“Towards the War of Position,” published in mid 2013, was originally intended to be the first part in a two-part … Continue reading Towards the War of Position: Gramsci in Continuity and Rupture with Marxism-Leninism
Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks: Towards a ‘War of Position’ Section IV of Towards the War of Position: Gramsci in Continuity and … Continue reading Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks: Towards a ‘War of Position’
The Strengths and Limitations of Lenin’s State and Revolution Section II of Towards the War of Position: Gramsci in Continuity … Continue reading The Strengths and Limitations of Lenin’s State and Revolution
Introduction: It’s Time to Jailbreak Gramsci Section I of Towards the War of Position: Gramsci in Continuity and Rupture with … Continue reading It’s Time to Jailbreak Gramsci
V. I. Lenin: Marxism and Insurrection, A Letter to the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.)
Written: September 13-14, 1917 First Published: 1921 in Proetarskyaya Revolutsia No. 2
One of the most vicious and probably most widespread distortions of Marxism resorted to by the dominant “socialist” parties is the opportunist lie that preparation for insurrection, and generally the treatment of insurrection as an art, is “Blanquism“.
Bernstein, the leader of opportunism, has already earned himself unfortunate fame by accusing Marxism of Blanquism, and when our present-day opportunists cry Blanquism they do not improve on or “enrich” the meagre “ideas” of Bernstein one little bit.
Marxists are accused of Blanquism for treating insurrection as an art! Can there be a more flagrant perversion of the truth, when not a single Marxist will deny that it was Marx who expressed himself on this score in the most definite, precise and categorical manner, referring to insurrection specifically as an art, saying that it must be treated as an art, that you must win the first success and then proceed from success to success, never ceasing the offensive against the enemy, taking advantage of his confusion, etc., etc.?
To be successful, insurrection must rely not upon conspiracy and not upon a party, but upon the advanced class. That is the first point. Insurrection must rely upon a revolutionary upsurge of the people. That is the second point. Insurrection must rely upon that turning-point in the history of the growing revolution when the activity of the advanced ranks of the people is at its height, and when the vacillations in the ranks of the enemy and in the ranks of the weak, half-hearted and irresolute friends of the revolution are strongest. That is the third point. And these three conditions for raising the question of insurrection distinguish Marxism from Blanquism.
Once these conditions exist, however, to refuse to treat insurrection as an art is a betrayal of Marxism and a betrayal of the revolution. Continue reading “Lenin: Marxism and Insurrection”
Should we Participate in Bourgeois Parliaments?
It is with the utmost contempt—and the utmost levity—that the German “Left” Communists reply to this question in the negative. Their arguments? In the passage quoted above we read:
“… All reversion to parliamentary forms of struggle, which have become historically and politically obsolete, must be emphatically rejected” [[__ Rjc: Could be incomplete here; check __]]
This is said with ridiculous pretentiousness, and is patently wrong. “Reversion” to parliamentarianism, forsooth! Perhaps there is already a Soviet republic in Germany? It does not look like it! How, then, can one speak of “reversion”? Is this not an empty phrase?
Parliamentarianism has become “historically obsolete”. That is true in the propaganda sense. However, everybody knows that this is still a far cry from overcoming it in practice. Capitalism could have been declared—and with full justice—to be “historically obsolete” many decades ago, but that does not at all remove the need for a very long and very persistent struggle on the basis of capitalism. Parliamentarianism is “historically obsolete” from the standpoint of world history, i.e., the era of bourgeois parliamentarianism is over, and the era of the proletarian dictatorship has begun. That is incontestable. But world history is counted in decades. Ten or twenty years earlier or later makes no difference when measured with the yardstick of world history; from the standpoint of world history it is a trifle that cannot be considered even approximately. But for that very reason, it is a glaring theoretical error to apply the yardstick of world history to practical politics. Continue reading “On Elections: An Excerpt from Lenin’s Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder”