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Lenin

Socialists Do Stand for Equality

MARX OR STALIN?

The new draft Constitution now being considered in Russia lays it down that "to each according to the quality and quantity of his work" is a socialist principle. In the July SOCIALIST STANDARD that assertion was challenged on the ground that the principle is a capitalist one. As the question is an important one, and much confusion is likely to result from the Russian declaration, it was proposed to follow the matter up. In the meantime, the Daily Worker (July 4th) has departed from the general rule of the Communists of ignoring the S.P.G.B. by replying to the comment published in THE SOCIALIST STANDARD. While the Daily Worker’s observations are not well-informed, they will serve as an introduction. This is what the Daily Worker says: —

A Question of Definition (4) - Socialism/Communism

Socialism is the name we give to the new society we wish to see the working class establish, defined in our Object as “a system of society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community”.

Book Review: 'Karl Kautsky'

Marxist populariser

'Karl Kautsky', by Dick Geary, Manchester University Press

This book on Kautsky, in the Manchester University Press "Lives of the Left" series, is a useful and well-balanced discussion of the ideas, though not the life (but who cares?), of the person who, after the death of Engels in 1895, became the best-known populariser of Marx's ideas. The first three pamphlets, published by the Socialist Party in 1906 and 1908, were in fact a serialisation of the theoretical introduction Kautsky wrote to the programme adopted by the German Social Democratic Party at its Erfurt Congress in 1891. (Curiously, reference to these pamphlets is not made in the bibliography Geary gives of Kautsky's works available in English).

Book Review: 'The Seeds of Evil - Lenin & the Origins of Bolshevik Elitism'

Trotskyist Zealots & Stalinist Neanderthals

'The Seeds of Evil: Lenin & the Origins of Bolshevik Elitism,' by Robin Blick, Ferrington Press. 31-35 Gt. Ormond Street, London WC1. £5.

The front cover of this book shows a Russian doll. The top one is Stalin, underneath is Lenin and underneath Lenin is Robespierre, the Jacobin dictator who ruled France briefly in 1794. The theme of the book is that Lenin's elitist view that the workers needed to be led, and then ruled, by a vanguard party of professional revolutionaries had nothing in common with Marx's theory of the democratic self-emancipation of the working class, but derived ultimately from an organisational form developed to further the bourgeois minority revolution in France.

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