Monday, 18 March 2013

Some Critical thoughts on Leninist parties.

 I've come to be a libertarian socialist. I'm not an anarchist but on the scale of socialism I'm nearer to Emma Goldman than Trotsky or Lenin or the Bolsheviks. I have more affinity with broader anarchist values than 'traditional' socialist values which often fail to take hierarchy etc as an issue.

I'm not dogmatically anti-political party or opposed to voting for a politician. But I don't want politicians to be part of the society I favour which would involve direct democracy. I'm opposed to systems or institutions or relations which involve or encourage passivity and alienation and are disempowering in the sense that they do not allow individuals as well as groups,power over their own lives.

I've been working with a socialist party recently. I never joined because I'm skeptical of the idea of political parties but since moving back to socialist from anarchist I was looking for a home and a form of action. Well increasingly I'm become uncomfortable with it. It's not the rank and file people.Generally they're pretty cool and sensible and non dogmatic.

It's the spokesman. The party had an issue with a cult of personality in the past and imploded. The current spokesman doesn't call himself a leader but he's granted a undue authority. He's the person everyone is to defer to and he's become increasingly authoritarian. We were handing out leaflets the other day and he was on the mic speaking and it felt like working for a boss and hierarchical. He was telling me where to stand and in a tone of telling not asking said I should be helping out more.
The contrast between the socialist party and Occupy could not be more stark. I oppose the Leninist party structure of 'democratic centralism'.

It's also his politics I take issue with. Other members don't have any specific kind of socialism. The spokesman does. The spokesman is a Trotskyist. He agrees the anarchists got screwed over in Spain.He liked(?) the IWW but thinks it's worthless now. He says syndicalism has had it's day. Trotskyism is a worrying philosophy. It's Leninist and obviously follows Trotsky to some extent. I told him I didn't like Lenin and he said I had to read Lenin or It'd be wrong about him. I read Lenin and I saw the words of a dictator. I read about the Bolsheviks and their words and saw dictators who were very anti-anarchist and who suppressed anyone who disagreed. I read how even from Lenin and the Bolsheviks, dissent was being suppressed. Then course you have Trotsky putting down Kronstadt and other rebellions.

Leninists think it all went wrong from Stalin and that Lenin was a hero. If you bring up Kronstadt to them, they say they were quite counter revolutionary and downplay the whole thing. I don't forgive Trotsky for Kronstadt or Lenin/the Bolsheviks for the suppressions of socialists,anarchists and other leftists. I see little substantial difference between Lenin and Stalin except that the former had more power to repress. I see Trotsky as a self serving little worm who would do what the masters wanted until it made him look bad and he did not apologise for Kronstadt.

I take Emma Goldman,Paul Mattick,Maurice Brinton Etc's view on the Soviet Union. Emma Goldman was criticizing the soviet union from the time she got there, actually witnessed what went on and met Lenin to get him to be less authoritarian. she became extremely opposed to Lenin and the soviet union after that. Leninists try to make her seem like she was more friendly to the USSR than she was. This is lies.

My socialism has nothing to do with Lenin, The Bolsheviks,Stalin,Mao,Castro,Chavez,Che Guevara or any dictator you could name. My socialism has affinity with the dissidents and rebels against authoritarian regimes and will always listen to them first. My Socialism is about empowerment of ordinary people,about direct participation, about the least hierarchy and least government necessary to maintain law. I find the idea of a vanguard party as the leninists suggest deeply offensive and nonsensical. Why do the working class need a set of leaders to lead them to rule themselves. 

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