By Thomas Riggins, Countercurrents.org
Editor’s Note: The US, in particular, abounds in anti-communist leftists who are uncomfortable not only with the idea of Marxism (which they usually know nothing about and declare obsolete and irrelevant), nor revolution, but with the “party principle” advocated by the likes of Lenin, Castro, Mao, Che, Hoh Chi Minh, etc. The reason why these leaders advocated and fought using a highly disciplined vanguard party as their main instrument to prevail against the formidable force of the bourgeois state and its enormous repressive and ideological apparatuses, is because the party signifies two essential components in this difficult struggle: unity and experience. In an atmosphere of all-out confrontation with the capitalist state, anarchists and hyper-individualists always end up doing the bidding of the enemy. They create endless factionalism and divisions within the people’s ranks, and in that manner weaken the impact and support required by the vanguard elements of society to resist the inevitable push-back of the entrenched order. The fact bears repeating: without unity, experience and discipline, no formation has a prayer against the forces of the status quo. —PG
Lenin in 1920 made an analysis of the political conditions in Germany after the failure of the Communist (Spartacus League) uprising in 1918. The Communists had split into two rival factions. The issues facing the German Marxists were somewhat analogous to those facing the Marxist movements today especially in the industrial world.
This fact makes many of Lenin’s observations of the conditions in Germany relevant to the struggles of today both in advanced capitalist countries such as the U.S. (where Marxist political groupings barely make a blip on the radar screen), Europe (where Marxist parties offer viable alternatives to the status quo and have elected representatives in parliaments, local government, and sometimes as ministers in bourgeois governments (perhaps a dubious tactic), and other areas of the world as well; there is a world Marxist presence that is growing and maturing in face of the continuing decline and slow collapse of global capitalism.