11-22-2012, 01:04 AM (This post was last modified: 11-22-2012 01:11 AM by 1871.)
And Jesus had the same problem - namely, though he said some useful things eg; love, kindness,etc he started from a false premise by building a philosophy on an earlier bad foundation.
And if anyone tries to walk on water they sink.
11-22-2012, 02:13 AM
for the rest of you evidence contradicts that old myth
11-22-2012, 02:45 AM (This post was last modified: 11-22-2012 12:27 PM by 1871.)
Yes - Ive read that article before. It contradicts itself on a number of points, falsifies and cherry picks its evidence. Its funny how when the Krondstadt sailors are on the side of the order they are model revolutionaries then when they are aginst the elite they become counter-revolutionary 'petit bourgeoisie'. In fact that article really proves what Ive said about how the autocrats use the word 'bourgeoisie' to denote their political enemies. Therefore - and this is comical - those who took part in the Krondsatadt rebellion are both simultaneously peasants (who strangely are not workers) and they are also the petit bourgeoisie.
Quote:Trotsky answered these people in 1938 in his article "Hue And Cry Over Kronstadt" where he analysed the petit-bourgeois nature of this putsch.
In fact according to the revisionist article at the' In Defence of Marxism' (what else?) archive the Krondstadt sailors go from being heroes of the revolution when they obeyed, to 'petit bourgois' when they didn't to then being not the Krondstadt sailors at all but another bunch (almost all) shipped from the Ukraine who are organised by the White Guard. Its a convenient narrative - but its entirely false.
The article also states;
Quote:The fact is that many ordinary members of the Anarchists, Mensheviks, Social-Revolutionaries and others parties took part in the Soviets with the Bolsheviks, but not without them.
Accounts written at, and shortly after events by those who participated in the Russian Revolution and at Krondstadt flatly contradict such a claim.
In fact anarchists subsequently soon disassociiated themselves from the imperialist left and from the idea of an anti working class centralised order imposed by the Bolsheviks. Battles against Tsarist forces frequently took place without the Red Guard but by mobilised anarchists and working class fighters.
lol at this;
Quote:The first lie is to identify the Kronstadt mutineers of 1921 with the heroic Red sailors of 1917. They had nothing in common. The Kronstadt sailors of 1917 were workers and Bolsheviks. They played a vital role in the October Revolution, together with the workers of nearby Petrograd. But almost the entire Kronstadt garrison volunteered to fight in the ranks of the Red Army during the civil war. They were dispersed to different fronts, from whence most of them never returned. The Kronstadt garrison of 1921 was composed mainly of raw peasant levies from the Black Sea Fleet. A cursory glance at the surnames of the mutineers immediately shows that they were almost all Ukrainians.
Those damnniggra peasant Ukranians ! Of course Marx didnt like the 'peasant class'. Perhaps Stalin had that in mind with subsequent events at Holodomor;
3 What was the Kronstadt Programme?
It is rare for a Trotskyist to actually list the demands of the Kronstadt revolt in their entirety. For example, John Rees does not provide even a summary of the 15 point programme. He asserts that the "sailors represented the exasperated of the peasantry with the War Communism regime" while, rather lamely, noting that "no other peasant insurrection reproduced the Kronstadters demands." ["In Defence of October", pp. 3-82, International Socialism, no. 52, p. 63] Similarly, it is only the "Editorial Preface" in the Trotskyist work Kronstadt which presents even a summary of the demands. This summary states:
"The resolution demanded free elections in the soviets with the participation of anarchists and Left SRs, legalisation of the socialist parties and the anarchists, abolition of the Political Departments [in the fleet] and the Special Purpose Detachments, removal of the zagraditelnye ottyady [Armed troops used to prevent unauthorised trade], restoration of free trade, and the freeing of political prisoners." [Lenin and Trotsky, Kronstadt, pp. 5-6]
They assert in the "Glossary" that it "demanded political and economic changes, many of which were soon realised with the adoption of the NEP." [Op. Cit., p. 148] Which, ironically enough, contradicts Trotsky who claimed that it was an "illusion" to think "it would have been sufficient to inform the sailors of the NEP decrees to pacify them." Moreover, the "insurgents did not have a conscious program, and they could not have had one because of the very nature of the petty bourgeoisie. They themselves did not clearly understand that their fathers and brothers needed first of all was free trade." [Op. Cit., p. 91-2]
So we have a uprising which was peasant in nature, but whose demands did not have anything in common with other peasant revolts. It apparently demanded free trade and did not demand it. It was similar to the NEP, but the NEP decrees would not have satisfied it. It produced a platform of political and economic demands but did not, apparently, have a "conscious program." The contradictions abound. Why these contradictions exist will become clear after we list the 15 demands.
The full list of demands are as follows:
"1. Immediate new elections to the Soviets. The present Soviets no longer express the wishes of the workers and peasants. The new elections should be by secret ballot, and should be preceded by free electoral propaganda.
2. Freedom of speech and of the press for workers and peasants, for the Anarchists, and for the Left Socialist parties.
3. The right of assembly, and freedom for trade union and peasant organisations.
4. The organisation, at the latest on 10th March 1921, of a Conference of non-Party workers, solders and sailors of Petrograd, Kronstadt and the Petrograd District.
5. The liberation of all political prisoners of the Socialist parties, and of all imprisoned workers and peasants, soldiers and sailors belonging to working class and peasant organisations.
6. The election of a commission to look into the dossiers of all those detained in prisons and concentration camps.
7. The abolition of all political sections in the armed forces. No political party should have privileges for the propagation of its ideas, or receive State subsidies to this end. In the place of the political sections various cultural groups should be set up, deriving resources from the State.
8. The immediate abolition of the militia detachments set up between towns and countryside.
9. The equalisation of rations for all workers, except those engaged in dangerous or unhealthy jobs.
10. The abolition of Party combat detachments in all military groups. The abolition of Party guards in factories and enterprises. If guards are required, they should be nominated, taking into account the views of the workers.
11. The granting to the peasants of freedom of action on their own soil, and of the right to own cattle, provided they look after them themselves and do not employ hired labour.
12. We request that all military units and officer trainee groups associate themselves with this resolution.
13. We demand that the Press give proper publicity to this resolution.
14. We demand the institution of mobile workers' control groups.
15. We demand that handicraft production be authorised provided it does not utilise wage labour." [quoted by Ida Mett, The Kronstadt Revolt, pp. 37-8]
This is the program described by the Soviet government as a "SR-Black Hundreds resolution"! This is the program which Trotsky maintains was drawn up by "a handful of reactionary peasants and soldiers." [Lenin and Trotsky, Kronstadt, p. 65 and p. 98] As can be seen, it was nothing of the kind. Indeed, this resolution is largely in the spirit of the political slogans of the Bolsheviks before they seized of power in the name of the soviets. Moreover, it reflected ideals expounded in 1917 and were formalised in the Soviet State's 1918 constitution. In the words of Paul Avrich, "[i]n effect, the Petropavlovsk resolution was an appeal to the Soviet government to live up to its own constitution, a bold statement of those very rights and freedom which Lenin himself had professed in 1917. In spirit, it was a throwback to October, evoking the old Leninist watchword of 'All power to the soviets.'" [Kronstadt 1921, pp. 75-6] Hardly an example of "reactionary" politics, unless the slogans of 1917 and the 1918 constitution of the U.S.S.R. are also "reactionary."
While these fifteen demands are central to the revolt, looking at the paper produced by the revolt helps us understand the nature of these demands and place them in a fuller political context. "The pages of Izvestiia," as Voline argued, "give abundant proof of th[e] general enthusiasm, which re-appeared once the masses felt they had regained, in the free Soviets, the true road to emancipation and the hope of achieving the real revolution." [Unknown Revolution, p. 495] For example, food rations were equalised, except for the sick and to children, who received a larger one. Left-wing political parties were legalised. The Provisional Revolutionary Committee was elected by a "Conference of Delegates" made up of over two hundred delegates from military units and workplaces. This body elected the Provisional Revolutionary Committee on March 2nd and enlarged it (again by election) on March 4th.
