Re: [OPE] Marta Harnecker's Ideas

From: Paul Zarembka <>
Date: Mon Dec 07 2009 - 09:29:58 EST

Don't many political parties (left or right) use the idea of 'democratic
centralism' even if they don't call it that? In the States the two main
parties have primaries (which are supposed to 'democratic' but forgets
the money behind the campaigns of candidates) and the losers are
expected to support the winner as the nominee.

I think you place two much emphasis on a short phrase when the real
issues are how the idea works in practice.

Paul Z.

(V23) THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF 9-11, Seven Stories Press softcover, 2008 2nd ed
====> Research in Political Economy, Emerald Group, Bingley, UK
====> Paul Zarembka, Editor

Alejandro Agafonow wrote:
> Democratic centralism is –Jerry and Anders– an oxymoron invented by
> Marxists to justify communist dictatorships. This is the rhetoric
> devise which hides the contradiction in Harneckers position respect to
> Cuba and Venezuela, and her calls for vague democratic principles.
> This is also one of the rhetoric figures in Helen Yaffe’s account of Cuba.
> A. Agafonow
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *De:* GERALD LEVY <>
> *Para:* Outline on Political Economy mailing list <>
> *Enviado:* lun,7 diciembre, 2009 03:47
> *Asunto:* RE: [OPE] Marta Harnecker's Ideas
> > 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).
> <LOL>
> Anders:
> 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
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Received on Mon Dec 7 09:31:38 2009

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