Marxism: Last Gasp of the Bourgeoisie?

The Nepali revolution has not won, but neither has it lost. Historical materialism can explain and shed light on all periods of human history. Historical materialism does not seem able, however, to explain itself. Trotsky’s criticisms against Stalin seem correct, but Stalin’s criticisms of Trotsky also seem correct. They both seem correct and both seem incorrect. International revolution was impossible and socialism in one country was impossible. Otto Ruhle, a German Marxist of the early 20th century, in a provocative essay entitled ‘The struggle against Fascism begins with the struggle against Bolshevism’, argued that Hitler and Mussolini only copied the Bolshevik model for their Fascist ideology, because the party and state structure of Fascism bears remarkable similarities, in form, to the Bolshevik party and state. When the Peruvian state captured Chairman Gonzalo and other central committee leaders of the PCP (Communist Party of Peru), their entire struggle collapsed. Even now, the remnants of the Shining Path go on and on about the great leader Chairman Gonzalo, even though Gonzalo now resides in a top security prison and cannot even lead himself to the toilet. From tragedy we move to farce, and the strange behaviour of Chairman Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party of the USA. Even though Chairman Avakian has not led any kind of Peoples War or any major revolutionary struggle, he has declared a ‘new synthesis’ that goes beyond Marx, Lenin and Mao. RCP USA comrades describe Chairman Avakian as ‘the American Lenin’ (which, I presume, would make Lenin the Russian Avakian). An unquestioned assumption behind this kind of argumentation in the Communist movement is the belief that Marx and Lenin were unquestionably right, simply because Marx is Marx and Lenin is Lenin, and the Russian revolution ‘succeeded’. Frankly speaking, the longer and longer the Bolshevik revolution fades into the past, the less and less convincing the tales and legends of the great Lenin will seem. Now, in the 21st century, we can see that Marx’s criticisms of Bakunin were correct, but Bakunin’s criticisms of Marx were also correct. Both are correct and both are incorrect.

Roshan Kissoon is both correct, and incorrect.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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11 Responses to Marxism: Last Gasp of the Bourgeoisie?

  1. grumpy cat says:

    Hi @ndy, why did you retitle this piece?
    rebel love

  2. @ndy says:

    For more or less the same reasons I butchered the contents. Also: I’m very, very tired.

  3. @ndy says:

    Oh yeah. Also ‘cos I could’ve sworn it was the title of an essay by Paul Mattick… or someone. Buggered if I can remember…

  4. @ndy says:

    I guess you might say that my decision was both correct, and incorrect.

  5. professor rat says:

    I haven’t read it yet @ndy but I love the title. And if you read Marx and friends in their own words you don’t even need the question mark. This is about as concretely historically-materialist as you can possibly get.
    I’d say yr blog is improving remarkably mate and hope you avoid burnout with a nice refreshing interface with a cold Bloody Mary and a warm beach.

    BTW Paul Mattick is a fag.

  6. grumpy cat says:

    Yeah it is the title of a Paul Mattick essay…maybe even his last one?

  7. grumpy cat says:

    Actually Professor I think you will find that Paul Mattick was a ‘Marxist’ making an internal critique of ‘Marxism’.
    love and uncle Karl

  8. Paul Justo says:

    “both correct, and incorrect.”

    Very profound, whatever the f**k you are on about.

    But you’re missing the main action with me old cobber Paul Howes –

  9. @ndy says:

    April 3, 2008?

    “Our union cannot understand those union leaders here in Australia, and Labor MPs such as Julia Irwin, who line up in support of Hamas…”

    Not quite sure what Paul’s referring to here. Irwin supports Hamas? In March 2008, Irwin refused to support a Parliamentary motion congratulating Israel on its 60th birthday. (Irwin is “a Labor backbencher whose Sydney seat includes the diverse areas of Liverpool and Cabramatta”.)

    HAYDEN COOPER: And the division extends to the union movement, too.

    A large advertisement accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing appeared in this morning’s national press, and among the signatories were the CFMEU and the Maritime Union.

    That sparked an angry response from the Secretary of the Australian Worker’s Union, Paul Howes.

    PAUL HOWES: In a de facto manner, Julie Irwin and some trade union people can be perceived to be supporting the lot of Islamic Jihad and Hamas through the action they have taken here.

    JULIA IRWIN: Look, my number one concern, my number one concern is, how can we congratulate a country which carries out human rights abuses?

    I have walked through refugee camps in Palestine, I have cried with those people, I have seen the children, the men, the women, the elderly. I have been to the Holocaust Museum in Israel, and I cried. I did cry. But that is in the past, we have got to look at the future, we have got to look at the future of Israel and the Palestinians.

    To interpret Irwin’s refusal to support whatever the fuck motion KRudd sponsored as meaning ‘I support Hamas’ would be stoopid if it weren’t transparently driven by other, factional concerns.

    More recently, Irwin threw her hat into the ring with the following:

    Getting away with murder, Julia Irwin, SMH, January 11, 2009: “YOU’VE got to hand it to the Israeli public relations flacks: only they could convince you that killing children was an act of self-defence…”

    Howe again:

    Hamas and Islamic Jihad have a history of hostility to labour unions. Palestinian union leaders have been assassinated and kidnapped by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and union leaders have seen their offices and homes burned down by these elements who are hostile to the creation of independent civil society organisations.

    This is correct: Hamas and Islamic Jihad are hostile to trade unions — or at least those unions that don’t follow orders. Histadrut, on the other hand, has been an integral part of the Zionist movement, and then the Israeli state, since its establishment. Until 1959, it was for Jews only.

    The main Palestinian union grouping, the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, is working hard to build up a representative union structure.

    Unfortunately the PGFTU has often been the play-thing of Palestinian factional politics. Famously in the late 1990s, Arafat shut down the Congress of the PGFTU because it seemed that ‘opposition’ non-Fatah groups were about to be elected to the leadership.

    Uh-huh. Of course, the PGFTU isn’t exactly over the moon about the Israeli state either…

    “We are all Gaza”: Statement by Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions
    January 19, 2009

    Ever since the signature of the peace accord in Oslo, the PGFTU has declared its support for the peace process which is based on the international legitimacy resolutions and on the Palestinian principles which entail the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the national soil with Jerusalem as its capital and ensure the refugees’ right of return. The PGFTU has worked on all levels in full capacity and used its international relations to mobilize the international advocacy for the peace process and for ending the Israeli occupation of all the Palestinian and Arab territories; the longest and most repellent occupation in the modern age.

    Despite all these trade union efforts which have been led by the PGFTU for all these years, these endeavors have always been encountered by the Israeli army terrorism against our people. Since 2000, the Israeli occupation army has been slaughtering and killing every living creature on this land, needless to mention the destruction of the infrastructure and the headquarters of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), confiscation of lands, expanding their settlements…etc. The last violation was the construction of the “racial segregation wall” which is live evidence of the Israeli barbarianism against the Palestinian people and their legitimate right.

    In this context, we would like to bring to the minds of the peace activists in the world the memory of the destruction of the Palestinian presidential headquarters in Ramallah and the assassination of the Palestinian pro-peace leader, President Yasser Arafat, who was poisoned to put an end for all the efforts which were exerted to achieve the comprehensive and just peace. The current criminal offensive by the Israeli army on Gaza is only an episode in the series of murders and massacres committed by Israel (the occupation state) against the Palestinian people; such incidents are considered war crimes according to the international humanitarian laws and Geneva Conventions. Hence, the PGFTU hopes to achieve the following objectives:

    I. Asking the international community to take on responsibility and practice pressure on the “Occupation State” to stop its criminal attack on Gaza; the UN and the Security Council must assume responsibility in this crisis.
    II. Inviting all the Palestinian entities, organizations and factions, namely the members of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement “Fateh” and the members of “Hamas” to get united under the framework of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to end the state of fragmentation and division and to defend our people against the barbarian Israeli aggression.
    III. Demanding the Arab, fraternal and friendly countries to continue their support for the PNA and the Palestinian people, especially in Gaza, through an international solidarity campaign.
    IV. Demanding the Arab and international trade union federations and organizations to practice pressure on the Israeli occupation state to ceasefire, and we demand them to send humanitarian aids, namely after the medications and foodstuffs have run out, and to reconstruct what the Israeli war machine has destroyed.
    V. Demanding the international community to assume its responsibility and practice pressure on the occupation state to ceasefire on Gaza. The Security Council and the UN must take serious steps in this critical stage.
    VI. Inviting the Palestinians to strengthen and fortify the internal front and enhance the national fabric which is based on the unity of the Palestinian position, as the occupation is the only contradiction for the entire Palestinian people.

    The PGFTU, through its national, Arab and international relations, shall save no effort to broaden the network of solidarity with our just national issues to defeat the occupation and establish our independent Palestinian state.

    Not exactly AWU policy, really.

    More generally, see:

    “Sometimes we shoot the same way” – the attack on Gaza, internationalism and the Left
    January 19, 2009

    Israel’s brutal attack on the Gaza strip has elicited widespread revulsion, and has led to protests across Britain and the world. It is clear that the Israeli state has committed atrocities which anyone with an ounce of humanity would seek an end to. Its savage bombing of one of the most densely populated places on earth has resulted in over a thousand deaths. Nowhere is safe – Mosques, schools and UN sites have been attacked by the IDF. Even by the “civilised” standards of warfare between nation-states, which allow for a reasonable degree of “collateral damage”, several incidents stand out for their brutality. There is mounting evidence that the IDF is following its senior partner, the US, in using white phosphorous as an offensive weapon in civilian areas. Banned under international law, white phosphorous munitions are chemical weapons with a pattern of splash damage similar to cluster bombs, but which spread blazing chunks of phosphorous and smoke laced with burning particles. The result is either death from suffocation or from severe burns, sometimes down to the bone. The IDF is responsible for herding civilians into a building before shelling it, killing scores of civilians in attacks on UN schools, shelling aid convoys, and destroying aid stockpiles during an attack on the UN headquarters in Gaza. The attack has displaced over 90,000 people, and combined with the crippling blockade of Gaza which preceded it, utterly destroyed Gaza’s economy and infrastructure…

  10. professor rat says:

    Grumpy, I knew Vladimir Lenin. Vladimir Lenin was a Marxist. Grumpy, Paul Mattick is no Marxist.

    What I mean by ‘ fag’ ( See site hirstory )

    He’s just another wannabe anarcho-syndicalist, whose $50 short and 50 years late.

    That’s terminally lame – bit like Karl and his bff Friedrich really.

    Oh and if @ndy doesn’t want to host cat-and-rat-spats then why not say anything you have to say to me at my blog?

    ‘ Butt darling ‘ @ blurty…I’m on their front page. Bell you later.

  11. Lumpen says:

    Professor: Can you you please give us the URL of your blog?

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