File spoon-archives/marxism-thaxis.archive/marxism-thaxis_1996/96-10-29.043, message 87

Date: Sun, 27 Oct 1996 12:07:06 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: M-TH: stalinists

On Sun, 27 Oct 1996, Ramon wrote:

> Stanilism was a consecuence of the leninist pont of view about marxism.
> Does anybody believe that with Trotsky and the other bolsheviks the history 
> had been different?. It was the corrupted leninist way of marxism. 

This is a somewhat tired debate. I do not think it is fruitfuol unless
someine has some news arguments that have not bewen thorouighlyly
canvassed. I am not a Trotskyist or a Leninist, but it seems very clear to
me that the historical record doers not support the boring old equation of
Leninism and Stalinism. Lenin and Trotsky bioth had strong authoritarian
streaks and did a good deal to crush worker's democracy in Russia, but
neither of them showed any signs of tending towards the exotic combination
of mass murder and the cult of personality that characterized Stalinism.
Doubtless had Lenin lived or had Trotsky won the battle for the succession
(whichm, as Deutscher shows, he did not really fight), the USSR would not
have been a socialist democracy. It would have been a one party
dictatorship. But there would have been no enforced collectivization, no
mass famine in the Ukraine, no grotesque show trials and mass purges, no
Gulag on the nightmare scale of Stalin's, no Lysenkoism, no Zhdanovism, no
destruction of the Red Army, no Hitler-Stalin pact. Some version of the
NEP would have been maintained, and the Soviet economy might have had a
chance of developing into a viable market socialist economy instead of
giving us a ghastly demonstration about the intrinsic limits of a
marketless command economy. These are not trivial differences. Millions of
people who died or were murdered needlessly woluld have survived; tens of
millions more would have been imprisoned; anfd we would not be facing a
world without a noncapitalist pole.


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