Guide to Communism

  • Marxism: Marxism is a political, social, and economic view based on scientific doctrine known and materialist interpretations of history. Marxism was developed by Marx and Engels as a more radical and revolutionary position on how to achieve socialism. Whereas the earlier socialists of the time believed in reform movements, Marxism called for a revolution of the proletarian class. One of the foundations of Marxism is dialectical and historical materialism. Marxism states that humanity’s history is related to class struggle, the struggle between social classes, and these struggles have changed throughout time. In present form class struggle is primarily the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, the bourgeoisie being those who own the means of production and control society and the proletariat being members of the working class who must sell their labor power merely to be exploited, having no access to the means of production. Production relations evolve overtime through class relations, and society itself becomes led by whichever class takes the upper-hand. Society itself follows the “stagist” theory of historical periodisation in which the order is primitive communism > slave society > feudal society > capitalism > and the final epoch being communist society. Marxism also calls for a scientific criticism of capitalism, and asserts that capitalism is exploitative and essentially privatized tyranny. One of the central tenets of Marxism and communism is the abolition of property; Marx argues society can not fully develop until private property relations are abolished. This means that productive forces of capital such as factories, land, and the means of production must be democratically socialized. To do this, Marxism calls for revolution and a dictatorship of the proletariat in which the people themselves, members of the working class democratically run a socialist society until the need for the state is no more, social classes disappear, and inequality would be no more. Marx and Engels developed materialist dialectics, labor theory of value, the theory of alienation in capitalist society, commodity fetishism, and so forth, and the two provided highly detailed economic works to back their political and social beliefs. In regards to Engels contribution to Marxism, after Marx’s death, Engels continued editing and expanding upon their work. He made strides to increase the feminist roles of Marxism as well. Marxism would then be expanded even further by more Orthodox Marxists such as Lenin and Gramsci, as well as syndicalists and social democrats such as De Leon.
  • Marxism-Leninism: Marxism-Leninism is the extension of Marxism through primarily Lenin’s ideas, but also through Stalin, Hoxha, and so forth. This calls for a vanguard party, or a revolutionary party of highly organized and intelligent revolutionaries, to help spearhead class consciousness and educate the people on the subject of Marxism in order to better achieve a socialist society and they would help carry out decisions in socialistic society, arm the people, and so forth. Lenin knew that Russia’s conditions were not suitable for a “pure Marxist” approach, and therefore scientific correction to Marxist theory that could be applied to better suit changing conditions of society was necessary. Like pure Marxism, Leninism is against reformism as the means of achieving communism because of it’s inherent contradictory nature. Through revolution can communism be achieved, under the leadership of the vanguard party. In the Soviet Union, the dictatorship of the proletariat was governed through decentralized direct democracy practiced through councils; Soviets. The workers themselves retained political power in the form of Soviet/proletarian democracy: “An immense expansion of democracy, which for the first time becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the rich… Suppression by force from democracy for the exploiters and oppressors of the people.” The Bolsheviks took the leading rule in the struggle for Marxism-Leninism and anti-revisionism. They were against nationalism and exploitative elements. Stalin would further expand on Lenin’s ideas via the belief of socialism in one country, and the theory that exploitative elements can arise within socialism and must be combated against via the theory of aggravation of class struggle under socialism. Not only did Stalin show how socialism in one country could work, but Hoxha of Albania, who was vigorously anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist did as well. Marxism-Leninism marks the most scientific and correct theory of Marxism/Communism, and in practice it meant an increased focus on agriculture and industry in order to sustain a socialist state.
  • Stalinism: There is essentially no such thing as Stalinism. The term is used primarily by Trotskyists and bourgeois politicians in order to discredit socialism, Stalin, and the USSR. The proper term for Stalin’s beliefs is still Marxism-Leninism, as he expanded further on Lenin and Marx’s ideas. One could argue that “Stalinism” is a form of government (rather than an ideology) in which rapid industrial and agriculture development occurs. Stalin’s “Marxism and the National Question” of 1913 provided insights as to how socialist society would function, and it was in fact praised by Lenin.
  • Hoxhaism: Again the term is still primarily Marxist-Leninist. Historically one may have called themselves pro-Hoxha or pro-Albania, but Hoxha himself rejected the label of Hoxhaism. Marxism-Leninism in practice in Albania meant strict anti-revisionism; therefore Albania became rather isolated from the rising revisionism of post-Stalin Soviet Union and post-Maoist China. Again there was focus on industry and agriculture heavily within Albania. Essentially, “Hoxhaism” is the same as Marxism-Leninism minus the revisionist trends taken by Mao. Although “Hoxhaism” does incorporate some of the same developments that Maoism does, such as the mass involvement, but ultimately it sticks to Marxism-Leninism; more involvement by the political party with the working class, however. Nonetheless, Hoxhaists and Maoists have often worked with one another or joined in the same Parties. It wasn’t until the death of Stalin and onwards when Mao’s revisionistic trends became more apparent and Hoxha began to denounce Mao.
  • Maoism: Maoism is also a derivative of Marxism-Leninism developed by Mao Tse-Tung, also known as Mao Tse-Tung Thought. Maoism differs in numerous ways from Marxism-Leninism, however. Mao stated that revolution can be made by the rural peasantry in colonized countries and by the proletariat in alliance with the peasantry within imperialist countries. This is to say, Maoism isn’t necessarily the idea of alliance between workers and peasants, but the alliance of classes that would benefit from the revolution, which include national bourgeoisie. Maoism essentially states that everyone can become a part of the Party regardless of their social class; this leaves room for opportunism and those who have not developed class consciousness to infiltrate the Party, unfortunately. Maoism calls for rural guerrilla warfare via protracted people’s war, in which the people themselves, or simply “the masses,” fight for the development of socialism. Maoism upholds the idea of cultural revolution, which furthermore states that people should spread communism and join the Party to influence the culture from a capitalist/feudalist society into a socialist era. However, masses of people who are not class consciousness can weaken the communist base of such an idea. In China, this happened when violence broke out and the Party began to lose control. Hoxha’s cultural revolution was more successful than Mao’s, however, and it did a better job of combating excessive bureaucracy. Maoists try to credit Mao ideas he didn’t form, however. Mao stated that a new bourgeoisie arises within the communist party, but Stalin’s theory of aggravation of class struggle under socialism was developed prior to Mao’s theory. The mass line theory developed by Mao, in which the vanguard party goes to the masses to get a better sense of needs and so forth, also was initially developed as early as Marx, not Mao. Maoism also calls for the theory of New Democracy, in which the state-capitalist stage of development is skipped, and through dictatorship of the proletariat socialism can be more immediately achieved. New democracy calls for collaboration between all classes, but this could easily lead to opportunism and bourgeois infiltration. Hoxha notes: “According to “Mao Tsetung thought”, a new democratic regime can exist and socialism can be built only on the basis of the collaboration of all classes and all parties. Sue a concept of socialist democracy, of the socialist political system, which is based on “long-term coexistence and mutual supervision” of all parties, and which is very much like the current preachings of the Italian, French, Spanish and other revisionists, is an open denial of the leading and indivisible role of the Marxist-Leninist party in the revolution and the construction of socialism.” There are reasons to support Maoism because of it’s correct stances and pro-Stalin notions, but also because of Maoism’s incorrect and unique stances, it can become negated with error. The line should go Marx-Lenin-Stalin-Hoxha-Mao, but Mao isn’t always necessary. Finally, there are those who refer to themselves Maoist Third Worldists, but they are few to come by and few take them seriously.
  • Titoism: Titoism is revisionist; Tito’s policies led to collapse of Yugoslavia for his focus on nationalism and what could only be described as “market socialist” policies. Tito claimed that socialism must be achieved depending on conditions of each country, but Marxist-Leninists had always claimed this; Lenin developed his theories to suit Russia rather than sticking with pure Marxism which wouldn’t have worked, after all. Tito attempted to be independent of the Soviet Union and called that all countries should themselves retain independence (e.g. non-alignment movements), but then he hypocritically attempted to essentially annex Hoxha’s Albania. Tito also committed genocidal acts in Kosova, which Hoxha furthermore condemned as well. Titoism also calls for the theory of workers self-management to be instituted in the workplace, which was in fact furthermore revisionist and a reflection of Tito’s weak conceptions of economics. Yugoslav “Self-Administration” – Capitalist Theory and Practice by Enver Hoxha explains the revisionism of Tito clearly.