The March 4th Conference of Delegates also "decided that all workers, without exception, should be armed and put in charge of guarding the interior of the city" and to organise re-elections for "the administrative commissions of all the unions and also of the Council of Unions" (which could "become the principle organ of the workers"). [Izvestiia quoted by Voline, The Unknown Revolution, p. 494]
In the article "The Goals for Which We Fight," the rebels argue that "[w]ith the aid of state unions" the Communists have "chained the workers to the machines, and transformed work into a new slavery instead of making it pleasant." Moreover, to the "protests of the peasants, which have gone so far as spontaneous revolts, to the demands of the workers, compelled by the very conditions of their life to resort to strikes, they reply with mass shootings and a ferocity that the Tsarist generals might have envied." An "inevitable third revolution" was coming, shown by "increasing" workers' strikes, which will be "achieved by the labouring masses themselves." This would be based on "freely elected soviets" and the reorganisation of "the state unions into free associations of workers, peasants and intellectuals." [Izvestiia quoted by Voline, Op. Cit., pp. 507-8]
Thus the rebels saw clearly the real nature of nationalisation. Rather than being the basis of socialism, it simply produced more wage slavery, this time to the state ("From a slave of the capitalist the worker was transformed into a slave of state enterprises." [Izvestiia quoted by Voline, Op. Cit., p. 518]). They clearly saw the need to replace wage slavery to the state (via nationalised property) with free associations of free workers and peasants. Such a transformation would come from the collective direct action and self-activity of working people, as expressed in the strikes which had so recently swept across the country.
This transformation from the bottom up was stressed elsewhere. The unions, Izvestiia argued, would "fulfil the great and urgent task of educating the masses for an economic and cultural renovation of the country. . . The Soviet Socialist Republic cannot be strong unless its administration be exercised by the working class, with the help of renovated unions." These should "become real representatives of the interests of the people." The current unions did "nothing" to promote "economic activity of a co-operative nature" or the "cultural education" of their members due centralised system imposed by the Communist regime. This would change with "true union activity by the working class." [Izvestiia quoted by Voline, Op. Cit., p. 510] A strong syndicalist perspective clearly can be seen here, urging self-managed unions to be at the forefront of transforming the economy into a free association of producers. They opposed any "socialist" system in which the peasant "has been transformed into a serf in the 'soviet' economy," the worker "a simple wage-worker in the State factories" and those who protest are "thrown into the jails of the Cheka." [Izvestiia quoted by Voline, Op. Cit., p. 512]
The rebels saw that soviet power cannot exist while a political party dominated the soviets. They argued that Russia was just "State Socialism with Soviets of functionaries who vote docilely what the authorities and their infallible commissars dictate to them." Without real working class power, without "the will of the worker" expressed in their free soviets, corruption had become rampant ("Communists . . . live in ease and the commissars get fat."). Rather than a "time of free labour in the fields, factories and workshops," where "power" was in "the hands of the workers," the "Communists ha[d] brought in the rule of the commissars, with all the despotism of personal power." [Izvestiia, quoted by Voline, Op. Cit., p. 519, p. 518, p. 511 and p. 518]
In opposition to this, the rebels argued that "Revolutionary Kronstadt . . . fights for the true Soviet Republic of the workers in which the producer himself will be owner of the products of his labour and can dispose of them as he wishes." They desired "a life animated by free labour and the free development of the individual" and so proclaimed "All power to the Soviets and not to the parties" and "the power of the free soviets." [Izvestiia quoted by Voline, Op. Cit., p. 519]
As can be seen, while the 15 demands are the essence of the revolt, looking at Izvestiia confirms the revolutionary nature of the demands. The rebels of 1921, as in 1917, looked forward to a system of free soviets in which working people could transform their society into one based on free associations which would encourage individual freedom and be based on working class power. They looked to a combination of renewed and democratic soviets and unions to transform Russian society into a real socialist system rather than the system of state capitalism the Bolsheviks had imposed (see Maurice Brintin's The Bolsheviks and Workers' Control for details of Lenin's commitment to building state capitalism in Russia from 1917 onwards).
