attempt, and said:
World history would be indeed be very easy to make, if the struggle were
taken up only on condition of infallibly favorable chances.(6)

And better yet is to learn from the mistakes of the past, and not repeat them.

:Should the Bolsheviks, realizing that the civil war which pitted the
proletariat and poor peasantry against the landowners and the
capitalists was devolving into a cold war of indeterminate length with
the petty bourgeois mentality itself, surrendered the cause of
proletarian revolution and become 'democratic' defenders of capitalism
like the Mensheviks you so admire?

Martov rocks. No, they should have been the defenders of democracy, and working class interests - they need not have fought the peasants so hard, banning the back-packers when they knew they depended on their grain was plain bloody daft.

In a word, he is compelled to represent
not his party or class, but the class for whom conditions are ripe for

i.e. the bourgeoisie, as in Russia, or as in the Samurai revolt in Japan which lead to bourgeois rule...

:IMPORTANT NOTE: None of this is intended to be a glorification of war or
terror or any of the very ugly measures that accompany all revolutions.
Personally, I'd prefer to see the capitalist minority 'come around' and
surrender their militias and missiles when the overwhelming proletariat
finally confronts them. However, as this would constitute a historical
aberration, communists should not expect such easy going! Instead, in
order to be honest, they must inform the workers that the struggle for
class rule WILL be a violent struggle. To expect otherwise is foolishly
utopian and / or disingenuous.

Why is it an abberation? Where has it ever been tried before?

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup