Lenin still dead – after 100 years

July 2024 Forums General discussion Lenin still dead – after 100 years

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 33 total)
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  • #250260
    LBird
    Participant

    Almamater wrote: “The Marxists Humanist have spent years attacking Engels and Kaustky and they have never published the real conceptions of Marx and they continue supporting Lenin and the bolsheviks coup”

    Some points:
    1. The ‘Marxist Humanist‘ seem to be irrelevant to our debates today, then, if you are correct that they support Lenin in any way whatsoever;
    2. Asking critical questions about the Marx/Engels relationship is not ‘attacking Engels’. I’ve praised Engels many times before – just not his understanding of Marx’s philosophy;
    3. ‘the real conceptions of Marx’ is precisely the issue at point – what were they, and did they differ from Engels’?

    #250261
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    And the debate on this thread is about Lenin, it is not about Engels or Kautsky

    #250262
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Baltrop’s quip would have had more validity if he had said that without the Bolshevik seizure and maintaining of power Lenin would be remembered as a minor Russian revolutionary called Ulyanov.

    #250270
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Julius Maltov called him : An agent provocateur

    #250276
    LBird
    Participant

    Almamater wrote: “And the debate on this thread is about Lenin, it is not about Engels or Kautsky”

    Yes, but if Lenin was a follower of Engels, Kautsky and Plekhanov, rather than Marx, wouldn’t that be relevant to the argument that Lenin and the Bolsheviks (and Trotskyists and Stalinists) can teach us nothing about Marx’s democratic social productionism?

    But… if you want to close that line of inquiry, that’s OK by me. I’ll leave the thread to you, unless you ask me to continue.

    #250277
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    Hi L Bird, glad to hear that you’re still about, hope all is well with you and yours, commiserations re Klopp’s departure.

    Re Baltrop’s quip, I think this over states the influence that Lenin had on the growth of interest in the ideas of Marx since his death and understates just how much influence Marx’s ideas had become influential.

    If no successful Bolshevik coup took place, it would not stop the spread of the ideas of the Left Mensheviks and some of the SRs, who were heavily influenced by Marx.

    Similarly, a Bolshevik failure would not have stopped the ideas of Rosa Luxembourg, Karl Liebknecht, the USPD and the Spartacus League being influential in Germany.

    What would have happened to the left leaning organisations in the UK, would the failure of the 2nd International led to more of them taking heed of the SPGB, etc?

    On an academic side, the influence of Marx was growing in areas such as Economics and Sociology and the depth and range of Marx’s work in comparison with the likes of Lassalle, Duhring or Proudhon. The influence of Marx’s work in the SPD was such that Weber included Marxist and quasi Marxist arguments prior to 1917. Durkheim died in 1917, but clearly was familiar with Marx’s ideas. So the idea that no Lenin would mean no discussion of Marx, would mean there was no discussion of Weber.

    All of this is counterfactual history, obviously. But my guess is that if the Bolshevik coup had failed, Marx would continue to be an influential figure, perhaps less well known than present, but perhaps more accurately portrayed. As to Lenin, without a successful Bolshevik coup, his work probably wouldn’t have ended up in the “dustbin of history”, but he might be seen as a romantic failure. I am pretty sure that no one would be ploughing through the collected works of Lenin, if in fact they had ever been collected, which I doubt.

    #250278
    LBird
    Participant

    Hiya BD, annoyingly to some, I’m still about, all’s well, and Klopp’s leaving behind a great legacy, which might even be improved by Alonso!

    To keep my derail short (since it’s attracted complaints already), the problems with ‘Marx’ pre-date all the thinkers/groups you’ve mentioned, and includes the SPGB. The die was cast well before 1903. But… heads-in-sand, and all that…

    Thanks for your kind comment.

