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Can Leninism ever truly become Communist?

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 27 Nov 2014, 20:19
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No. Socialism is supposed to be classless.


DOP then

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They would have to find another candidate.


I.e. potentially having months and months without any elected representative whatsoever. Why not just let all the candidates stand in one election?

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I'm not trying to deny anything and I don't care. You have an interesting paper there, you should read it. Getty says that the Soviet Government feared the result of the election. This is enough to disprove your claim that the Soviet Government could control everything, including the outcome of the election.


That's odd because when I have shown you secondary sources in the past you usually dismiss their reliability because you know they will disagree with your argument. Suddenly you are championing secondary sources!

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Neither in this situation, in association with "but" (but neither), is used as a subordinating conjunction because it connects an independant clause (green) and a dependant clause (blue). The dependant clause is subordinate to the first because the object is contained in the first sentence:


Post a link which shows that 'but neither' is a subordinating conjunction (and I notice in the post before you said 'neither', not 'but neither' was a subordinate clause).

But you seem to be ignoring the definition of the word 'neither' which means Not the one nor the other of two people or things. In the clause 'but neither can the blame for it be laid upon them personally, any more than non-Bolshevism can upon Trotsky' the one and the other are Zinoviev and Kamenev's blame for the October incident and Trotsky's blame non-Bolshevism. And neither can be laid upon these individuals personally.

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This is illogical. If someone is blamed "for being influenced by matters outside [his] control" he is blamed personnally nonetheless. If you can't blame him personnally it means that it was an accident.


Total CEO's Death No Conspiracy, But No Accident

Just because something is not something, doesn't mean it is automatically another thing. E.g. Just because I am not hot doesn't mean I am cold.

In this instance Lenin, while acknowledging the part Zinoviev and Kamenev played in the October incident was no accident, could well be implying that he acknowledges they thought they were doing the right thing rather than trying to deliberately sabotage the Soviet government. Or he may be implying that their hand was forced by influences beyond their control.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 27 Nov 2014, 23:27
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DOP then

?

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I.e. potentially having months and months without any elected representative whatsoever. Why not just let all the candidates stand in one election?

Something that happened in Belgium, but non with only one or two MPs, with the whole government. Yet the country is still alive.

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That's odd because when I have shown you secondary sources in the past you usually dismiss their reliability because you know they will disagree with your argument. Suddenly you are championing secondary sources!

I don't know what you call "secondary sources" (secondary compared to what?). Getty is using archive evidences to support his claim.

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Post a link which shows that 'but neither' is a subordinating conjunction (and I notice in the post before you said 'neither', not 'but neither' was a subordinate clause).

Of course, I was discussing neither as used in this sentence. I never meant that neither in general is a subordinating conjunction. In your own article it is said that neither... nor isn't a coordinating conjunction. You should have noticed that. Actually the whole expression is But neither... anymore.


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But you seem to be ignoring the definition of the word 'neither' which means Not the one nor the other of two people or things. In the clause 'but neither can the blame for it be laid upon them personally, any more than non-Bolshevism can upon Trotsky' the one and the other are Zinoviev and Kamenev's blame for the October incident and Trotsky's blame non-Bolshevism. And neither can be laid upon these individuals personally.

"Neither can be laid upon these individuals personnally": Makes no sense. Why would you ever consider blaming Zinoviev and Kamenev for Trotsky's non-bolshevism?


"Not the one nor the other of two people of things": this acceptation isn't the good one there. We have this situation: "Neither can be used in the following ways:
as a way of showing how a sentence or clause is related to what has already been said: I can't play tennis, but neither can you."
http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dict ... sh/neither
So what's the relation between the two clauses in our sentence? Neither implies that, although you have said that what Z&K did was "no accident", you must not blame them personally anymore than you would blame Trotsky for his non-bolshevism.

That's what Lenin says according to this English translation, and according to my French translation.

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In this instance Lenin, while acknowledging the part Zinoviev and Kamenev played in the October incident was no accident, could well be implying that he acknowledges they thought they were doing the right thing rather than trying to deliberately sabotage the Soviet government. Or he may be implying that their hand was forced by influences beyond their control.

There was no Soviet government when they did that. Basically there was an opposition in October between those who thought that the bolsheviks should support the provisional government, as the Bolsheviks had planned, and Lenin, who thought that the bolsheviks should demand all power for the Soviets and therefore overthrow the provisional government.

Of course Z&K thought that they did the right thing! It doesn't mean that they can't be blamed personally! The meaning of "no accident" is clear and it can't be discussed. Lenin is saying that they can be blamed personally. However, the second part of the sentence, the second clause, says that you shouldn't blame them any more than you would blame Trotsky for his non-bolshevism.

Of course the translations can be imperfect. We shall wait for Kirov's opinion, or the opinion of another Russian-speaking member.

Anyway, I think that you are not challenging the fact that Lenin equates Trotsky's non-bolshevism and Z&K's mistake in October? The fact that Lenin was recalling Trotsky's non-bolshevism was obviously disastrous for Trotsky, especially since the question of Lenin's legacy was already a matter of dispute.
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 28 Nov 2014, 01:14
Quote:
I don't know what you call "secondary sources" (secondary compared to what?). Getty is using archive evidences to support his claim.


As in the difference between a primary and a secondary source. Look them up if you don't know.

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Of course, I was discussing neither as used in this sentence. I never meant that neither in general is a subordinating conjunction.


Your exact words were:
Neither is a subordinate conjunction, which means that it expresses the connection between the two parts, and the subordination of the second part to the first.

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In your own article it is said that neither... nor isn't a coordinating conjunction. You should have noticed that. Actually the whole expression is But neither... anymore.


I never said 'neither, nor' is a coordinating conjunction, I said 'neither' is. 'Neither' is a coordinating conjunction, 'neither, nor' (which is not used in the sentence we are discussing) is a correlative conjunction. Neither of them are subordinating conjunctions (as you claim). If you think that 'neither' or 'neither, any more' are subordinating conjunctions then provide a link which proves this.