Clearly, Kronstadt's political programme was deeply socialist in nature. It opposed the new wage slavery of the workers to the state and argued for free associations of free producers. It was based on the key slogan of 1917, "All power to the soviets" but built upon it by adding the rider "but not to parties." The sailors had learned the lesson of the October revolution, namely that if a party held power the soviets did not. The politics of the revolt were not dissimilar to those of libertarian socialists and, as we argue in section 9, identical to the dominant ideas of Kronstadt in 1917.
The question now arises, whose interests did these demands and politics represent. According to Trotskyists, it is the interests of the peasantry which motivated them. For anarchists, it is an expression of the interests of all working people (proletarian, peasant and artisan) against those who would exploit their labour and govern them (be it private capitalists or state bureaucrats).
The Soviet declared on lines of autocracy was the old Russia with a different hat - it was specifically a declaration of Russian imperialism - and its subsequent fall-out took place over subsequent decades - including also the 'Soviet' (read Russian) invasion of Afghanistan.
11-22-2012, 11:30 AM (This post was last modified: 11-22-2012 11:32 AM by 1871.)
Kronstadt, Leninists and the truth
Review of John Rees on Kronstadt in Defending October
We have been insisting on the need for the far left to re-appraise the tradition of the Russian revolution and in particular the role the Bolsheviks played in destroying that revolution. One of the most detailed responses to the anarchists critique of Bolshevism was published in the winter issue of International Socialism the journal of the Socialist Workers Party (the largest Leninist group in England).
Unfortunately the article fails to seriously address the criticisms of Lenin, preferring instead to repeat more sophisticated versions of old slanders and distortions. Due to space considerations we cannot cover the entire article (80 pages) here, however in looking at John Rees (the author) treatment of the Kronstadt rising of 1921 a useful impression of the flaws in his approach can be gleaned.
The Kronstadt rising of 1921 represented the last major upsurge of working class resistance to the by then consolidated Bolshevik dictatorship. Kronstadt itself was a naval town on an island off the coast of Petrograd (St Petersburg). In 1917 it had been the heart of the Russian Revolution, although it had never been under Bolshevik party control.
Because of Kronstadt's leading role in the 1917 Revolutions Leninists have always insisted that the revolutionaries in Kronstadt in 1921 were not the same ones that had been there in 1917. The revolutionaries had been replaced at this stage with "Coarse peasants". The evidence Rees musters for this point is a useful indication of the general Leninist method when it comes to the Russian revolution. The quote below is in Rees article on page 61.
"In September and October 1920 the writer and the Bolshevik party lecturer Ieronymus Yasinksky went to Kronstadt to lecture 400 naval recruits. They were 'straight from the plough'. And he was shocked to find that many, 'including a few party members, were politically illiterate,worlds removed from the highly politicised veteran Kronstadt sailors who had deeply impressed him'. Yasinsky worried that those steeled in the revolutionary fire' would be replaced by 'inexperienced freshly mobilised young sailors".
This quote is referenced to a book called Kronstadt 1917-21 by Israel Getzler, an academic but useful look at Kronstadt throughout this period. Rees account is a fair version of the first half of Yasinskys report. The quote however continues exactly as reproduced below.
"Yasinsky was apprehensive about the future when, 'sooner or later, Kronstadt's veteran sailors, who were steeled in revolutionary fire and had acquired a clear revolutionary world-view would be replaced by inexperanced, freshly mobilised young sailors'. Still he comforted himself with the hope that Kronstadt's sailors would gradually infuse them with their 'noble spirit of revolutionary self-dedication' to which Soviet Russia owed so much. As for the present he felt reassured that 'in Kronstadt the red sailor still predominates".1
Rees handy 'editing' of this quote transforms it from one showing that three months before the rising that Kronstadt had retained its revolutionary spirt to one implying the garrison had indeed been replaced. Rees then goes on to contradict himself about the composition of the Bolshevik party at the time. On page 61 he says "The same figures for the Bolshevik party as a whole in 1921 are 28.7% peasants, 41% workers and 30.8% white collar and others". On page 66 however he says the figures at the end of the civil war (also 1921) were 10% factory workers, 25% army and 60% in "the government or party machine". A note at the back says even of those classed as factory workers "most were in administration".
Rees also attempts blame the decline in the number of Bolshevik party members in Kronstadt to the Civil war but in fact the fall in numbers in 1920 was due to purges and resignations from the party. The attitude of the remaining party members is demonstrated by the fact that during the rising three veteran Kronstadt Bolsheviks formed a Preparatory Committee of the Russian Communist party which called upon local communists not to sabotage the efforts of the Revolutionary committee. A further 497 members of the party resigned from the party2.
Getzler also demonstrates that the crew of the battleships Petropavlovsk and Sevastopol which formed the core of the rising, were recruited into the navy before 1917, only 6.9% having been recruited between 1918 and 1921. These figures are on the same page as the earlier quotes Rees uses but are ignored by him. The remainder of the section on Kronstadt relies on more traditional smear tactics. Much is placed on the fact that the whites thought they might be able to gain from the rebellion. The fact that Petrochenko an ex-Bolshevik and chair of the Revolutionary committee was later to join the whites and attempted to contact them at the time of the rising is mentioned, the fact that the Revolutionary Committee itself constantly warned against any idea of an alliance with the whites is not.
Any real examination of what happened at Kronstadt has look at what the real balance of forces were at the time and what the actual demands of Kronstadt were. The work of academics like Israel Getzler in uncovering Soviet records of the period have demonstrated that of those serving in the Baltic fleet at the time at least 75.5% were recruited before the 1917 revolution. The majority of the revolutionary committee were veterans of the Kronstadt Soviet and the October revolution.
So why did these revolutionaries who were the backbone of the 1917 revolution rise against the Bolsheviks in 1921. At the time Lenin said "White general, you all know played a great part in this. This is fully proved"3. Later day Leninists are more subtle and try to place the root of the rising at discontent with the economic policies of the day. As far as I am aware no Leninist publication has ever reproduced the Kronstadt programme. This is probably because only 3 of the 15 demands are economic the rest are political demands designed to replace Bolshevik dictatorship over the working class with the direct rule of the working class4.
In any case the New Economic Plan introduced by the Bolsheviks in 1921 went far beyond the granting of the economic demands of Kronstadt. The crushing of Kronstadt was followed by what the SWP has referred to as "unilateral killings" 5 i.e. executions of many revolutionaries and the expelling of over 15,000 sailors from the fleet. Thousands more were sent to the Black sea, the Caspian and Siberia. Even the Kronstadt soviet was never re-established. This demonstrates that even after the rising the Bolsheviks feared the political demands that had been raised in its course.
The real danger of Kronstadt was not a military one, it was a political one. Kronstadt had to be brutally suppressed in case its call for a third revolution had succeeded in mobilising the workers of Russia. The Bolshevik party by 1921 was a counter revolutionary one composed even by their own figures of more bureaucrats than workers. Leninism was not the sole cause of the defeat of the October revolution, the whites played a major part as well. Whether or not Kronstadt could have led to a successful revolution is one of the 'What if's' of history. It did however represent the last hope of setting the revolution back on course.
It is unfortunate that the SWP has chosen to continue the Leninist tradition of lying, even to their own members about the Bolsheviks role in defeating the Russian revolution. Rather then learning from a critical look at the mistakes of the Bolsheviks they have chosen to do a crude plastering job and are hoping no-body examines it too closely. Similar methods aided the western communist parties to build a castle, but the events of the last couple of years demonstrate what happens when you build on sand.
1. Kronstadt 1917-21, Israel Getzler, p. 207.
2. Ibid, p218-219.
3. Lenin, report to 10th congress of the RCP, 1921. Selected works, Vol IX, p98.
4. Ida Mett, The Kronstadt Uprising 1921, p37-38.
5. Abbie Bakan, Socialist Worker Review, Issue 136, page 58.
01-01-2013, 03:59 PM (This post was last modified: 01-20-2013 11:46 PM by 1871.)
The Communist Manifesto stated some specific policies which were later adopted by Stalinists.
When Marx states that;
he then cannot claim that;
yet he does - only he claims that they (the Communists) do not because all other parties would have to think the same and would not oppose the Communists (which they did). Were Marxes original contention valid then there would be no opposing parties - in other words all other Parties would be Communist Parties. Only they are not. And they are not because they, in Marxes opinion, do not represent the interests of the 'proletariat' as he defines it. They do not
Whereas the Communist do ! It was what gave Communism the moral absolutism over all other working class ideologies which could subsequently be categorised as not everywhwere representing the interests of the movement as a whole and then deemed to be 'enemies of the people' . The people being the 'proletariat'.
It was why the Communists quickly became autocratic and totalitatrian. If such authority could be contested - as it subsequently was (and had been) thoughout the Russian imperialist hedgemony of its satelitte states, then such opposition could quickly be identified as being the lesser, as 'bourgeouis reactionaries; and an enemy of the greater Soviet;
The peasantry, lifting on its shoulders the conciliatory democracy, contains in itself in a rudimentary form all the classes of bourgeois society. Along with the petty bourgeoisie of the cities – which in Russia, however, never played a serious rôle – it constitutes that protoplasm out of which new classes have been differentiated in the past, and continue to be differentiated in the present. The peasantry always has two faces, one turned towards the proletariat the other to the bourgeoisie. But the intermediary, compromising position of “peasant” parties like the Social Revolutionaries, can be maintained only in conditions of comparative political stagnation; in a revolutionary epoch the moment inevitably comes when the petty bourgeoisie is compelled to choose. The Social Revolutionaries and Mensheviks made their choice from the first moment. They destroyed the “democratic dictatorship” in embryo, in order to prevent it from becoming a bridge to the dictatorship of the proletariat. But they thus opened a road to the latter – only a different road, not through them, but against them.
This principle was at work at Kronstadt, in the Ukraine, in Chechnya and in the factories as observed by Emma Goldman and others such as the novelist Zamyatins 1921 novel we was banned by the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Commi...Publishing
Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin (1884-1937) was a naval architect by profession and a writer by nature. His favorite idea was the absolute freedom of the human personality to create, to imagine, to love, to make mistakes, and to change the world. This made him a highly inconvenient citizen of two despotisms, the tsarist and the Communist, both of which exiled him, the first for a year, the latter forever. He wrote short stories, plays, and essays, but his masterpiece is We, written in 1920-21 and soon thereafter translated into most of the languages of the world. It first appeared in Russia only in 1988. It is the archetype of the modern dystopia, or anti-utopia; a great prose poem on the fate that might befall all of us if we surrender our individual selves to some collective dream of technology and fail in the vigilance that is the price of freedom. George Orwell, the author of 1984, acknowledged his debt to Zamyatin. The other great English dystopia of our time, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, was evidently written out of the same impulse, though without direct knowledge of Zamyatin's We..
Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin (Russian: Евге́ний Ива́нович Замя́тин; IPA: [jɪvˈɡʲenʲɪj ɪˈvanəvʲɪtɕ zɐˈmʲætʲɪn]; January 20 (Julian) / February 1 (Gregorian), 1884 – March 10, 1937) was a Russian author of science fiction and political satire. Despite having been a prominent Old Bolshevik, Zamyatin was deeply disturbed by the policies pursued by the CPSU following the October Revolution. He is most famous for his 1921 novel We, a story set in a dystopian future police state. In 1921, We became the first work banned by the Soviet censorship board. Ultimately, Zamyatin arranged for We to be smuggled to the West for publication. The subsequent outrage this sparked within the Party and the Union of Soviet Writers led directly to Zamyatin's successful request for exile from his homeland. Due to his use of literature to criticize Soviet society, Zamyatin has been referred to as one of the first Soviet dissidents.