    #250279
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    #250276 REPLY | QUOTE

    LBird
    Participant
    Almamater wrote: “And the debate on this thread is about Lenin, it is not about Engels or Kautsky”

    Yes, but if Lenin was a follower of Engels, Kautsky and Plekhanov, rather than Marx, wouldn’t that be relevant to the argument that Lenin and the Bolsheviks (and Trotskyists and Stalinists) can teach us nothing about Marx’s democratic social productionism?

    But… if you want to close that line of inquiry, that’s OK by me. I’ll leave the thread to you, unless you ask me to continue.

    ——————————————————————————————————–

    If Lenin was a follower of them, why Plekhanov and Kautsky opposed Lenin and Lenin tried to discredited them and wrote against them ? Lenin wrote a book known as the Renegade Kautsky, and he wrote another one against the Left Communists, and Engels was one of the first socialist theoretician that spoke about state capitalism and defined it as another form of capitalism and Lenin accepted state capitalism, and he said that it was beneficial for the working class and a step toward socialism, that does not sound like Engels

    Some Mensheviks like Martov took the same stand as Marx, and he was discredited by the Bolsheviks. Lenin was a follower of state capitalism and Russian bourgoise nationalism. In our time the works of Marx and Engels are more popular than before, and new edition of all the works of M&E is going to be finalized in Germany, the work of Rosa Luxembourg are getting more popular than before, and all her works have been published already and she was heavily influenced by Marx. I don’t think that Marx is dead because “Engels and Lenin killed him ”

    #250280
    LBird
    Participant

    Almamater wrote: “If Lenin was a follower of them, why Plekhanov and Kautsky opposed Lenin and Lenin tried to discredited them and wrote against them ?”

    I’ll leave you to think about which issues Lenin followed Plekhanov, Kauksky (and Engels), and about which issues Plekhanov and Kautsky opposed Lenin, and about which issues Lenin opposed Plekhanov and Kautsky.

    The world of politics and philosophy is a bit more complicated than you seem to think, and it’s a shame that you’re not willing to discuss these complications.

    FWIW, I’d look more to Bogdanov and Lunacharsky as ‘followers of Marx’. Mainly, unlike Plekhanov, Kautsky and Lenin, they looked to the masses and democracy as solutions to our political and philosophical problems.

    #250289
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    L Bird:

    You show up in this forum once in a blue moon when we are talking about Lenin or Engels, and then you want to give lectures to the members of this forum, insult, sub-estimate an denigrate others members,

    I have heard and read about philosophy for many years, and I was a member of an organization of philosophers, and I was a writer on their paper

    I came to the conclusion that we do not need philosophy and philosophers, and that Marx left philosophy and dialectic in some period of his life, and for me, he is an anthropologist instead of a philosopher.

    #250291
    LBird
    Participant

    Almamater wrote: “I came to the conclusion that we do not need philosophy and philosophers, and that Marx left philosophy and dialectic in some period of his life, and for me, he is an anthropologist instead of a philosopher.”

    Fine.

    So why engage in philosophical debates with those Marxists who ‘come to the conclusion’ that discussing Marx’s politics and philosophy is fundamental to understanding Marx?

    And I’ve not insulted, sub-estimated or denigrated anyone, not even you, on this thread.

    I’m interested in why Lenin is considered by many supposed ‘Marxists’ to be a follower of Marx, when any reading and comparison of Marx’s and Lenin’s respective political philosophies shows no link at all.

    But… some links can be shown between Lenin and Engels… don’t you find that curious?

    And… that the SPGB, although denigrating (correctly, in my view) Lenin, also seem to share some of those links between Lenin and Engels?

    Further, ONE of those links seems to be a sharing of Lenin’s method of attacking the man, not the ball, in political and philosophical debates.

    Or, was that a trait of both Engels AND Marx themselves? If so, is it a good practice to continue? Does it further comradely discussions between democratic socialists?

    #250294
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    “Further, ONE of those links seems to be a sharing of Lenin’s method of attacking the man, not the ball, in political and philosophical debates.

    Or, was that a trait of both Engels AND Marx themselves? If so, is it a good practice to continue? Does it further comradely discussions between democratic socialists?”

