Continuing on the Lenin and organization tip, we are linking to an essay by Don Hamerquist that jumps into this much needed reassessment of Lenin and the question of revolutionary organization for our times. This is followed by several responses that take up different aspects of the essay.
I’ll be posting up some thoughts on Hamerquist’s essay later this week.
Don Hamerquist: Lenin, Leninism and some leftovers
Tom Wetzl: Reply to Hamerquist
What in the Hell blog: Responding to Hamerquist on Leninism
Noel Ignatiev: CLR James on the Marxist organization
Dave Renney: Scattered thoughts on the Leninist party and Don’s paper
Vladimir Lenin. This name for most radicals, militants, and progressives has largely become irrelevant. The problems, issues, and experiences of Lenin are considered to be part of another historical era in another country. Sometimes the differences are even expressed in racial terms in that white folks did that worker’s revolution stuff while people of color can’t because they do not have the privilege or do not struggle that way.
I believe that the dilemma of Lenin still remains with oppressed people and pocs today not only in Russia, but across the world. It does not matter if you are a woman, Latin@, Muslim, or Queer; the themes which occur in Lenin’s life have to be taken up. Just like every oppressed group can learn from the life of Malcolm on the importance of standing up for yourself and your people, for being strong, unapologetic, etc., so can every oppressed group learn certain things from Lenin. I know this is not popular to say considering the dominance of identity politics and privilege in the American Left. But the path to liberation is not a straight and linear line.
While I am not a Leninist, there are a lot of things I have learned from him. This post tries to summarize some of the basics of what can be taken away from Lenin’s experiences building revolutionary organization—a project I am committed to.
Continue reading Lenin and Revolutionary Organization