  • Euro-communism: Reformist and revisionist nonsense. Euro-communism fails to develop any specific strategy or means of achieving a socialist society in the long-run. Euro-communism resulted from Khrushchev’s revisionist policies of “peaceful coexistence” and so forth. Most importantly, however, because of it’s reformist nature Euro-communism breaks from the idea of proletarian revolution, dictatorship of the proletariat, and so forth. Today it has little influence in the realm of Marxism anyway, and should hardly be taken seriously. Euro-Communism is Anti-Communism.
  • Luxemburgism: Luxemburg would agree on positions taken by Lenin, and even Trotsky, but in the long run did not see their ideas as democratic enough. Luxemburgism essentially rejects the vanguard party as the leading force in favor of what resembles a sense of anarchism in which the people themselves shape society. Luxemburgism attempts to avoid reformist policies of social democracy as well, similar to Trotskyism. Ultimately, Luxemburgism is similar to “pure Marxism,” but the theories are vague, lacking economic conceptions, and essentially misguided. Luxemburg was calling for pure Marxism in a society which could not have utilized it properly. It is an undeveloped movement and furthermore, Luxemburgists are rather rare in the realm of Marxist groups.
  • Council Communism: Soviet means council in Russian; the workers councils in the Soviet Union retained high levels of political control. In fact, these workers councils, or soviets, retained high levels of political influence throughout the Soviet Union’s existence. Nonetheless, Council communism as a theory argues for democratic worker councils to be established in the work place. Council communism is against reformism, but also inherently anti-Leninist and anti-vanguard party. They oppose the idea of planned economies and are far-leftist communists, with similarities to anarchism rather than Marxism-Leninism. Lenin crticized the council communists in Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder. The movements of council communists that arose within the Soviet Union and Europe were often divided and unorganized themselves; council communism is rejection of Leninism and is unorganized. It is another hard-to-come-by and ultra-leftist belief anyway, with no real influence whatsoever.
  • Juche: Juche was developed to replace Marxism-Leninism in the DPRK and therefore is revisionist; by 2009, Marxism was completely removed from the DPRK’s constitution. Juche policy includes people’s independence in politcs and thoughts, self-reliance, and so forth. Juche must also reflect upon the needs of the masses in revolution and socialistic construction of society. The most important aspect of Juche is to educate the masses of Juche itself, and when revolution arises, the revolution must take conditions of the specific country into consideration. Juche is practiced simultaneously with Songun theory, also revisionist. Songun replaces the working class with a military rule; the military retains excessively high levels of control over the state, becoming the supreme power. Antagonistic class relations in the DPRK have been more eradicated but the DPRK is not socialist; it is a degenerated form of “socialism” which claims to follow Juche and Songun policies.
  • Castroism: Castro took on the line of Khrushchev and Brezhnev, even making liberal capitalist reforms similar to Gorbachev. When Castro first explained his theories in 1953, nationalism and social justice were stressed, but not socialism. Castro merely “became” a Marxist in 1961 to gain the support of the post-Stalin, revisionist Soviet Union, which led to him being merely a puppet. Progressive forces were encouraged by Castro to participate in anti-imperialism, but without the will for a vanguard party. In some sense the revolution was similar to Mao’s in that regardless of class, one could join the movements. The revolutionary movement was successful in removing the Batista regime, and the people gave high support to this revolution (which meant that a vanguard party wasn’t necessary to remove the Batista regime), but from there the goal of Cuba was not truly to achieve socialism. Without a proper influence of a vanguard party, however, the masses could not be educated in Marxism either. Furthermore, in regards to the liberal policies taken by Castro, Che himself argued against these capitalist policies and was critical of such nonsense. Castroism is merely revisionism, and it is arguable whether or not Castro himself was always a socialist.
  • Guveraism: Che’s ideology believed in spreading revolution to any country supported by US imperialism that has reached a disagreement with its citizens. Guevaraism asserts that constant guerrilla warfare taking place in non-urban areas can overcome the US backed leaders of these nations. Through proper organization against a nation’s army, Che states that revolutions can win against these leaders. Guveraism also states that conditions that make a revolution possible can be put in place by the vanguard movement and popular forces, which always retain the advantage in non-urban area. It was this emphasis on guerrilla warfare that Che expressed in his ideology through Foco (focalism, foquismo, vanguardism, etc). Guerrilla techniques by small armed unites launching attacks from rural areas in order to develop unrest into popular fronts against regimes. Che took his inspiration from Mao, and his theories of a people’s war. Foco furthermore drew influence from Marxism-Leninism, and Che had support for Stalin’s methods as well. However, when Foco was attempted in order Latin American and even African countries, it failed. Foco was not meant to be taken as a universal model, and in those regards it could have only worked under specific conditions (as it did for Che).
  • Anarchism: Anarchism like communism calls for the abolition of monopolies, imperialism, privatized tyranny, and for a more socially based system. Therefore, the end goal of anarchism is essentially a communist society (unless we’re referring to anarchist-capitalists of course) but how communism is achieved is where Marxists differ. Historically, Bakunin, an anarchist, and Marx were initially close comrades. But the two split because of differeing viewpoints; Bakunin disagreed with the notion of dictatorship of the proletariat. Many anarchists may as well disagree with the theory, but their conceptions are false and inaccurate. Anarchism, like communism, has broad implications. Mutualists for example support market socialism, which of course is revisionist and contradictory and not truly socialist. Most importantly, anarcho-communists may believe in immediate transition to communism is necessary, which demonstrates a lack of understanding and maturity; the results of attempting to jump ahead into communism without first establishing a proper revolutionary party, a proper socialist nation, and then expanding socialism throughout nations, and all without understanding Marxist theories (e.g. dialectical materialism) will result in potential failure. Anarcho-syndicalists believe that labor unions are the organizations that help achieve communist society, but this notion is false as well. Regardless, communists and anarchists have historically been seen cooperating in riots, protests, strikes, and so forth to weaken capitalism. The vanguard party ultimately suppresses anarchism as a radical form of petty bourgeois ideology, however, and ultimately anarchism remains immature and idealistic when compared to Marxism.
  • Utopian Socialism: The notion of Utopian socialism is grounded in idealism and without scientific knowledge. Utopian socialists essentially ignore class struggle and More was ultimately preaching his messages of a perfect society to the aristocracy, not the working class and the people themselves. The notions of Utopian socialism are reminiscent of Marx’s primitive communism; Utopian socialism becomes too grounded in nostalgia and petty romanticism and not scientific doctrine. It wasn’t until the 1700s that Utopian socialists began realizing the need for scientific development, when they depended changes to society, but even these changes were less radical and again less scientific than Marxism. Marx and Engels noted the positives of Utopian socialists, and there was without a doubt some influence of More’s work within communist literature, but ultimately Marx and Engels denounced the Utopians as too idealistic. Engels wrote extensively about the subject in his work Socialism: Utopian and Scientific.
  • Trotskyism:First is the theory of permanent revolution. The theory ultimately fails to take the peasantry into account as a revolutionary force and ally of the proletariat. Lenin would make note of this flaw, claiming any revolution attempted through this inherently anti-peasant stance would fail. In Russia, for example, there were inherently more peasants than proletariat, and they proved to be a valuable ally to the Bolshevik’s revolution. In further regards to Trotsky’s anti-Leninist stances: “The entire edifice of Leninism at the present time is built on lies and falsification and bears within itself the poisonous elements of its own decay.” (Trotsky’s letter to Chkeidze, 1913);” whereas Leninism correctly upholds the dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry, Trotskyism has the audacity to label Leninism as “anti-revolutionary.” In response, Lenin would say: “Trotsky has never yet held a firm opinion on any important question of Marxism. He always contrives to worm his way into the cracks of any given difference of opinion, and desert one side for the other. At the present moment he is in the company of the Bundists and the liquidators. And these gentlemen do not stand on ceremony where the Party is concerned” (Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 20 p. 448, 1914). Not only does this prove that Trotskyism itself is against Leninism, but that Trotsky and Lenin were never as close as bourgeois historians superficially note. The theory of permanent revolution also inherently assumes all nations develop on the same route, which they clearly do not. Internationalism is acceptable by Marxist-Leninists, but we recognize the possibility or necessity of building socialism strongly in one country first.

    Trotskyism further demonstrates its’ anti-Leninism through organization. Lenin and the Bolsheviks supported principality of a revolutionary proletarian party, disciplined and educated by the vanguard, which works against opportunism. Trotskyism on the other hand, ultimately attempts to achieve co-existence of “revolutionaries” and opportunists. Within a single party, Trotskyists wish for division and sectarianism. They then claim to wish for “unity,” but ultimately themselves are the most divisive. Historically, we see this in the August-Bloc; Martovites, Otzovists and Liquidators as well as Trots cooperated with their fights against Leninism and the Bolsheviks. Between 1903 and 1917, Lenin constantly denounced Trotsky for careerism, Menshivism, liquidationism, and conciliationism. “Trotsky behaves like a despicable careerist and factionalist of the Ryazanov-and-co type. Either equality on the editorial board, subordination to the central committee and no one’s transfer to Paris except Trotsky’s (the scoundrel, he wants to ‘fix up’ the whole rascally crew of ‘Pravda’ at our expense!) – or a break with this swindler and an exposure of him in the CO. He pays lip-service to the Party and behaves worse than any other of the factionalists.” (Collected Works, Vol. 34, p. 400).

    “The struggle between Bolshevism and Menshevism is… a struggle over the question whether to support the liberals or to overthrow the hegemony of the liberals over the peasantry. Therefore to attribute [as did Trotsky] our splits to the influence of the intelligentsia, to the immaturity of the proletariat, etc, is a childishly naive repetition of liberal fairy-tales.”

    “Trotsky distorts Bolshevism, because he has never been able to form any definite views on the role of the proletariat in the Russian bourgeois revolution.”

    “In brief – he is a Kautskyite, that is, he stands for unity with the Kautskyites in the International and with Chkheidze’s parliamentary group in Russia. We are absolutely against such unity … ” (Collected Works, Vol. 43, pp. 515-516).

    “…What a swine this Trotsky is – Left, phrases, and a bloc with the Right against the Zimmerwald Left!! He ought to be exposed (by you) if only in a brief letter to Sotsial-Demokrat!” (Collected Works, Vol. 35, p. 285).

    Stalin: “I do not know of a single trend in the party that could compare with Trotskyism in the matter of discrediting the leaders of Leninism or the central institutions of the Party.” (Collected Works, Vol. 6, p. 366).

    As for Trotsky’s role in the Bolsheviks, Stalin explains the situation quite clearly: “How could it happen that Trotsky, who carried such a nasty stock-in-trade on his back; found himself, after all, in the rank of the Bolsheviks during the October movement? It happened because at that time Trotsky abandoned (actually did abandon) that stock-in-trade; he hid it in the cupboard .Had he not performed that ‘operation’, real co-operation with him would have been impossible. The theory of the August bloc, i.e., the theory of unity with the Mensheviks, had already been shattered and thrown overboard by the revolution, for how could there be any talk about unity when an armed struggle was raging between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks? Trotsky had no alternative but to admit that this theory was useless.

