- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Yes---to the bourgeois forces

Posted by: Stoller on October 26, 1999 at 15:42:38:

In Reply to: Closing the ranks? posted by Chuck on October 26, 1999 at 14:12:48:

: It seems that 'closing the ranks ...' implies the eventual separation of the organisation from the least class conscious workers, the ones who need leadership. This would generally leave the party in the hands of the more affluent workers, i.e. "... a portion of the bourgeois ideologists who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movement as a whole" (The Communist Manifesto, "Bourgeois and Proletarians"). Is this wrong?

My intrepretation is that the 'closing' of the ranks Engels mentions implies the exclusion of the bourgeois elements within the worker's movement---as Lenin made clear:

We are waging a struggle against the 'labor aristocracy' in the name of the masses of the workers and in order to win them over to our side; we are waging the struggle against the opportunist and social-chauvinist leaders in order to win the working class over to our side. It would be absurd to forget this most elementary and most self-evident truth. Yet it is this very absurdity that the German 'Left' Communists perpetrate when because of the reactionary leadership, they jump to the conclusion that...we must withdraw from the trade unions, refuse to work in them, and create new and artificial forms of labor organization! This is so unpardonable a blunder that it is tantamount to the greatest service Communists could render the bourgeoisie.
('"Left-Wing" Communism---An Infantile Disorder' [1921], Selected Works, vol. 3, International 1975, p. 317.)

I mean, Sweeny--who just endorsed the losing Gore campaign---looks like a goner, right?

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