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"Neither can be laid upon these individuals personnally": Makes no sense. Why would you ever consider blaming Zinoviev and Kamenev for Trotsky's non-bolshevism?


It makes perfect sense. Neither Z&K's role in the October incident, nor Trotsky's non-Bolshevism can be laid on any of these individuals personally.

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"Not the one nor the other of two people of things": this acceptation isn't the good one there. We have this situation: "Neither can be used in the following ways:
as a way of showing how a sentence or clause is related to what has already been said: I can't play tennis, but neither can you."


Fine, look at MacMillan's second definition:
'used for referring to each of two people, things, actions, or ideas when saying something negative that applies to both of them'

Therefore they can't be blamed personally, just as Trotsky can't be blamed personally. A negative things that applies to both of them (Z&K and Trotsky). As I have already shown you, just because Lenin says it was 'no accident', doesn't mean they can automatically be blamed personally. I notice you completely ignored my example of 'just because I am not hot, doesn't mean I am cold'.

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Anyway, I think that you are not challenging the fact that Lenin equates Trotsky's non-bolshevism and Z&K's mistake in October? The fact that Lenin was recalling Trotsky's non-bolshevism was obviously disastrous for Trotsky, especially since the question of Lenin's legacy was already a matter of dispute.


Hardly disastrous when he calls him the most capable man in the CC and suggests that Stalin should be removed. Lenin is equating Trotsky's non-Bolshevism with Z&K's mistake in October, but he is absolving all of them of personal blame for their respective mistakes. There is no way that Trotsky comes off worse here compared to Stalin.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
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Post 28 Nov 2014, 02:36
This looks like religious debate. You are now debating on exact meaning of each word. Its like bible interpretation...
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 28 Nov 2014, 03:40
Quote:
I never said 'neither, nor' is a coordinating conjunction, I said 'neither' is. 'Neither' is a coordinating conjunction, 'neither, nor' (which is not used in the sentence we are discussing) is a correlative conjunction. Neither of them are subordinating conjunctions (as you claim). If you think that 'neither' or 'neither, any more' are subordinating conjunctions then provide a link which proves this.

If you mean that "neither" in general is a coordinating conjunction, you are wrong. Neither can also be a determiner or a pronoun.

http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dict ... sh/neither


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It makes perfect sense. Neither Z&K's role in the October incident, nor Trotsky's non-Bolshevism can be laid on any of these individuals personally.

So now you are using "neither... nor."

Your sentence makes perfect sense, but it's not what Lenin says. Where is the "anymore"? Disappeared?

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Fine, look at MacMillan's second definition:
'used for referring to each of two people, things, actions, or ideas when saying something negative that applies to both of them'

Therefore they can't be blamed personally,

Illogic. If neither means that Lenin was "saying something negative that applies to both of them", he wouldn't say that they can't be blamed personally, which is positive.

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As I have already shown you, just because Lenin says it was 'no accident', doesn't mean they can automatically be blamed personally. I notice you completely ignored my example of 'just because I am not hot, doesn't mean I am cold'.

No, but if you are not alive, your are dead. So your example has nothing to do with the problem there. If we say that someone's opinion is "no accident", we mean that it's the consequence of his political views in general, and not a simple mistake.

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Hardly disastrous when he calls him the most capable man in the CCHardly disastrous when he calls him the most capable man in the CC

He called Bukharin "a most valuable and major theorist of the Party". Yet he says that he isn't an actual Marxist. What's the most important there?
He says that Trotsky is the "most capable", yet he also recalls that Trotsky was a non-bolshevik.
What's the most important in this period of political disagreements? Being a good theorician or being a Marxist? What's the point of being a good theorician if you are not even an actual Marxist? Being "capable" or being a bolshevik? What's the point of being capable if you fail to make bolshevik choices?

Stalin is the only one who isn't criticized for his political views.
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 28 Nov 2014, 10:34
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Russian looks closer to German there.


German wouldn't put a comma into "Anton ist so stark wie Igor". German puts commas before subordinating conjunctions.

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Stalin is the only one who isn't criticized for his political views.


Maybe because he had none? Show me any writing of Stalin's (from the relevant period of course) that aroused even the slightest bit of controversy.

gRed, I'm sorry for not taking part in this discussion properly anymore, but I would rather have talked about essential things rather than take part in an endless fights over grammar and Lenin's supposed infallibility. OP-B has this endlessly annoying tendency of diverting every discussion far far away from its original subject, into places where he feels more secure (such as cherrypicking the grammar of a dying man's last writings). So here's just a few very quick comments on a couple things:

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The Russian proletariat did not form the majority of all members of Russian society in 1917. A majority proletarian population is only achieved by the development of the capitalist mode of production in that society. Therefore Russia had not undergone sufficient capitalist development in 1917 in order to launch a successful proletarian revolution.


That's where the theory of permanent revolution comes into play. It basically says that the Russian bourgeoisie was incapable of carrying through the bourgeois revolution on its own, meaning that the tasks of bourgeois-democratic revolution would have to be accomplished under the dictatorship of the proletariat. However being as it were, the dictatorship of the proletariat, the revolution would not stop at this point, but flow over into socialist revolution because the proletariat in power must necessarily use revolutionary socialist methods.

This is precisely what happened in Russia - and this is the central vindication of Trotskyist theory by the way - and it has been the basic pattern for all revolutions in underdeveloped countries ever since. Cuba, Egypt, Angola, China, you name it - all these revolutions followed the theory of permanent revolution. When we look at the revolutionary situation in West Africa today, the theory of permanent revolution tells us what is to be done.

(If you want to know more about how the theory of permanent revolution applies to the colonial revolutions, I suggest Ted Grant's "The Colonial Revolution and the Deformed Workers' States": https://www.marxists.org/archive/grant/ ... colrev.htm)

Lenin and Trotsky were aware that the revolution would not succeed if it remained in isolation. It was supposed to be the beginning of world revolution. All the texts and articles of the Bolsheviks and early comintern at the time testify to this. It was the failure of the Germans that killed the revolution, not the boldness of the Bolsheviks.

