RE: [OPE] Marta Harnecker's Ideas

Date: Sun Dec 06 2009 - 21:47:52 EST

> Historical experience - very indirectly - and that's the problem. Any
> discussion of the ban on factions in the Bolshevik party? Not a word.
> How can you use/discuss the concept of democratic centralism without
> relating it to the existence in the Bolshevik faction (1903-1018)
> later in the Bolshevik party (1918 - 1921).

You remind me of many conversations which I had with
anarchists back in the 1970s who, whenever socialism
was discussed, insisted on raising the topic of the
Kronstadt rebellion.
Although I have worked with many anarchists in the
period from 1990 to the present day, I can never
think of a single instance in which when discussing
something akin to "ideas for struggle" the subject of
Kronstadt came up. And why should it? We can go
over ad nauseum our interpretations of past political
struggles or we can map out a strategy forward
which takes into account *in a general way*
historical experiences. Had Harnecker gone into an
in-depth discussion of debates among the Bolsheviks
I would have put her article down and forgotten about it.
Had she done what you ask then it would never have
had the capacity of making an impact on current
struggles because workers and communities in struggle
would have dismissed it with a yawn.
There are parallels in political economy: had Sraffa's
_PCBMC_ been 900 pages long , do you think it would have
had more of an impact? I think not. Would Lenin's
_Imperialism_ have had more of an impact if it was 3
volumes long and was a similar size as _Capital_? I think
not. Lenin understood well the advantages of a "popular
outline". So should we. This is not to say that extensive
historical analyses don't have a place. They do. But, it's
a matter of different horses for different courses. I
think Harnecker chose the right horse for the course that
she wanted to follow. Whether there are failings with
her paper is an open question but what you suggest as
a failing is rather a failing on your part to appreciate
the intended purpose of the article, imo.
In solidarity, Jerry _______________________________________________
ope mailing list
Received on Sun Dec 6 21:50:06 2009

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