Wednesday, 20 March 2013
How Stalinism distorts Marxism
Stalinism as an ideology is a dieing set of ideas but for decades it distorted the true ideas of Marx Engels and Lenin too. I thought I’d give some examples and explained perhaps why the Stalinists looked to distort the real ideas of Marxism over the years. Stalinism basically the safe guarding of the bureaucracy the elite in the labour movement quite often was something born out of Stalins ideas in the Soviet Union. Those who like to draw the conclusion that Lenin’s ideas were carried on to their natural conclusion by Stalin are completely incorrect in many ways. Stalin was a brutal dictator and abused Marxism to fit in with his own agenda unlike Stalin Lenin was a big supporter of debate and discussion rather than persecution and murdering your opponents who seem to be a threat to your leadership. Lenin debated with them, fiercely demanding high standards of evidence and principle in his opponent’s arguments, always calling people to task for unclear, illogical, factually weak positions. He brought the best out in people, who on their own were fatally flawed. He even threatened to resign several times in order to make his points. Lenin was a master of Marxism at the global level, European wide level, national, regional and city by city level. One of Lenin's most powerful accomplishments was his ability to translate Marxism to the individual and personal level and then return to broad general points, not just "What is to be done" but what is to be done by you and I right now. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Stalin, in leadership by himself, with his cynical tendency unchecked, then gutted Marxism's emphasis on carefully considered revolutionary action. Stalin's disastrous political line equating the Social Democrats as an equal danger to the fascists was a prejudiced course of action reflecting his cynicism about the Social Democrats rather than a careful examination of them. Stalin did not abandon this ill-conceived perspective until after it was too late to stop Hitler. As Lenin might have put it, the "What is to be done?" was replaced by "Left Wing Communism an Infantile Disorder." Stalin replaced Marxian dialectics with a mechanistic version that emphasized the "inevitability" of socialism in place of Karl Marx's stark choice for revolutionaries in "The Communist Manifesto," "a fight that each time ended, either in the revolutionary re-constitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes" (CW Marx Engel’s V 6 pp.482). For Marx the possibility of terrible defeat was so real that all prejudice and intellectual short cuts had to be abandoned because each serious choice in a crisis that revolutionaries make on the "ground they have been given" can lead to advance or "the common ruin of the contending classes." Stalin's disastrous line equating Social Democracy as an equal enemy to the workers movement as Fascism was so clearly prejudiced and filled with intellectual short cuts that it can only be explained, at least in part, by the same character flaws that Lenin wanted Stalin removed as Secretary General of the Communist Party for in 1922. All revolutionaries have to accept "the ground they have been given" such as the militarized imperialism and ferocious racism in Germany in 1932, but Marxists have no excuse to abandon careful analysis for cynical prejudice. We have no excuse now nor should we excuse Stalin. Stalinism doesn’t see Marxism as a guide to action more an excuse to batter your opponents with. Using revolutionary language doesn’t make you a revolutionary its in your actions that your judged and Stalin and Stalinists today do not apply genuine Marxism only a bastardised version of it with rigid dogma out dated and used to sure up their own positions in the labour movement and the unions. Stalinism also subscribes to the stagiest theory that we must have a period of growth under capitalism first and deal with a socialist revolution at some undefined point in the future in essence this point never comes as its all about Suring up your own positions and fearing the working class Justas much if not more than the capitalist class. This was the case in the Soviet Union where great purges and mass killings took place to put down workers revolts to quash dissent. This is not socialism and has nothing in common with Marxism we follow today. Its brutal dictatorship looking to up hold its own privileged positions. Thankfully Stalinism is all but dead today in the labour movement mass communist parties around the world are dieing if they haven’t already. In their place we must fight to build new workers party true and democratic with a right to free speech and critical thinking without the fear of reprisal.