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Why not just let the people lead themselves?


The party is how the people lead (conduct) themselves. No matter how democratic a system is, there will always be parties, there will always be political organizations that arise out of the masses. I think it's absurd to envisage a revolutionary regime without political organizations. Where else will people discuss strategy and tactics and programmes, where else will they receive political education? This aversion to organization is an anarchist aberration that will never lead anywhere, and all history testifies to that. The emergence of Podemos in Spain is largely because the mass movement has understood that its refusal to have anything to do with politics or organizations has led nowhere. The masses are in bitter need of a political organization.

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Why not allow bourgeois parties? Surely that is a sign of your faith in the masses? After all, would the workers really rise up and overthrow the old regime just so they could vote the capitalists or monarchists back into power? If Soviet socialism was such an incredible system then why would the workers ever elect any other (non-socialist) party? This is what I mean when I say the party had no trust in the people.


I agree wholeheartedly, but I would be more concrete and say the bureaucracy was deadly afraid of the masses, which is why it consciously destroyed every kind of spontanous political initiative.

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Also, what are your thoughts on Lenin's praise of Bhukharin and Pyatakov who Stalin had executed in the purges?


That's like asking how Stalin came to appoint Vyshinsky, who signed the order to arrest Lenin in 1917, head prosecutor.

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Fortunately the Italian Communist Party failed to size power.


That's a pretty revealing statement.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 28 Nov 2014, 11:02
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German wouldn't put a comma into "Anton ist so stark wie Igor". German puts commas before subordinating conjunctions.

I meant that you put commas where we don't, and where it would look absurd. For example: "Ich glaube, dass es morgen regnet." In English or in French you won't write "I think, that it will rain today" or "Je crois, qu'il va pleuvoir aujourd'hui". This German convention looks quite close to the one that is used there in Russian.

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Maybe because he had none? Show me any writing of Stalin's (from the relevant period of course) that aroused even the slightest bit of controversy.

Most of the time Stalin follows Lenin's positions. But he has a good understanding of Lenin's positions and writes stuff about that. Lenin criticizes Pyatakov for having no political views, but not Stalin of course.

Stalin on the electrification of Russia and the disagreement with Trotsky:
https://www.marxists.org/reference/arch ... 03/x01.htm
Again on the disagreements with Trotsky:
https://www.marxists.org/reference/arch ... jan/05.htm

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OP-B has this endlessly annoying tendency of diverting every discussion far far away from its original subject, into places where he feels more secure (such as cherrypicking the grammar of a dying man's last writings).

Actually it was Gred who asked my opinion about the testament. Trotskyists like to speak about the so-called testament because Lenin criticizes Stalin, but most of those trotskyists haven't noticed that Trotsky is also sharply criticized by Stalin.

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This is precisely what happened in Russia

Not according to Lenin.

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Lenin and Trotsky were aware that the revolution would not succeed if it remained in isolation.

It's true that without a revolution in some more advanced countries the chances for a victory of your own revolution are lowered. But Lenin never said that it would "not succeed". It would have been criminal anyway to say something like that after the defeat of the German communists.
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 28 Nov 2014, 11:18
In Two Tactics, Lenin wrote:
The bourgeoisie looks backward, fearing democratic progress, which threatens to strengthen the proletariat. The proletariat has nothing to lose but its chains, but with the aid of democracy it has the whole world to gain. That is why the more consistent the bourgeois revolution is in achieving its democratic changes, the less will it limit itself to what is of advantage exclusively to the bourgeoisie. The more consistent the bourgeois revolution, the more does it guarantee the proletariat and the peasantry the benefits accruing from the democratic revolution.

Marxism teaches the proletarian not to keep aloof from the bourgeois revolution, not to be indifferent to it, not to allow the leadership of the revolution to be assumed by the bourgeoisie but, on the contrary, to take a most energetic part in it, to fight most resolutely for consistent proletarian democracy, for carrying the revolution to its conclusion.

http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works ... s/ch06.htm

The bourgeoisie, in the mass, will inevitably turn towards counterrevolution, towards the autocracy, against the revolution and against the people, immediately its narrow, selfish interests are met, immediately it “recoils” from consistent democracy (and it is already recoiling from it!). There remains the “people,” that is, the proletariat and the peasantry: the proletariat alone can be relied on to march to the end, for it is going far beyond the democratic revolution. That is why the proletariat fights in the front ranks for a republic and contemptuously rejects silly and unworthy advice to take care not to frighten away the bourgeoisie.

http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works ... s/ch12.htm
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 28 Nov 2014, 11:36
Yes, but you fail to understand that there is a difference between "the bourgeoisie" i.e. the big bourgeoisie, and the petty bourgeoisie. In the bolshevik's theory, and in this work of Lenin, the peasantry ("as a whole") is considered to be the biggest representative of the petty-bourgeoisie in Russia. Lenin repeats that more that once in 1905 and until October. He recalls this theory after the revolution and never dismissed it. So your quote from Lenin is certainly not supportive of Trotsky's Permanent Revolution, and only prove that you still don't understand the very meaning of the Permanent Revolution, that you have no idea of what it actually means, and that you don't understand either the disagreements between Lenin and Trotsky.

For example, what's your interpretation of this formula:

"At the head of the whole of the people, and particularly of the peasantry—for complete freedom, for a consistent democratic revolution, for a republic! At the head of all the toilers and the exploited—for Socialism! Such must in practice be the policy of the revolutionary proletariat, such is the class slogan which must permeate and determine the solution of every tactical problem, every practical step of the workers’ party during the revolution."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Sep 2011, 13:51
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Post 28 Nov 2014, 15:46
At the request of Comrade Bagration I have been asked to give my opinion on the meaning of the text in question.

