Friday, July 02, 2010

Back in 5...

We're on the road for a few days for a fun-filled 4th!

While reading Robert Conquest's Stalin: Stalin: Breaker of Nations, we came across these paragraphs in Chapter 8, The Fight For Power. It is a chapter about Stalin's early years in power.

Would you pause while reading this as we did?

It is hard to keep in mind that these struggles were not conducted among politicians in the ordinary sense. Their concern was not the immediate interests of the country. They considered only the transformation of that country, and in the long run of the world, according to the precepts of a particular dogma. And they viewed their party's retention of power at all costs as the only way of achieving these ends.

Every move had to be justified in terms of the dogma. Its essentials were that class struggle is the motive force of history; that the industrial working class, the proletariat, is empowered to defeat the earlier ruling classes; and that the result will be socialism, followed by communism, a society of total freedom and equality. Meanwhile, the Communist Party, 'representing' the Russian proletariat, has come to power and has the task of ruling in the name of this (admittedly small, dwindling and apathetic) class. In any case, Lenin continued to argue that other proletarian revolutions in the 'advanced' countries would save the day for the Russian Revolution.

This notion of the transcendental role of the industrial working class, the 'proletariat' in the Marxist scheme, was of course a central conviction of the Bolsheviks.

See you in a few days. Until then, visit all the blogs in our blogroll and have a happy and safe 4th of July!

No comments: