Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Stalinism

Is this the maddest leftist article ever? “The Masses Are The Water: Understanding the Failure of Late-Marcyism.”

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The Legend of Sam Marcy - Caleb & Brent - YouTube

Note “Sam Ballan (1911 – February 1, 1998), known by his pen name Sam Marcy, was an American lawyer, writer, and Marxist-Leninist activist of the post-World War II era. He co-founded the Workers World Party in 1959 and served as its chairperson until his death.”

Marcy grew discontented as a member of the Communist Party, viewing the Third International as increasingly detached from working class interests and instead a mouthpiece for Joseph Stalin, whose oppressive bureaucracy he despised. He joined the Trotskyist movement in the 1940s, building a branch of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in Buffalo.[1] Yet he again became dissatisfied, finding the SWP uncommitted to revolutionary politics and instead oriented toward parliamentary reform.[2] Marcy, Vince Copeland, and other SWP members developed a theory of “global class war“, according to which Marxists had a duty to defend the existence of the USSR and its satellites in spite of their bureaucracy.[3] The theory not only guided the formation of the Workers World Party but has more recently made inroads into academic Marxist debates in the U.S.[4][5][6][7] Over several years Marcy clashed with the SWP leadership on several questions, including their approach to Communist China and North Korea, whether the SWP should endorse Henry A. Wallace,[8] and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. On the last question, Marcy’s faction supported the Soviet military intervention, arguing that the initial worker uprising had attracted class elements that sought to restore capitalism.[9][10]

In 1959 the “global class war” faction set up a new organization, the Workers World Party, characterized by outspoken defense of all Communist governments in the world. Marcy’s writings included extensive works on socialism, the Cold War era and the rise of the powerful military-industrial complex. He also wrote about the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War, the economic forces behind capitalist downsizing and the impact of high technology.[11] Selections of his works have been translated into many languages, including Persian, Spanish, Turkish, Korean, French and German.[citation needed]

His writings show a strong support for Mao Zedong and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and he defended the leadership of the People’s Republic of China until the reforms of Deng Xiaoping. Marcy defended both China and the Soviet Union against charges of imperialism despite disagreeing with some policies and practices of the Communist Party leadership of both countries.[12]

The Party for Socialism and Liberation, Workers World Party, Struggle – La Lucha, the Communist Workers League and the New Orleans Workers Group all trace their roots back to the political brilliance of one man. However, his tactics and methods were not perfect and were specifically designed for a period very different from our own. It is urgent in our time for revolutionaries to get “Out of the Movement, To the Masses!”

The December 20th, 2021 issue of Struggle – La Lucha, the publication of one of Workers World Party’s (WWP) many splinter groups contains the following tragic and almost comical headlines: “No support for Ukrainian Rittenhouses!” “Why there is no anti-vaccine movement in Cuba.” On the anniversary of the January 6th Capitol Riot, Richard Becker, founding member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) repeated the liberal claim that the events constituted an attempted coup during an appearance on PressTV. When challenged by Keaten Mansfield of the Center for Political Innovation, Becker went as far as saying that Mossad and Israel could not have possibly been involved in the day’s events, despite the many Israeli flags displayed among Trump’s crowd and Netanyahu’s close alliance with the Trump White House.

Extracts:

While “Tankie” politics becomes increasingly relevant in the current climate of ideological confusion, Marcyism and its failed movementist strategy is certainly in decline. Brian Becker’s Party for Socialism and Liberation is the largest and most effective piece of Marcyite Cold War wreckage, though many of its younger members do not even know Marcy’s name. Following the Marcyite tradition, PSL stages rallies around the latest trendy liberal causes, hoping fruitlessly to convince crowds that think Trump is a Russian agent to oppose regime change wars.

The reason Stalin ascended into leadership of the Soviet Communist Party was because unlike Trotsky, he had a deep love and spiritual connection with the peoples of the region. Stalin was not a cosmopolitan intellectual of the revolutionary intelligentsia, but a the son of a boot-maker who grew up in a small village. Prior to 1917 Stalin, himself a Georgian, organized factory workers, peasants, and workers of many different ethnic and religious backgrounds into a unified disciplined organization. In his biography of Stalin, British historian Simon Sebag Montifore described his methods: “Stalin was hostile to bumptious intellectuals, but he was less with the less educated worker-revolutionaries, who did not arouse his inferiority complex, he played the teacher — the priest…The workers listened reverently to this young preacher — and it was no coincidence that many of the revolutionaries were seminarists, and the workers often pious ex-peasants… Trotsky, agitating in another city, remembered that many of the workers thought the movement resembled the early Christians and had to be taught that they should be atheists.”

In a time where millions of working class youth feel disempowered and hopeless, the City-Building Tendency must appeal to their inner desire to become heroic. In his pivotal text “The Role of the Individual in History,” Georgi Plekhanov the father of Russian Marxism wrote: “A great man is precisely a beginner because he sees further than others, and desires things more strongly than others… He is a hero. But he is not a hero in the sense that he can stop, or change, the natural course of things, but in the sense that his activities are the conscious and free expression of this inevitable and unconscious course. Herein lies all his significance; herein lies his whole power. But this significance is colossal, and the power is terrible.”