This is the original in Russian:

Quote:
Я не буду дальше характеризовать других членов ЦК по их личным качествам. Напомню лишь, что октябрьский эпизод Зиновьева и Каменева, конечно, не являлся случайностью, но что он также мало может быть ставим им в вину лично, как небольшевизм Троцкому.


It translates as follows:

"I will no longer characterise other members of the Central Committee by their personal qualities. I will but remind you only that although the October episode with Zinoviev and Kamenev was of course not an accident, little blame can be placed upon them personally, as it can on Trotsky for his un-Bolshevism."

Thus, Lenin was saying that Zinoviev/Kamenev cannot be condemned (for their publication in the "New Life" newspaper) as personally as can Trotsky for him not being a Bolshevik. He places lesser blame on them than he does on Trotsky.

Why? That's open to interpretation. Is it because he held Trotsky in higher regard and thus more responsible for his actions as opposed to the supposedly less intelligent duo? I don't know.

In my opinion, Gred's interpretation would have been correct when the sentence is analysed in English if there were some explanation as to why Lenin exempts them from all personal responsibility for their actions; alas there simply isn't.

The only possible explanation in my mind as to why he might say that is to forgive his "children" in an attempt for them to reconcile their differences as he lay on his death bed. He may have feared the worst as his end drew near and so tried to guarantee the union of his legacy beforehand.

Regardless this is all speculation and although I may have agreed more with Gred on the English translation, my honest interpretation of the original Russian was as I presented it above.

The letter was most definitely critical of all Central Committee members involved, without a clear statement as to whom he would have preferred successor.

This is not uncommon among great leaders upon the eve of their deaths, whereas Alexander for example also could not decide after being asked by his generals on his deathbed who was to succeed him. It has been speculated that his voice may have been indistinct and that he may have said "Krateros" (the name of one of his generals), but Krateros was not around, and the others may have chosen to hear "Kratistos" — the strongest.


Nevertheless I must state that Russian is my second language and so I welcome any person who's mastered the Russian language to try to lay claim to the contrary.

I studied in Russian for 10 years significantly out of Soviet textbooks and was taught mostly by former members and correspondents of the Soviet Academy of Medical Sciences.

Regardless I never took Lenin's "Last Testament" too seriously because he had already suffered a second serious stroke that paralysed him by the time he wrote the letter in question. For someone who's worked with stroke patients personally, I believe that his debilitating/handicapped condition both physically and mentally as well as his inevitable depressed mode as he lay on his death bed did not make for a satisfactory atmosphere to write out something as important as a final testament to the central committee.

EDIT: Although the word "neither" does not have an exact one word translation in Russian, there are no combination of words in the original Russian text that translate in any way to the word "neither". So both of you have been wasting your time in that regard.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 28 Nov 2014, 17:02
Quote:
At the head of the whole of the people, and particularly of the peasantry—for complete freedom, for a consistent democratic revolution, for a republic! At the head of all the toilers and the exploited—for Socialism! Such must in practice be the policy of the revolutionary proletariat, such is the class slogan which must permeate and determine the solution of every tactical problem, every practical step of the workers’ party during the revolution.


I wonder how this could be interpreted as being incompatible with permanent revolution. The fight for the republic and the fight for socialism are one, the fight of the whole of the people for democratic revolution flows over into the fight for socialism when it is carried through by the toilers and the exploited, this is the idea Lenin is approaching here. In 1905, Lenin rejected the possibility of the Russian workers establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat before the socialist revolution in the West.

Lenin wrote:
The basic idea here is the one that the Vperyod has repeatedly formulated, stating that we must not be afraid (as is Martynov) of a complete victory for Social-Democracy in a democratic revolution, i.e., of a revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry, for such a victory will enable us to rouse Europe, and the socialist proletariat of Europe, after throwing off the yoke of the bourgeoisie, will in its turn help us to accomplish the socialist revolution.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/ ... s/ch10.htm


Lenin and Trotsky agreed on the fundamental questions of the revolution: the counter-revolutionary role of the bourgeoisie; the need for the workers and peasants to carry through the democratic revolution; the international significance of the revolution, and so on. The differences arose from Lenin's characterisation of the revolutionary-democratic government which would carry through the tasks of the revolution as the "democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry".

Trotsky criticised this formulation for its vagueness; that it did not make clear which class would exercise the dictatorship. Lenin's vagueness was intentional. He was not prepared to say in advance what form the revolutionary dictatorship would take. He did not even preclude the possibility that the peasant elements would predominate in the coalition. Thus, from the outset, the formula "democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry" bore an intentionally algebraic character - with a number of unknown quantities to be filled in by history.

Trotsky replied that at no time in history had the peasantry ever been able to play an independent role. The fate of the Russian revolution would be decided by the outcome of the struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat for the leadership of the peasant masses. The peasantry could either be used as an instrument of revolution or of reaction. At all events, the only possible outcome of the revolution was either the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, which would fall into the arms of Tsarist reaction, or the dictatorship of the proletariat, in alliance with the poor peasantry.

Trotsky alone foresaw the dictatorship of the proletariat in Russia before the socialist revolution in the West. He explained that the logic of events would inevitably place the working class in power.

Trotsky wrote:
It is possible for the workers to come to power in an economically backward country sooner than in an advanced country. In 1871 the workers deliberately took power in their hands in petty-bourgeois Paris – true, for only two months, but in the big-capitalist centres of Britain or the United States the workers have never held power for so much as an hour. To imagine that the dictatorship of the proletariat is in some way automatically dependent on the technical development and resources of a country is a prejudice of ‘economic’ materialism simplified to absurdity. This point of view has nothing in common with Marxism.