    I think the point here is a good one. Marx, Engels and Lenin all had a tendency to go for the man not the ball. To be fair (taking the analogy a bit further) you have never been one to be shy to put the odd “reducer” in now and again, I have the broken shin pads to show! It may also be that I got my “retaliation in first” as well. That said, perhaps all of us could follow your advice (you included, my friend)

    And whilst I can understand that people of my (and I assume) your generation, have a bit of an obsession about Lenin, considering the amount if time we have spent countering Leninist organisations over the years, my perception of things is that large sections of the radical working class have in practical ways moved beyond Lenin and his thoughts. I also think that one of the major changes is that classical Democratic (sic) Centralism and the Leader obsession has been massively challenged by modern organisational processes, especially by the rise of the internet.

    To put it into context, I was talking to a work colleague who was active in the Labour movement in Liverpool during the rise of Militant. We discussed the way in which Militant continually manipulated and intimidated people as well as all of the cloak and dagger, behind closed doors deals within deals that Militant pulled off (including deals in Liverpool that were very financially lucrative for some of the leading Liverpool Militants!).

    Now I’m not saying that this kind of skulduggery is not possible, but the whole process of caucusing small groups and corralling members to go the way the leader desires (which the Militant and their ilk are specialists at) is far more difficult than it used to be. Witness the difficulties the SWP are having in trying to lead “broad left” sheep into the slaughterhouse of Trotskyism across the Trades Union movement.

    The spontaneous movements of resistance that the working class have been throwing up in recent years such as Just stop Oil, the Anti Capitalist Movement, Extinction Rebellion, etc. (regardless of the criticisms we could make about them) are far less leader obsessed than the Leninist/Trots. Because of this the Leninists are struggling to make any real entry points into these movements as they don’t generally rely on a leadership clique to make decisions. Let’s face it who is going to want to move from a generally open democratic movement to a conspiratorial clandestine grouping that denies your own ability to make decisions.

    My view is that this is a clear vindication of Marx’s view that the working class will move toward genuinely democratic movements as a vehicle for social change and also that the ends that that social change aims to generate are absolutely linked to the means by which that is achieved.

    Taking it a bit further, the question was posited about what the influence of Marx and Lenin would have been, should the Bolshevik coup have been thwarted. I have put my view forward about what Marx’s legacy would possibly have been in previous postings.

    As to Lenin, my would guess is , is that he would be talked about about as often as Derek Hatton is discussed by under 35 year olds in Liverpool today. A sad footnote in the history books.

    As to the rest of the Bolshevik old guard, I think, just like the Peter Taffes, Ted Grants, Dave Nellists, etc. they would have all fallen out with each other and ending up using the pitiful tactic of having to self publish their own memoirs. Just like them, Stalin, Trotsky, Bukharin would look like Third Division Footballers trying to relive their moments of glory to people who had largely forgotten them!

    #250303
    LBird
    Participant

    I broadly agree with what you’ve posted, Bijou Drains, and I’m sure you can guess with what unposted issues I’d disagree with you.

    I’m inclined to let Almamater have his thread back, as he wishes, and leave undiscussed why the SPGB agree with Lenin, regarding those unposted issues.

    Thanks for your comradely post.

    #250307
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    I also disagree with your thoughts about Alonso. Needs a few years before he’d cope at Liverpool, it’s a big jump from Leverkusen.

    But going back to what I was saying, rather than write another article about Lenin, I think we should let the old conspirator to rot without comment.

    #250312
    LBird
    Participant

    BD, I think most Liverpool fans are prepared to give Alonso a few years to settle, because he knows what’s required, and neither he nor us knows yet whether he can make the ‘big jump’. Klopp was given time, and he came as an outsider, unlike Alonso. It’s a risk, but what new manager wouldn’t be?

    As for Lenin, I too “think we should let the old conspirator to rot without comment”, and HIS IDEAS, too.

    Ooops… you can’t go THAT far, eh? [joke]

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