The CC of this Blog leaves it to Cdes to make their own judgement about this bleeding piffle.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 24, 2022 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Animal Liberation

Tagged with , ,

Communist Party USA Polemic on “white ‘left’ nationalism.”

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The art and science of building the Communist Party – Communist Party USA

Like most people, the CC of this Blog had not heard of the  Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) for many years. They claim 5,000 members, a figure of which the Communist Party of Britain can only dream. Like a larger number of Cdes I had not heard of Maurice Cornforth (1909 – 1980) for even longer. The British Marxist’s best known book is Materialism and the Dialectical Method. It has the merit of being written by somebody who knew his philosophy inside out, unlike, let us just say, a certain Alan Woods of Socialist Appeal. (1) One can disagree with Cornforth on many things but the CPUSA have found a quote that reflects well on the man.

In Western European countries it used often to be said: “We must have fascism before communism.” First the capitalists will abandon democracy and introduce the fascist dictatorship, and then the workers will overthrow the fascist dictatorship. But the Communists replied, no, we will fight together with all the democratic forces to preserve bourgeois democracy and to defeat the fascists, and that will create the best conditions for going forward to win working-class power and to commence to build socialism.

—Maurice Cornforth, Materialism and the Dialectical Method

Not that I can think of anybody apart from some Third Period Stalinists, and possibly the wilder Bordigist fringe, who ever said versions of “After Hitler our Turn” but the Popular Front did become the Communist Strategy. Or as this article cites, the basis of unity for democracy outlined in “The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International in the Struggle of the Working Class against Fascism.” Georgi Dimitrov. 1935.

This is quite an extraordinary polemic in its own right:

The curious rise of white “left” nationalism. Jamal Rich. December the 23rd 2021.

An ideological trend that might be classified as “white left nationalism” repeats the mistakes of the old Socialist Party on its approach to the national question. These white left nationalist trends shout “class, class, class!” and “left, left, left!” while deploring what they call “identity politics” and narrowly pointing to historical failures of socialist projects and the left in the United States in particular.

It has got to this:

Instead of seeing revolutionary potential in the U.S. working class, these forces promote a newfound fetishization of the “lumpen-proletariat” (that is, declassed strata) as the new revolutionary class, urban peasant guerrilla warfare, and other theories associated with the Frankfurt School for Social Science (like Herbert Marcuse). A seemingly odd combination of national nihilism (downplaying of a country’s traditions) and national chauvinism (an overemphasis of the same) also plays a part.

And,

Often you’ll hear it when folks use the term “working class” or “Trump voters” when what is actually meant is “white workers.” Trumpsters do it all the time when they talk about the GOP as a “workers’ party.” Listen and you’ll hear a subtle switch, replacing in the mind’s eye people of color with workers of the majority nationality. It’s precisely here that the deep chauvinism lies. This applies not only to how people think about it but also in how interests are framed. The alleged interests of the majority of one people in the multiracial U.S. nation are identified with the interests of the entire class.

Sounds a bit like certain British Communists revelling in Brexit voters rejecting the ‘apitalist EU, Brendan O’Neill and his mates in Spiked/RCP on ‘identity’ politics, or Blue Labour types talking about the ‘real’ working class.

Confusion on the left (suggestion, the word these days is confusionism)

Below are some examples of how these issues manifest:

1. “74 million people voted for Trump, which means a lot of workers support fascism in this country. We need to organize these people at their rallies and events,” an anonymous conversation with a new CPUSA member.

2. “January 6 was a good thing! White workers led that uprising! We need to be organizing January 6 people!” (paraphrased from anonymous article by a new CPUSA member and an anonymous email sent to the DC District during the J6 events).

And so it continues…..

The CC can only agree with the broad direction of Jamal Rich’s critique.

******

(1)

Written by Andrew Coates

December 27, 2021 at 11:03 am

Posted in Anti-Fascism, Communism

Tagged with , ,

‘No Cold War’, China: The Return of the Anti-Imperialism of Fools?

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Pillar of Shame commemorating Tiananmen crackdown faces removal in Hong Kong  : NPR

The Removal of the Pillar of Shame is Heavy in Symbolism.

This act spells the intention to write the Tiananmen Square massacre out of history.

This is the lying explanation for the removal:

So much for history and memory.

Earlier this month the social imperialists of the Chinese Communist Party capitalist dictatorship issued this document, favourably reported on by their British supporters.

“CHINA published the report China: Democracy that Works on Saturday, outlining its “whole-process democracy” and arguing its political system is more democratic than that of the United States.”

The document contained these claims.

“The US has developed a system of strategies and tactics for “peaceful evolution”. It would start with “cultural exchanges”, economic assistance, and then public opinion shaping to foster an atmosphere for “color revolution”. It would exaggerate the mistakes and flaws of incumbent governments to foment public grievances and anti-government sentiments.