In our view, the Russian revolution will create conditions in which power can pass into the hands of the workers – and in the event of the victory of the revolution it must do so – before the politicians of bourgeois liberalism get the chance to display to the full their talent for governing.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsk ... r/rp04.htm


When history filled in the quantities in the algebraic formula of the "democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry", Lenin in effect moved to Trotsky's position, which was more concrete and less vague:

Lenin wrote:
“The revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry” has already become a reality in the Russian revolution, for this “formula” envisages only a relation of classes, and not a concrete political institution implementing this relation, this co-operation. (...) This formula is already antiquated. Events have moved it from tile realm of formulas into the realm of reality, clothed it with flesh and bone, concretised it and thereby modified it. (...)

According to the old way of thinking, the rule of the bourgeoisie could and should be followed by the rule of the proletariat and the peasantry, by their dictatorship. In real life, however, things have already turned out differently; there has been an extremely original, novel and unprecedented interlacing of the one with the other. We have side by side, existing together, simultaneously, both the rule of the bourgeoisie (the government of Lvov and Guchkov) and a revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry, which is voluntarily ceding power to the bourgeoisie, voluntarily making itself an appendage of the bourgeoisie.

For it must not be forgotten that actually, in Petrograd, the power is in the hands of the workers and soldiers; the new government is not using and cannot use violence against them, because there is no police, no army standing apart from the people, no officialdom standing all-powerful above tbe people. This is a fact, the kind of fact that is characteristic of a state of the Paris Commune type. This fact does not fit into the old schemes. One must know how to adapt schemes to facts, instead of reiterating the now meaningless words about a “dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry” in general.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/ ... pr/x01.htm
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 28 Nov 2014, 20:29
Thank you for your interesting intervention comrade Yeqon. If you are correct then it means that there is a problem with all of our translations.

I have found this other translation that keeps the Russian word "little" as you did:

"I will not further characterize the other members of the Central Committee as to their personal qualities. I will only remind you that the October episode of Zinoviev and Kamenev was not, of course, accidental, but that it ought as little to be used against them personally as the non-Bolshevism of Trotsky.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsk ... /lenin.htm

I don't know if the translation is correct. However the expression "ought as little to be used against them personally" is interesting, because it makes much more sense than saying that the blame for the October episode can't be " laid upon them personally". In the latter translation Lenin says that you can't blame them personally, while in the former translation Lenin says that you shouldn't use the October episode to attack them personally, or at least you should refrain for doing that. What do you think?

I will answer to Mabool later, it's time for my line battle on Napoleonic Wars.
Last edited by OP-Bagration on 28 Nov 2014, 20:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
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Post 28 Nov 2014, 20:31
Wow I didn't think anyone else was reading this thread. Good to see input from others.

@Yeqon: Thanks for your translation and assistance. As I said, I only had the English version to go on. Interesting to hear your views on the possible impact of Lenin's strokes as well. As to the October affair, wasn't it when Z&K attempted to start negotiating power with other parties without Lenin's consent?

@Mabool:
Quote:
gRed, I'm sorry for not taking part in this discussion properly anymore, but I would rather have talked about essential things rather than take part in an endless fights over grammar and Lenin's supposed infallibility. OP-B has this endlessly annoying tendency of diverting every discussion far far away from its original subject, into places where he feels more secure (such as cherrypicking the grammar of a dying man's last writings). So here's just a few very quick comments on a couple things:


It did get a bit ridiculous. I consider Yeqon's analysis to have settled it.

Quote:
That's where the theory of permanent revolution comes into play. It basically says that the Russian bourgeoisie was incapable of carrying through the bourgeois revolution on its own, meaning that the tasks of bourgeois-democratic revolution would have to be accomplished under the dictatorship of the proletariat. However being as it were, the dictatorship of the proletariat, the revolution would not stop at this point, but flow over into socialist revolution because the proletariat in power must necessarily use revolutionary socialist methods.


As I said, I am no expert on Trotsky but I believe this notion of the bourgeoisie becoming reactionary at the crucial point of a revolution dates back to at least Marx in his analysis of the 18th Brumaire among other texts (most likely analyses of 1848). The question is: at what point did bourgeois revolutions stop being progressive?

Suppose the bourgeoisie had sided with the aristocracy in 1917 and cracked down on the revolution. How do we know that in the long term it wouldn't have created a bourgeois society in Russia? After all, reactionary regimes tend not to be too popular; especially those created merely to crack down on a class. Are we to assume that a failed revolution in 1917 would have resulted in no changes to society whatsoever? Admittedly the regime of Napoleon III dug its own grave with the invasion of Prussia. But the Third French Republic which followed this period was a far more progressive regime in terms of bourgeois republicanism.

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This is precisely what happened in Russia - and this is the central vindication of Trotskyist theory by the way - and it has been the basic pattern for all revolutions in underdeveloped countries ever since. Cuba, Egypt, Angola, China, you name it - all these revolutions followed the theory of permanent revolution. When we look at the revolutionary situation in West Africa today, the theory of permanent revolution tells us what is to be done.


Fine, seize power for the proletariat, but then you realise that the proletariat are a minority because the petty-bourgeois peasantry by far outnumber them. What is to be done then? Rosa Luxemburg gives an interesting critique of the Bolshevik land policy where she points out how attempting to apply rudimentary socialist policies to the peasantry only goes to strengthen them as a petty-bourgeois element in society.

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Lenin and Trotsky were aware that the revolution would not succeed if it remained in isolation. It was supposed to be the beginning of world revolution. All the texts and articles of the Bolsheviks and early comintern at the time testify to this. It was the failure of the Germans that killed the revolution, not the boldness of the Bolsheviks.


I understand that. What was Trotsky's answer to this problem?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 29 Nov 2014, 03:23
@Mabool:

Quote:
I wonder how this could be interpreted as being incompatible with permanent revolution. The fight for the republic and the fight for socialism are one, the fight of the whole of the people for democratic revolution flows over into the fight for socialism when it is carried through by the toilers and the exploited, this is the idea Lenin is approaching here. In 1905, Lenin rejected the possibility of the Russian workers establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat before the socialist revolution in the West.

Actually Lenin says precisely the contrary, and moreover you confuse everything and fails to understand the basis of the discussion between Lenin and Trotsky.