    “The same misadventure ‘happened’ to the theory of permanent revolution, for not a single Bolshevik contemplated the immediate seizure of power on the morrow of the February Revolution, and Trotsky could not help knowing that the Bolsheviks would not allow him, in the words of Lenin, ‘to play at the seizure of power.’ Trotsky had no alternative but recognize the Bolsheviks’ policy of fighting for influence in the Soviets, of fighting to win over the peasantry As regards the third specific feature of Trotskyism (distrust of (he Bolshevik leaders), it had naturally to retire into the background owing to the obvious failure of the first two features.

    “Under the circumstances, could Trotsky do anything else but hide his stock-in-trade in the cupboard and follow the Bolshevik; considering that he had no group of his own of any significance, and that he came to the Bolsheviks as a political individual without an army? Of course, he could not!

    “What is the lesson to be learnt from this? Only one: that prolonged collaboration between the Leninists and Trotsky is possible only if the latter completely abandons his old stock-in-trade, only if he completely accepts Leninism. Trotsky writes about the lessons of October, but he forgets … the one I have just mentioned, which prime importance for Trotskyism. Trotskyism ought to learn that lesson of October too.” (Collected Works, Vol. 6, pp. 366-367).

    Trotsky and his supporters were the ones to opportunistically use Lenin’s death in an attempt to gain power as well. Stalin notes: “The Trotskyites are vigorously spreading rumours that Trotsky inspired and was the sole leader of the October uprising. These rumours are being spread with exceptional zeal by the so- called editor of Trotsky’s works, Lentsner. Trotsky himself, by consistently avoiding mention of the Party, the Central Committee and the Petrograd Committee of the Party, by saying nothing about the leading role of these organisations in the uprising and vigorously pushing himself forward as the central figure in the October uprising, voluntarily or involuntarily helps to spread the rumours about the special role he is supposed to have played in the uprising, I am far from denying Trotsky’s undoubtedly important role in the uprising. I must say, however, that Trotsky did not play any special role in the October uprising, nor could he do so; being chairman of the Petrograd Soviet he merely carried out the will of the appropriate Party bodies, which directed every step that Trotsky took .To philistines like Sukhanov, all this may seem strange, but the facts, the true facts, wholly and fully confirm what I say.” (Ibid, pp. 341- 342).

    Trotskyism asserts itself against bureaucracy, but in itself will result in bureaucracy. Be it through military bureaucracy, or the bureaucracy that may ensue from the results of factionalism within Trotskyist groups, as bureaucracy itself can become numerous departments fighting each other with no unified agenda. Trotsky’s claims of “Stalinist bureaucracy” are also falsified. Stalin had said:

    “Bureaucracy is one of the worst enemies of our progress. It exists in all our organizations.” – Stalin, Speech delivered at the Eighth Congress of the All-Union of the Leninist Young Communist League, 1927

    “Bureaucracy in our organizations must not be regarded merely as routine and red tape. Bureaucracy is a manifestation of bourgeois influence on our organizations. With all the more persistence, therefore, must the struggle against bureaucracy in our organizations be waged, if we really want to develop self-criticism and rid ourselves of the maladies in our constructive work.” – Stalin, Against the Vulgarizing of the Slogan of Self-Criticism, 1928

    “The surest remedy for bureaucracy is raising the cultural level of the workers and peasants. One can curse and denounce bureaucracy in the state apparatus, one can stigmatize and pillory bureaucracy in our practical work, but unless the masses of the workers reach a certain level of culture, which will create the possibility, the desire, the ability to control the state apparatus from below, by the masses of the workers themselves, bureaucracy will continue to exist in spite of everything. Therefore, the cultural development of the working class and of the masses of the working peasantry, not only the development of literacy, although literacy is the basis of all culture, but primarily the cultivation of the ability to take part in the administration of the country, is the chief lever for improving the state and every other apparatus. This is the sense and significance of Lenin’s slogan about the cultural revolution.” – Stalin (THE FIFTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE C.P.S.U. (B.), December 2-19, 1927.)