In the meantime, it would brainwash local people with American values and make them identify with America’s economic model and political system. It would also cultivate pro-US NGOs and provide all-round training to opposition leaders. It would seize the opportunity of major elections or emergencies to overthrow targeted governments through instigating street political activities.

In recent history, the US has pushed for the neo-Monroe Doctrine in Latin America under the pretext of “promoting democracy”, incited “color revolution” in Eurasia, and remotely controlled the “Arab Spring” in West Asia and North Africa. These moves have brought chaos and disasters to many countries, gravely undermining world peace, stability and development.”

‘The “Arab Spring” that started in 2010 was an earthquake that shook the entire Middle East. The US orchestrated the show behind the scene, and played a key role. The New York Times revealed in 2011 that a small core of American government-financed organizations were promoting democracy in “authoritarian” Arab states. A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the “Arab Spring” revolts received training and financing from US organizations like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House’.

To underline the Chinese capitalist dictatorship’s adherence to the ‘anti-imperialism of fools’ they added.

In countries forced to copy and paste American values, there is no sign of true democracy, true freedom, or true human rights. What have been left in these countries are prevailing scenes of persisting chaos, stagnation and humanitarian disasters.

And (the site cited is a marginal one, to say the least),

As suggested by the French website Le Grand Soir, democracy has long become a weapon of massive destruction for the US to attack countries with different views.

Is is a surprise that the social imperialists have attracted this support?

How should democracy be defined? December 2021.

Democracy was the focus for speakers from both China and around the world at the International Forum on Democracy in Beijing. How should we assess the concept of democracy today? And what evidence best shows the practical interpretation and application of the concept of democracy?

To discuss these questions and more, we’ve invited He Jing, attorney at GEN Law Firm; Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and president of the Schiller Institute; and Zoon Ahmed Khan, research fellow at the Center for China and Globalization.

The Schiller Institute is a front for the far-right Larouche cult.

It is, naturally, no surprise that the Chinese Communist Party gets this support.

Then there is Tel’s Nipper:

The Establishment Feared Corbyn’s Internationalism

The piece is interesting in that it shows wider, if limited, forces that self-identify with the left lining up behind the No to the New Cold War rhetoric promoted by the Friends of Socialist China..

The member of the New Left Review Editorial Board opines on foreign policy. He starts by laying into UK pro-Israel policies, “Maximal support for Israeli ethnic cleansing is the new bipartisan norm. ” And so on.

Of more symptomatic interest is that Eagleton calls for ” an anti-imperialism that surpasses moralism.”

As in,

The UK is currently gearing up for a new Cold War in which it will act as head servant to the United States, using its inflated military budget to counter Chinese and Russian influence. Last summer, Boris Johnson dispatched a warship to the Black Sea to antagonize Vladimir Putin, and sent an aircraft carrier strike group into the contested South China Sea to rile Xi Jinping’s Defense Ministry. Johnson has now joined the AUKUS nuclear pact with the United States and Australia, designed to militarize the Pacific region and escalate the arms race with China.

“In  this context, it is vital for the Left to forcefully oppose the Atlantic compact while also rejecting apologia for its strategic adversaries (whose crimes, from Xi’s internment of Uyghurs to Putin’s bombardment of Syria, should not be understated).

Yet if socialists continue to confine themselves to black-and-white humanitarian crises, they will be unable to rise to this discursive challenge. The extraordinary danger of renewed great power conflict, mostly elided by progressive media outlets and MPs, calls for an internationalism with the analytic tools to confront it.”

The pro-Brexit sovereigntist continues, shedding a tear over Corbins defeat. There was “a brief moment during the Corbyn era”, one that has passed most of us actual Labour members by.

That was the time when a “national industrial strategy ” based on self-reliance was on the cards,

This strategy was to be implemented by a more active state, unshackled from the ordoliberal competition rules of the EU, that could have played a dynamic role in coaxing and directing investment.

Leaving the “ever closer union” also gave the leadership the opportunity to develop a new trade justice policy, reshaping Britain’s trading relationships to reflect the principles of global solidarity (in contrast to the neocolonial EU Customs Union, which guarantees competitive advantage for European producers). Shadow minister Jon Trickett drew up plans for an international alliance of progressive leaders, including Brazil’s Lula da Silva and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, as a substitute for Britain’s circle of oil-rich despots.

In this realm of something that never happened and was never going to happen, a banner with strange device was raised:

” This program combined a commitment to justice abroad with transformative measures at home. It was alert to the practical implications of disentangling the UK from its imperial networks — and it offered a radical vision of Britain outside the EU, bringing an end to the assumption that Brexit was an intrinsically racist or nationalist enterprise.”

Most people thought Labour, under Corbyn’s leadership called to vote Remain in the EU – but then Ollie had obviously got so close to Labour’s Chief he knew better than the Party card-carriers, commentators, and historians, though probably not the Morning Star.

Yet, Brexit took place and showed itself “racist and nationalist”.

That’s more of a proof than an article in the US left populist Jacobin…

Written by Andrew Coates

December 23, 2021 at 10:01 am