According to Lenin there is two stages.

The first stage is a struggle for democracy, a bourgeois struggle. This struggle involves "the whole of the people", and as Lenin says "particularly of the peasantry" (wich represents most of the petty bourgeoisie in Russia).

The second stage is a struggle for socialism, against capitalism, against the bourgeoisie. It involves not the "whole of the people" but only a part of the people, the proletarian elements.

This clear distinction however doesn't mean that there is no relation between the two stages. The first stage, the bourgeois-democratic stage, prepares the second stage. And the communist party should prepare and prepare itself for the second stage. However the two stages must not be confused, for the objectives and the classes involved are totally different.

In conclusion you make two important mistakes:
1. "The fight for the republic and the fight for socialism are one" : No, the objectives and the classes involved are not the same. The revolution can't be both bourgeois and proletarian.
2. "the fight of the whole of the people for democratic revolution flows over into the fight for socialism" : No, that's only true for the proletarian elements.

Quote:
Lenin and Trotsky agreed on the fundamental questions of the revolution: the counter-revolutionary role of the bourgeoisie; the need for the workers and peasants to carry through the democratic revolution;

It depends. If you mean the big bourgeoisie, yes. But if you mean the petty-bourgeoisie, no. Lenin considers that the petty bourgeoisie will have an important role in the process of overthrowing autocracy in Russia.

Quote:
Lenin and Trotsky agreed on the fundamental questions of the revolution: the counter-revolutionary role of the bourgeoisie; the need for the workers and peasants to carry through the democratic revolution; the international significance of the revolution, and so on. The differences arose from Lenin's characterisation of the revolutionary-democratic government which would carry through the tasks of the revolution as the "democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry".

Are you trying to say that tactics are not important? That the concept of "democratic dictatorship of the proletariat" wasn't "fundamental"?

Quote:
Trotsky criticised this formulation for its vagueness; that it did not make clear which class would exercise the dictatorship.

Lenin always exposes his idea with much precision, unlike Trotsky. According to Lenin the "democratic dictatorship" is the dictatorship of the proletariat in alliance with the peasantry as a whole. Both classes exercise their dictatorship.


Quote:
Thus, from the outset, the formula "democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry" bore an intentionally algebraic character - with a number of unknown quantities to be filled in by history.

Algebraic: ridiculous, pompous, abstruse. Typical of Trotsky. Comparing a whole political analysis of class relations in Russia to a mathematical problem is sign of narrow-mindedness. But the idea that Lenin wasn't trying to tell precisely what would happen is totally true. Lenin couldn't forsee in 1905 the existence of the "dual power" in Russia (and neither could Trotsky) followed by the victory of the Soviets and the victory of the Bolsheviks inside the Soviets. It was believed that the social-democrats would support a bourgeois provisionary government, but that was only an eventuality.

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Trotsky replied that at no time in history had the peasantry ever been able to play an independent role.

Yes, and Lenin replied that it was not true.

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The fate of the Russian revolution would be decided by the outcome of the struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat for the leadership of the peasant masses. The peasantry could either be used as an instrument of revolution or of reaction. At all events, the only possible outcome of the revolution was either the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, which would fall into the arms of Tsarist reaction, or the dictatorship of the proletariat, in alliance with the poor peasantry.

What's the point of saying that? In Lenin's theory if you want to make a socialist revolution you will need the support of the poor peasants. This idea is INSEPARABLE from the theory of the Democratic Dictatorship (which you still don't understand because you have never actually read Lenin and keep repeating Trotsky's lies) since Lenin considered that the point of making a bourgeois-democratic revolution was to provoke the economic conditions for a split inside the peasantry, a split between the rich peasants and the poor peasants. And you dare say that this analysis of class relations in Russia is less "concrete" than Trotsky's millenialism?
Lenin has written an enormous books with a lot of statistics called "The development of Capitalism in Russia" in which he explains the economic basis of this process of differentiation inside the peasantry. This is the "concrete" ground of his political theory.
http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1899/devel/

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Trotsky alone foresaw the dictatorship of the proletariat in Russia before the socialist revolution in the West. He explained that the logic of events would inevitably place the working class in power.

What are you trying to say?

Quote:
When history filled in the quantities in the algebraic formula of the "democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry", Lenin in effect moved to Trotsky's position, which was more concrete and less vague:

The simple fact that Trotsky implies that he was right and that Lenin was wrong (for you are only repeating what Trotsky says, like a popinjay, but I can't blame you for that), that the bolsheviks were wrong and that HE was right -- so much right that the bolsheviks eventually became trotskyists -- proves that Trotsky never became a bolshevik. We can see the full extent of Trotsky's arrogance and disdain for Lenin.

The problem is that Trotsky has nothing to prove his point, so he took the text that you quoted, and tried to distort it to support his claim. Yet in this text Lenin is repeating what he said in 1905, and he even quotes himself! The difference is that 1905 was prior to the "democratic dictatorship", while in 1917 the dictatorship already exists: “The revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry” has already become a reality in the Russian revolution", he says. Lenin explains that you actually have both the rule of the bourgeoisie and the "democratic dictatorship". This was called the "dual power". Basically, Lenin considers that the Soviets represent the "democratic dictatorship". However, says he, this power is "making itself an appendage of the bourgeoisie." Conclusion: all power to the Soviets! That's the basis of the April theses.

This idea, of course, totally challenged Trotsky's Permanent Revolution, and in the same chapter (which you haven't read since you took this truncated quotation from Trotsky) Lenin criticizes Trotsky's theory:

"But are we not in danger of falling into subjectivism, of wanting to arrive at the socialist revolution by “skipping” the bourgeois-democratic revolution—which is not yet completed and has not yet exhausted the peasant movement?

I might be incurring this danger if I said: “No Tsar, but a workers’ government.” But I did not say that, I said something else. [...] In my theses, I absolutely ensured myself against skipping over the peasant movement, which has not outlived itself, or the petty-bourgeois movement in general, against any playing at “seizure of power” by a workers’ government, against any kind of Blanquist adventurism; for I pointedly referred to the experience of the Paris Commune. And this experience, as we know, and as Marx proved at length in 1871 and Engels in 1891,[14] absolutely excludes Blanquism, absolutely ensures the direct, immediate and unquestionable rule of the majority and the activity of the masses only to the extent that the majority itself acts consciously."


The opposition between Lenin and Trotsky is sharp, obvious. He describes Trotsky's theory as "blanquist adventurism". He refuses the idea that the bolsheviks should size power. He says that they should wait (they should especially wait for the day when the peasantry will split, when the proletarian elements will join the factory workers, when their class conscience will have arisen). But of course they shouldn't wait without doing anything, they should prepare the next stage, prepare the socialist revolution, they should improve the conscience of the masses. Which basically mean that the Bolsheviks shouldn't do anything to implement, right now, socialist measures. They should continue the bourgeois-democratic revolution.

You will also notice that in Lenin's analysis the peasant movement has "not outlived itself". In your own stupid trotskyist theory there can be no "peasant movement" because the peasantry is only a "tool". This is what you wrote above.

Of course you will answer that Lenin isn't actually criticizing Trotsky, that he isn't actually saying that Trotsky is a blanquist, that "No tsar, but a workers' government" wasn't Trotsky's slogan, that this is just a Stalinian invention (because everything that contradicts Trotsky, of course, is Stalinian). Unfortunately for you, a few days later, Lenin wrote this:

Quote:
Trotskyism: “No tsar, but a workers’ government.” This is wrong. A petty bourgeoisie exists, and it cannot be dismissed. But it is in two parts. The poorer of the two is with the working class.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/w ... nf/14b.htm

Conclusion: Trotskyism = blanquism, underestimation of the role of the peasantry, coated in arrogance, bombastic vocabulary, pedantry and lies.

But you are not a Trotskyist comrade Mabool, you don't even understand the meaning of the Permanent revolution.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Sep 2011, 13:51
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Post 29 Nov 2014, 11:13
OP-Bagration wrote:
I don't know if the translation is correct. However the expression "ought as little to be used against them personally" is interesting, because it makes much more sense than saying that the blame for the October episode can't be " laid upon them personally". In the latter translation Lenin says that you can't blame them personally, while in the former translation Lenin says that you shouldn't use the October episode to attack them personally, or at least you should refrain for doing that. What do you think?


Out of the three translations that have been presented I like the last two (one of which is my own) the most because I feel they stay true and somewhat vague just like the original Russian, whereas the original in English that included the word "neither" should be discarded completely as it is not an accurate translation. The fact that you've presented a second translation that is almost identical in its wording, phrasing and ultimately in meaning makes me all the more confident that my translation is accurate. The only part I was not sure about in my translation was when I decided to add the words "it can" highlighted in bold below, because the sentence would still make sense grammatically without them. I added those two words to stress the fact that Trotsky can be blamed more as opposed to the others because that's how I understood the sentence in Russian; but this definitely is the part where a second opinion would be more than welcome.

Quote:
I will but remind you only that although the October episode with Zinoviev and Kamenev was of course not an accident, little blame can be placed upon them personally, as it can on Trotsky for his un-Bolshevism.

Quote:
I will only remind you that the October episode of Zinoviev and Kamenev was not, of course, accidental, but that it ought as little to be used against them personally as the non-Bolshevism of Trotsky.



gRed Britain wrote:
As to the October affair, wasn't it when Z&K attempted to start negotiating power with other parties without Lenin's consent?


That was part of it. The duo were attempting at reconciling relations with other parties like the Mensheviks without Lenin's blessing. In general the duo's relationship with Lenin was always an up and down slope.

The October Affair although was specifically about Kamenev's and Zinoviev's falling out with Lenin over their opposition to Soviet seizure of power from the Provisional Government in October 1917. On the 10th of October 1917, Kamenev and Zinoviev were the only two Central Committee members to vote against an armed revolt. Their publication of an open letter opposed to the use of force enraged Lenin, who demanded their expulsion from the party.

Then again on October 29, 1917, three days after the Bolshevik seizure of power during the October Revolution, the executive committee of the national railroad labor union, Vikzhel, threatened a national strike unless the Bolsheviks shared power with other socialist parties and dropped Lenin and Leon Trotsky from the government. Zinoviev, Kamenev, and their allies in the Bolshevik Central Committee argued that the Bolsheviks had no choice but to start negotiations since a railroad strike would cripple their government's ability to fight the forces that were still loyal to the overthrown Provisional Government.

Although Zinoviev and Kamenev briefly had the support of a Central Committee majority and negotiations were started, a quick collapse of the anti-Bolshevik forces outside Petrograd allowed Lenin and Trotsky to convince the Central Committee to abandon the negotiating process. In response, Zinoviev and Kamenev resigned from the Central Committee on November 4, 1917. The following day, Lenin wrote a proclamation calling Zinoviev and Kamenev "deserters".

He never forgot their behaviour, eventually making the ambiguous reference to their "October episode" in his Last Testament.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 01 Dec 2014, 19:06
After re-reading what I wrote I must bring more precision to what I said. "He refuses the idea that the bolsheviks should size power": This awkward formula only meant that the aim wasn't to establish a worker's government. Some people might have thought that I was saying that there should be no insurrection, so I felt that I had to fix that.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 02 Dec 2014, 17:38
I'm pressed for time. I'll quickly address gRed's most important points and maybe return later to correct some of OP-B's most egregious mistakes.

Quote:
The question is: at what point did bourgeois revolutions stop being progressive?


That is not the question. The question is: Why did bourgeois revolutions stop occuring almost a century ago? The answer is: Because the bourgeoisie has entirely ceased to be a progressive class. The bourgeoisie of underdeveloped countries is connected to the imperialist system in such a way that it has no interest in changing anything. Look at countries like India. According to your logic, they need a bourgeois democratic revolution to do away with the caste system and big landownership. But this will never happen. The only way out is proletarian revolution (and this, OP-B, is precisely what permanent revolution is about). Classical bourgeois revolutions are an impossibility in our epoch.