    When bureaucracy of Stalin did arise, Stalin combated against it. Stalin raised cultural levels of the people to do so, carrying out education campaigns among the masses and the Party about Marxism-Leninism. While Trotskyists were busy complaining, Stalin was actually doing something; Marxism-Leninism increased the number of schools from 52,000 to 200,000 between 1930 and 1933, raising the students from one million to 4,500,000. The literacy improved from about 65% to 90% at this time as well. Stalin also would always try to incorporate the people themselves in the Soviet system.

    “Precisely in order to develop self-criticism and not extinguish it, we must listen attentively to all criticism coming from Soviet people, even if sometimes it may not be correct to the full and in all details. Only then can the masses have the assurance that they will not get into “hot water” if their criticism is not perfect, that they will not be made a “laughing-stock” if there should be errors in their criticism. Only then can self-criticism acquire a truly mass character and meet with a truly mass response.” (J. V. Stalin, REPORT TO THE SEVENTEENTH PARTY CONGRESS ON THE WORK OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE C.P.S.U. (B.) Pravda, No. 27, January 28, 1934)

  • By Glowstick.

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    3 Responses to Guide to Communism

    1. The Idiot says:

      Che had support for Stalin’s methods as well.

      “It is obvious that we can learn a series of things from Trotsky’s thinking.” – Che Guevara, “Apuntes criticos a la Economia Politica.”

      “The terrible historical crime of Stalin: to have treated communist education with contempt and instituted the unlimited cult of authority.” – Che Guevara, “Apuntes criticos a la Economia Politica.”

      “…we find it difficult to believe that victory can be obtained in one isolated country.” – Che Guevara, Tactics and strategy of the Latin American revolution.

      “[Trotskyist Fourth International leader Ernest Mandel] travelled to Cuba and worked closely with Che Guevara on economic planning. Guevara had read Marxist Economic Theory and encouraged Mandel’s interventions.” –

      • Marxist-Leninists shouldn’t necessarily deny all of Trotsky’s writings, as he makes some valid points on occasions. But nonetheless, if we examine the overall nature of his writing and the overall hypocrisy of his very nature it becomes harder to take him seriously, and his ideas become easier to discredit.

        In regards to his quote on the cult of personality, Stalin never truly endorsed the cult and was initially rather hesitant to have one. He was a very modest and simple man and attempted to reject the cult. It was members of the Politburo and other officials who really promoted the cult. And in some ways, the best he could do was subtly oppose the cult because given the declining role of the Orthodox church, the cult of personality served as inspiration for many of the masses. It wouldn’t necessarily been smart to abolish the cult, only to subtly oppose it and warn against viewing Stalin as a god-like figure.

        “However, we consider the Trotskyist party to be acting against the revolution. For example, they were taking the line that the Revolutionary Government is petty bourgeois, and were calling on the proletariat to exert pressure on the government and even to carry out another revolution in which the proletariat would come to power. This was prejudicing the discipline necessary at this stage.” (Che Guevara)

        Che thought Stalin was a good leader, even with his criticisms. But Marxism-Leninism itself calls for self-criticism in order to better improve the socialist government. Che furthermore recognized that nothing is necessarily “as is” and so his views would occasionally shift in some ways. I don’t believe that Che is the justification and “proof” of Marxist-Leninists, nor the “proof” of Trotskyists and the issue of Che’s political beliefs isn’t as simple as Che liked or disliked a certain political leader over the other. There seem to be the Trots who either support him or label him as a Stalinist, so among Trotskyists they themselves seem particularly unclear anyway.

        As for Mandel, aside from his misconceptions on “Stalinism,” here was a man who praised Gorbachev, a clear-cut revisionist whose policies further introduced capitalism into the USSR. Of course, a Trotskyist would welcome capitalism, too cynical to believe socialism in one country can be achieved, I suppose.

    2. Pingback: Stalin’s Contributions to Marxism | Red Star Vanguard

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