File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/97-01-29.113, message 43


Subject: RE: M-I: RE: Re: Defining through practice
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997 13:39:21 +0100



>
>>How can you characterize Stalinism? One way of doing it is the word
>>"Control" (this is for instance the core of the Swedish marxist Lars
>>Bergquist's analysis of Stalinism). The fierce control was ment to
>>guarantee the correct development of the revolution. Of course, you
>>don't have control just for its own sake, you have control to be able to
>>correct, in one way or another. This is, as I see it, not something
>>invented by Stalin, but present as a very important part of Lenin's
>>concept of democracy and the role of the state. He write in State and
>>Revolution: "Registration and Control, that is what ABOVE ALL, is needed
>>to get the _first_phase_ of the Communist society 'straight on the right
>>track'" (This is not an authorized translation, but my own from the
>>Swedish text). The state will then successively turn this function to
>>"the armed people". When the marjoity of the people "autonomousely and
>>everywhere" starts conducting such registration and control "of the
>>Capitalist (who have now become civil servants) and of those
>>intellectuals who have preserved capitalist habits", he writes, then it
>>this control will be "truly universal and will comprise all people" and
>>thus it will be "impossible to withdraw from it".
>
>Bergquist is and apoligist for Stalinism Ali and not a "Marxist". All this 
>"control" bullshit is nonsense. But coming from those who want to clean up 
>Stalinism it just points out how horrible the Stalinist position is today to 
>defend! And the defense is just garbage that has nothing to do with theory. 
>But some sort of top down defense of bureaucratic control of the workers 
>movement.  Berquist is replacing the dictatorship of the Proletariat with 
>the dictatorship of the Stalinist bureaucracy. The excuse being that some 
>day in the future this control will be turned over to the people. Sure and 
>pigs fly. Stalin gutted the Bolshevik party and the Red Army of most of its 
>Bolshevik Cadre in the purges. Is that what Bergquist means by "control". Do 
>you know Bergquist. Tell him to get is ass on line here and there are a 
>number of people who will eat him and his "control" theory alive. and then 
>spit him out for breakfast. In fact even Louis Godena our own list apoligist 
>for Stalinism would probably critise him from the left.
>
The misunderstandings of mr Malecki are taking biblical proportions. He
still thinks I was actaully DEFENDING Stalinism and thus he, without
even trying to understand, interprets all I write and quote as a
continuation on this path.

Bergquist's book "Stalin and his era" is a severe and eloquent attack on
Stalinism. Bergquist is a traditional marxist whose major field of work
has been the notion of science (versus ideology) in marxism. 

The quote on control is (I cannot see how you could miss that) not at
all from Bergquist but from LENIN (in State and Revolution)! A modest
proposition would be to actually read my posts before turning on the
phrase-producing appratus.


>>Hugh says that Stalin tuned the "authority of the DOP *against* the
>>working class". Well, yes. But to make a clear  distinction, it's not
>>enough to simply say "In the whole of Lenin's revolutionary practice,
>>the majority was not opressed. In Stalin's it was". First point: who
>>says 'the marjority' was not opressed by Lenin's revolutionary practice?
>>Second point, and much more important: What says that this was because
>>of the differences between the two in understanding the role of the
>>opressive appartus and not because the latter simply continued a
>>development already started? I think the latter explanation is much more
>>in accordance with reality.
>
>Very fucking nice Ali! You are just a liberal bullshit artist!  I mean 
>blaming Lenin because Stalin used the DOP to get the old Bolsheviks and 
>anyone who opposed him. Red terror was certainly neccessary to combat the 
>white terror and counter-revolutionaries then and most likely in the future. 
>Or do you think that the class enemy is going to give it up without a fight. 
>That Stalin turned it into a personal instrument against the party and the 
>revolution is another thing entirely. So don.t try and drag down Lenin and 
>the Bolsheviks along with Stalin. Stalin  and Stalinism is dead. But 
>Leninist practice lives..
>
But finally, mr Malecki understands what I've been talking about,
chaning his rethorics dramatically! From being an Iranian Stalinist who
wanted to "betray the Iranian Proletariat" for a day or two, I now am a
"liberal bullshit artist".

Am I getting you correctly now: The terror was a horrible thing *only*
because it wiped out the Party nomenclatura? I don't say the class enemy
is going to give up "without a fight". I'm not saying that a Socialist
state shouldn't defend itself against internal and external threats. But
the "control theory" you thought was a product of some strange Swedish
Stalinist, was most definitely an important part of "Leninist practice".
So if "Leninist practice lives", I want to know what this Leninist
practice is. What it will lead to. What parts of it we should keep and
what parts of it we should discard.

That is - I don't know how many times I have to repeat this - the very
reason I wanted this debate. What is Leninst theory and Leninist
practice today. What conclusion should we draw from what happened in the
actually existing socialist countries. We cannot just say, as L Proyect
does, that this was something very specific for Russia. Because it
wasn't! It was something real in the whole communist movement and it's
still not been correctly dealt with.

>/Ali Esbati


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