Quote:
How do we know that in the long term it wouldn't have created a bourgeois society in Russia?


Because the bourgeoisie wasn't up to the task. It consistently opted for deals with Tsarism.

Quote:
After all, reactionary regimes tend not to be too popular; especially those created merely to crack down on a class. Are we to assume that a failed revolution in 1917 would have resulted in no changes to society whatsoever?


The only reason February led to the Tsar's resignation was the pressure of the proletariat. Had October not occured due to some tactical failure of the Bolsheviks, the Kornilovs would have won and restored Tsarism. Of course, after a while, there would be a new revolutionary wave and the resulting situation would have been the same.

Quote:
Fine, seize power for the proletariat, but then you realise that the proletariat are a minority because the petty-bourgeois peasantry by far outnumber them. What is to be done then? (...) What was Trotsky's answer to this problem?


Carry the revolution to the west (where conditions were ripe for revolution) and build international socialism. If that fails, try harder instead of hiding behind Berlin walls. After the Stalinists and Zinovievists took over the Comintern, the CPs were transformed into appendages of Soviet foreign policy and their main task became the defense of the Soviet Union rather than revolution in their own countries. This is why Hitler couldn't be stopped (later, after the victory of fascism, this was reduced to trying to persuade the bourgeois to be nice in so-called "Popular Fronts", which always ended in disaster, especially when it further degenerated in the post-war period with the fight for "anti-monopolist democracy", which is the most ridiculous form of the Stalinist theory of stages, which OP-B defends). Trotsky's advice for Germany in particular was a united front with the SD workers and a workers' government in a coalition with them (as was done in Thuringia and Saxony in the early 20's, before Stalinization, which changed course by 180 degrees in proclaiming the theory of "social fascism").
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
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Post 02 Dec 2014, 20:02
Quote:
That is not the question. The question is: Why did bourgeois revolutions stop occuring almost a century ago? The answer is: Because the bourgeoisie has entirely ceased to be a progressive class. The bourgeoisie of underdeveloped countries is connected to the imperialist system in such a way that it has no interest in changing anything. Look at countries like India. According to your logic, they need a bourgeois democratic revolution to do away with the caste system and big landownership.


India essentially achieved its bourgeois revolution in 1947 when it was allowed to be ruled by its own bourgeoisie, not Britain's. It hasn't been an easy ride but with economic reforms since 1991 India is industrialising and becoming a leading economic powerhouse in the region. It has obviously lost out compared to what China has achieved but you can't deny the bourgeoisie is playing a progressive role. I don't know what you mean about big land ownership but the caste system is seeing a bit of flexibility these days. The trouble is is that it is a deeply engrained social custom and therefore cannot be just abolished through edicts. The fact that Dalits are increasingly getting positions in government and education shows there is some progress being made.

Quote:
Classical bourgeois revolutions are an impossibility in our epoch.


Imperialism means that bourgeois revolutions in developing countries cannot occur in the same way that they did in the West. They have to work with imperialism in order to develop their countries (no easy task). But this does not mean that they are impossible and all third world bourgeoisie are comprador.

Quote:
Because the bourgeoisie wasn't up to the task. It consistently opted for deals with Tsarism.


The British bourgeoisie made compromises with the monarchy and the aristocracy from the 17th century. Today Britain still has a monarchy and aristocracy but their power is almost gone now. The bourgeoisie was able to work with the old feudal order without completely bowing to its demands. The same could be said of Japan and Prussia/Germany in the late 19th century.



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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 02 Dec 2014, 20:57
In 1918, Lenin confirmed the correctness of his theory and analyzed the Russian revolution as a succession of stages:

"On the other hand, if the Bolshevik proletariat had tried at once, in October–November 1917, without waiting for the class differentiation in the rural districts, without being able to prepare it and bring it about, to “decree” a civil war or the “introduction of socialism” in the rural districts, had tried to do without a temporary bloc with the peasants in general, without making a number of concessions to the middle peasants, etc., that would have been a Blanquist distortion of Marxism, an attempt by the minority to impose its will upon the majority; it would have been a theoretical absurdity, revealing a failure to understand that a general peasant revolution is still a bourgeois revolution, and that without a series of transitions, of transitional stages, it cannot be transformed into a socialist revolution in a backward country."

This is what comrade Mabool, who hasn't read Lenin, calls the "stalinist theory of stages".

But stages are not only important in Lenin's revolutionary theory, they are the CORE of this theory:

"[Kautsky] places different solutions side by side without a thought—the only, realistic and Marxist thought—as to what must be the transitional stages from capitalism to communism in such-and-such specific conditions."

All of Lenin's books, such as this one, but also The State and Revolution, and his works prior to 1917, are full of thoughts about stages and the transition to Communism. Because there can be no actual strategy, and no actual tactics, without stages.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/ ... e.htm#fw38

But our quack doctor Mabool keeps saying that it's "stalinist" to speak about stages. Why? Because it totally contradicts his (very limited) trotskyist views.


Quote:
The British bourgeoisie made compromises with the monarchy and the aristocracy from the 17th century. Today Britain still has a monarchy and aristocracy but their power is almost gone now. The bourgeoisie was able to work with the old feudal order without completely bowing to its demands. The same could be said of Japan and Prussia/Germany in the late 19th century.

The Russian bourgeoisie had already made a lot of compromises with the Russian autocracy (and the autocracy itself made a lot of compromises with the bourgeoise). The best example of that were the Stolypin reforms. So of course you are totally right.
Last edited by OP-Bagration on 03 Dec 2014, 02:41, edited 2 times in total.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
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Post 02 Dec 2014, 23:57
Strange, because the forced collectivisation, is - in some sense - a way to force changes faster than they could be achieved without famine and unrest...
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