[Marxism] The Inhuman Science of Marxism (was: Marx as Left of the Marxists)
stolz at left.ru
Mon Feb 9 20:22:19 MST 2004
Tony Abdo wrote:
It seems rather obvious that the Leninism as practiced for almost the entire
last 3/4 of a century, originally came out of an underground mode of
operation during war time conditions. It has had a certain overly martial
air to marxism that does create problems for peace time functioning of
comrades in the Advanced Capitalist economies, where conditions are quite
differerent from those faced by the anti-Nazi Resistance or anti-Czarist
Bolshevics. Yet this is the model that was held up as The Epitomy of how
individuals should behave in becoming revolutionaries by much of the marxist
movement. This model has hindered the adaptation of marxism to changing
developments throughout the world. And this model rooted itself, often
times, deep into the Labor Movement.
Vadim Stolz: This is all true and trivial as far as the role of Russian
conditions on the formation of Lenin's party is concerned. However I do not
see historical record confirming what Tony says about the mortifying effects
of the Russian model on the developments in the West. To begin with, we
should recall that Russian social-democracy was rather provincial part of the
social-democratic realm before 1914. It were the Germans who reigned supreme
in the world-wide socialist movement. It was THEIR model of the party, THEIR
model of reformism as well as "British socialism" and "French socialism", and
"Italian socialism" and "American socialism" that were and remain dominant in
labor movement and the so-called " broad left" in the West. In other words,
in my view (and I will modestly add, in Lenin's view), the real propblem was
the opposite of what Tony suggests, namely: the Bolshevik model has
completely failed to take root in what he calls "the Advanced Capitalist
economies" and what I, after Lenin, continue to call the Imperialist West.
Never ever labor movement in the West experienced any noticeable degree of
Bolshevization. Instead,with rare exceptions, like the early IWW, it always
was and remains mostly bourgeois in its social outlook and goals.
Unlike some on this list, I don't think that 'Zinovievism' was the original
cause of this mindset, but rather that all the Bolshevics were forced into
this, for better or worse, by the conditions that confronted them at the
time. This mindset was fossilized into stone by the rise of the Soviet
bureaucracy, certainly. But the mindset began much earlier, and predates
VS: But these conditions continue to persist as long as the Imperialist West
does and if, by some miracle, we come to power in Russia again we'll be forced
to recreate, or rather become the bureaucracy and, yes, perhaps, to produce
another Stalin. In other words, it were not only the Russian contitions that
shaped Bolshevism; it was called forth by the menace of the rising Western
reformism, or to call it by its proper name - Western social-imperialism.
True, Lenin failed to diagnose this sickness until 1914, but ten years later,
after he had seen all of it, he was able to draw the only realistic picture of
what was to come and what have been coming since then. There was no way to
break the deadlock in the West rather than through an apocalyptic showdown
between the "Imperialist West" and the "Nationalist East." To put this
general conclusion closer to your home, it meant that no matter what Tony Abdo
and thousands of his courageous comrades in the West did their actions would
make no or precious little difference in the general schema of things. No
wonder that the last pages of Lenin's last work remain, perhaps, the least
quoted and certainly the least appreciated in the West. Indeed, how it could
be different? Marxism is a ruthless science in that it postulates the
existence of effective causes of history that are inhuman in scope. Against
all historical experience and all the facts of the present, Tony Abdo MUST
believe that he and comrades CAN make a difference....for instance, if they
break away from the Leninist tradition which is supposedly in the root of
their failure to make it. Call it Eastern fatalism, but the historical record
is stubborn thing. It tells us beyond any doubt that the "era of imperialist
wars and proletarian revolutions" was for "the Advanced Capitalist economies"
one long era of counterrevolutions that has made them the chief
counterrevolutionary force of today.
To hell with all this though. The real question is how to create today, a
revolutionary movement that can actually hold and benefit people? And
what people should it hold? I think that the new movement of the 21st
century will have to be a synthesis and combination coming from the eco,
anarcho, and marxist branches of anti-capitalist resistance. Is it
really so non-marxist to posit this idea? But I am certainly not alone in
doing such. Even in marxist circles.
VS: I am afraid it is a non-marxist idea as well as your way of positing it.
Both though are very understandable and psychologically inevitable for
intellectuals in your situation..
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