imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Reclaim Lenin from "Leninists" and "Leninism", Part 1

by Bob Gould Thursday, Mar. 18, 2004 at 10:36 PM

A Critique of Doug Lorimer's article, in Links (No. 24, pp. 96-112), on "Leninism" and a few suggestions as to what an organisation drawing the useful lessons of Lenin's activity, experience and writings, might look like in modern conditions. How we might possibly get there from the present situation of a proliferation of Marxist sects.

"It is true that prior to the October Revolution Lenin had agitated

for [a] strictly disciplined party of professional revolutionaries as

the condition sine qua non for the conquest and maintenance of power.

Nevertheless, throughout his career, including the five years of his

active life after the victory of October, Lenin never managed to

organize such a "monolithic" party. Nor was it ever more than a pious

wish with him which he constantly violated. Bolshevism, born of

polemics and factionalism, flourished throughout the twenty years of

its Leninist period on arguments and dissensions. It was only after

Lenin's death, after Stalin's ruthless police measures had strangled

the Bolshevik party, after the red colour of pulsing life had been

drained from its veins, that it assumed the rigidity of a mummified


L. Trotsky, Trotsky's Notebooks, 1933-35, Writings on Lenin,

Dialectics and Evolutionism, Philip Pomper and Yuri Felshtinsky, pp.

27-28. This book, by Pomper and Felshtinsky, is a very important

piece of original scholarly research. The two editors have done a

very systematic job of collating Trotsky's notes from 1933-35, which

are in the Trotsky papers at Harvard University. These notes

particularly relate to matters of philosophy and natural science, and

to Trotsky's attitude to Lenin during the period when he was

preparing to write a major biography of Lenin, which unfortunately

never happened. The notes from Trotsky's papers give considerable

insight into Trotsky's thinking about events in which he had been an

important participant.

"The day before the conference, we arranged a meeting of the active

workers of the Helsingfors Committee, at which we decided on the

general plan for conducting the conference and also on the agenda. It

was decided to propose S.A. Garin as chairman of the conference, as

he was the most prominent and best known figure in Helsingfors. But

as Garin could not be present at the conference all the time, it was

decided to put the general guidance of the conference in my hands by

electing me as deputy chairman.

"In the Committee, there were two points of view on the question of

the political situation, one more moderate, approaching the point of

view of Comrade Kamenev at that time, and the other more

revolutionary, based on the famous thesis published by Lenin

immediately on his arrival from abroad. The representative of the

first point of view was Kirill Orlov, and of the second, Antipov. In

order to deal with all sides of this most important point of the

agenda, it was decided to have both points of view submitted, and let

these two speakers deal with the question.

"The conference opened the next day in the hall of the house of the

Governor-General. A large number of delegates was present. There were

representatives from almost every ship stationed in Helsingfors.

There were also many guests among whom was the figure now well known

to me -- the notorious Khilyani [Khilyani was a Menshevik]. However,

this time he discreetly kept in the background."

A. Ilyin-Genevsky, From February to October, pp. 41-42. (Published in

English in the Soviet Union, c.1926)

The above observation by Trotsky in the mid-1930s, in which he draws

harsh lessons from the development of Stalinism, is in sharp conflict

with the lessons drawn by Doug Lorimer in Links, 24. Ilyin-Genevsky's

account of the relatively public Helsingfors conference of the

military supporters of the Bolshevik Party adds further weight to

Trotsky's case. That was the party that led the revolution in all its

turbulent, contradictory development.

The discussion of Marxist organisation is not exactly new territory.

Nevertheless, on a world scale we are now in a position to illuminate

general theories of "Leninism" from the common practices and

experiences of dozens of "Leninist" groups, organisations and

parties. This historical record stretches from the time of the first

codification of "Leninist" doctrine, essentially by Zinoviev in the

early to mid-1920s, through its counter-revolutionary Stalinist

perversion, to the experience of various modern "Leninist" sects, up

to the present. It's a singular tribute to the revolutionary memory

of Lenin and Trotsky, and lesser, but still important,

revolutionaries such as James P. Cannon and Zinoviev, that across the

planet, militants of organisations large and small, and numerous

individuals, should be discussing their organisational ideas and

political perspectives with intense enthusiasm.

Also attached is a bibliography of important books on Lenin and Leninism.

This article also contains a discussion of a recent upheaval in the

DSP youth group, Resistance, and a current dispute in the Australian

Socialist Alliance. In two parts, Part II to follow soon.


Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 13 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
I don't know why anyone would be interested in Lenin Barney Friday, Mar. 19, 2004 at 5:00 PM
again with the history interpretation. Particle Observer Friday, Mar. 19, 2004 at 5:18 PM
Particle Observer Barney Friday, Mar. 19, 2004 at 6:50 PM
Hard to believe anyone still touts Lenin GD Friday, Mar. 19, 2004 at 7:36 PM
Lenin invented the terror state Particle Observer Friday, Mar. 19, 2004 at 7:46 PM
lenin sucks Walker, Texas Plumber Friday, Mar. 19, 2004 at 7:57 PM
ahh our OTHER village moron speaks faintly amused by morons Friday, Mar. 19, 2004 at 8:08 PM
IMAGINE NO LIBERALS Thurbad Marshall Friday, Mar. 19, 2004 at 9:04 PM
learning something B&B Saturday, Mar. 20, 2004 at 5:25 AM
all hail marx and lennon more rational Saturday, Mar. 20, 2004 at 8:06 AM
fresca simply not true Saturday, Mar. 20, 2004 at 8:46 AM
humour in touch g.beck Saturday, Mar. 20, 2004 at 4:05 PM
Partivle Observer Barney Saturday, Mar. 20, 2004 at 9:51 PM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy