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                                                        Dave  Silver

Marxist-Leninists and revolutionaries should regard the introduction of
naked and dependent capitalism in the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe
as a victory for imperialism and reaction.  The victory of the counter
revolution  has had a world wide impact which has exacerbated all basic
contradictions.  As the International Communist Seminar held in Brussels in
1998 stated that “the contradiction between socialist countries and
imperialism, the contradictions between oppressed people in Asia, Africa and
Latin America and imperialism, the contradiction between monopolies and
imperialist powers, and the contradiction between the working class and the
bourgeoisie. The forces of reaction, racism, fascism and war have started
their offensive on a world scale.”

A key and immediate task facing Leninists is to strengthen not only the
practical every day struggle against the Right, but equally important to
mount an ideological struggle against those who profess to be Left or even
Communist who have bought into the counter revolutionary “new thinking”
using Stalinism as a code word for their an anti-communism.  Many of those
who have abandoned Marxism as no longer relevant to a global economy have in
fact rejected Marxist principles for a more pragmatic philosophy, seeking a
society neither capitalist nor socialist.  They have become in Brecht’s
astute words “intellectual pimps for the bourgeoisie.”

We witness this opportunism and revisionism in many forms and disguises.
Left-liberals such as Chomsky, and listener supported WBAI, have tended to
equate as co-evils fascism and communism.  A broadcast on BAI equated the
Nazi manifestation of Kristallnacht with the erection of the Berlin Wall
needed to safeguard  the socialist base of the German Democratic Republic
against the illegal introduction by the western powers of the west German
Mark  Or the opportunism and/or revisionism may take the form of equating
the NATO bombing of Kosovo with the Serbian leader Milosevic.  We also find
the liberation theologist Cornel West as well as certain justice coalitions
endorsing Democratic candidates. The Left-liberal Journal Report on the
Americas published by the North American Congress for Latin America referred
to the insurgency of the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR) in Mexico, as
having a “penchant for hard-line (another code word) Leninist rhetoric.”
Why because in contrast to the Zapatistas who desire only some land reform
and “democratization” the EPR has an avowed socialist vision and believes
that the present government of Mexico must be overthrown.

The annual gathering of the usual suspects at the Socialist Scholars
Conference in New York is an excellent example of neo-marxists, social
democrats and the “new left” who have rejected Marxism for the pragmatism of
Keynesian economics.  They follow a long tradition of movements and groups
that sought to “revise” Marxism.  The Frankfurt School in the 30’s that
attempted a fusion of  Freud and Marx, the Praxis school of Yugoslavia,
Marxists-Humanists of Poland  in the 50’s and 60’s and the so called
euro-communism of the 70’s.  All of these groups retained the belief that
Marxism was outmoded and no longer the best guide for struggle and the
achievement of socialism.       They also rejected the idea of a really existing
socialism and tried to discredit those in Solidarity with the socialist

The most recent revisionist movement, The Committees of Correspondence, are
mainly ex-communists who have bought into the new thinking.  It is clear
from their Statement of Principles that they embrace “theoretical frameworks
other than Marxist” as well as a “non-Marxist socialism.”  Thus we come full
circle; for if there are many marxisms and many socialisms then in reality
there are none. What I like to call the new thinking virus has replaced
class struggle for “universal human values” and comes full circle with the
“convergence theory” which maintains that socialism and capitalism are
becoming more and more similar.

The German philosopher Heinz Holz, arguing for the validity of
Marxism-Leninism points to some salient features that help explain the
demise of the Socialist bloc.  He states that “the development of the Soviet
Union before World War2 took place under economic and social conditions in
no way favorable to a transition to socialism.” Holz points to the
bureaucratization of the Party apparatus violating democratic centralism
frequently leading “to an attitude of apathy and opportunism.”  He draws the
conclusion that “ the breakdown in the ability of the Party’s worldview to
guide activity meant that Marxist theoreticians and the Communist Party lost
sight of the practical side of their analyses and goals.”  It is appropriate
in this regard to recall the disorganized production process, which did not
apply appropriate  procedures (feedback from local Soviets, cost accounting
etc) to gauge need.  The result was for instance millions of pairs of unsold
or unwanted shoes.

We must not lose sight of the enormous negative impact of armed attempts by
white counter revolutionaries and Czarists as well as western imperialism
that tried to strangle the first socialist state from its birth. It is
important to emphasize what Swedish Leninist Mario Sousa had to say about
the gigantic,numerous and continuing lies about the history of the Soviet
Union.  Sousa warns that “the right wing lies are repeated in order to fight
today’s communists.  They are repeated so that workers will find no
alternative to capitalism and neo-liberalism.”  Fighting revisionism and
defending Marxism-Leninism should be an ongoing struggle.  As the Communist
Seminar aptly stated, “the ideological struggle against revisionism is a
complex and prolonged task.  Revisionism that has destroyed so many Parties,
will not disappear spontaneously…the pernicious influence of revisionism
facilitated a revival of social democracy (a bourgeois trend) and Trotskyism
(an anti-communist trend).”

As the late comrade and friend Ken Cameron notes in his Marxism-A Living
Science (International 1993)  “It is time to set our sights on the future,
to perceive through the mist of capitalist obfuscation that the world
revolutionary thrust that Marx and Engels projected and Lenin witnessed is
still operating. Inexorably, like the giant forces of nature—with which it
is increasingly blended.”  Indeed it is.

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