Greetings fellow socialists, please support me as I try to spread socialism to the youth.

July 2024 Forums General discussion Greetings fellow socialists, please support me as I try to spread socialism to the youth.

  • This topic has 91 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 11 years ago by twc.
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  • #94667
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    i cannot understand how you cannot see how the whole history of the Bolshevik October Revolution was a series of retreats to overcome the reality of what was. From the dismanting and emasculation of the Soviets and introduction of one-man management,  the end of democracy ( banning the Constituent Assembly) , suppression other working class/peasant political parties (Left Mensheviks, Left Social Revolutionaries and anarchists), the development of state capitalism, the introduction of the NEP, the nationalisation of the independent trade union movement, diplomatic treaties and  alliances with bourgeois dictatorships and nationalists.  Regardless of our views on the sincerity of the major leaders in the Bolshevik Party and even to accept that they had genuine intentions we have to, as socialists,look at it in historical context and as Marxists try to understand it by searching for the materialist causes of its failures.  Engels on the German Peasant War "The worst thing that can befall a leader of an extreme party is to be compelled to take over a government at a time when society is not yet ripe for the domination of the class he represents and for the measures which that domination implies. What he can do depends not upon his will but upon the degree of antagonism between the various classes, and upon the level of development of the material means of existence, of the conditions of production and commerce upon which class contradictions always repose. What he ought to do, what his party demands of him, again depends not upon him or the stage of development of the class struggle and its conditions. He is bound to the doctrines and demands hitherto propounded which, again, do not proceed, from the class relations of the moment, or from the more or less accidental level of production and commerce, but from his more or less penetrating insight into the general result of the social and political movement. Thus, he necessarily finds himself in a unsolvable dilemma. What he can do contradicts all his previous actions and principles, and the immediate interests of his party and what he ought to do cannot be done. In a word, he is compelled to represent not his party or his class, but the class for whose domination the movement is then ripe. In the interest of the movement he is compelled to advance the interests of an alien class, and to feed his own class with talk and promises, and with the assertion that the interests of that alien class are their own interests. He who is put into this awkward position is irrevocably lost."

    #94668
    twc
    Participant

    DeterminismEngels wrote this 70 years before the Russian Revolution.He condemns Bolshevik politicians [Lenin and Trotsky] before they were born to betray their working-class movement should they seize power under social conditions unripe for realizing their political program.Leaders over the ProletariatEngels was writing in the aftermath of the European Spring [1848–49]. This was a heady time of democratic upheaval against authoritarian regimes — a time just like the Arab Spring or the end of the Soviet Union.Engels continues:

    Frederick Engels wrote:
    We have seen examples of this in recent times. We need only be reminded of the position taken in the last French provisional government by the representatives of the proletariat, though they represented only a very low level of proletarian development.Whoever can still look forward to official positions after having become familiar with the experiences of the February government … is either foolish beyond measure, or at best pays only lip service to the extreme revolutionary party.

    Celtic, will you, like the Bolshevik politicians, impose your consciousness upon the “unconscious” proletariat [as you call it] for its own good, just like Lenin and Trotsky?[Just like Christian missionaries; like the Taliban; like the intellectually superior everywhere — is that also just like you?]Celtic, will you, like the Bolshevik politicians, cling to anti-democratic power against the majority, even on failure to deliver your program, just like Lenin and Trotsky?[Just like England’s Charles the First; like France’s Bourbon kings; like Russia’s Tsars; like ruling classes at all times. Will you respect the people’s wishes, or will you ignore their demands because you know better than the people?]Celtic, will you, like the Bolshevik politicians, impose state terror in perfect conformity with your vanguard Party’s hierarchical power structure of authority control from above over those below?[Of course few people intend to resort to terror, like young innocent Mr Lenin and young innocent Mr Trotsky. But once an anti-democratic course is set in train, determinism sets terror in its wake. Anti-democrats have cowardly discarded the sole mechanism for bringing opposition out into the open. Instead they send it dangerously underground — hence the necessity for secret police. Anti-democrats advertise their fear. They have already proven that they are afraid. Do you intend to terrorize the opposition into safe submission until you’ve successfully educated its “unconsciousness”?]Celtic, will you, like the Bolshevik politicians, twist ignominious policy failure into glorious victory. Will you lie in the teeth of humanity that a pathetic state-controlled market-capitalist system is “communism”, just like Lenin and Trotsky?Or, Celtic, are you prepared to consider that an alternative system of society described by our Object is what Marx, Engels and the World Socialist Movement, have always considered communism, or socialism to be? The only social consciousness that liberates us all from the insidious false consciousness of capitalism is the class consciousness that comprehends the necessity of achieving our Object. That understanding has to be assimilated by each of us individually. It can’t be imposed.

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