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Lenin’s hatred of liberalism

January 31st, 2010 · 2 Comments

Lenin post
To be fair, the current logjam of manipulated liberalism producing idiocy is just the kind of situation that led Marx to his critique.
Lenin’s hatred of liberalism is especially relevant, say the current leftists, as we examine the American case and the way everything Marx prophesied about liberal capitalism has come to pass as a result of the exploitation of liberal principles by rightist elites and capitalist operators. It is not surprising someone would feel disillusion at the way they are being screwed in the name of the rights of capitalists.
But the problem with Marx’s analysis won’t go away. I think the Kantian socialists who saw the dangers in Marxism and who worked at the same time as the second internationale had a better analysis, at least in theory. But Lenin and his cadre were just plain too stupid or else impatient for something intelligent like that. The completely abandoned all reason in the hope of a quick coup d’etat along the lines of their fake socialism.

The critique of liberalism is profound yet severely flawed in Marx, and created the temptation in the Lenin types to say that socialism should abolish all rights and liberties. A monumental fuck up of theory.
The point that was lost is that socialism emerged during the democratic revolution as a variant potential of one and the same hope for political freedom and reform. The idea of an anti-liberal socialism was a confusion of thought. Socialism and democracy were born twins.
Socialism addressed the complicating factor of, beyond liberalism, liberal capitalism (which never entered the minds, quite, of the American founders) but otherwise was a parallel experiment next to democracy. But the flawed analyses of Marx’s generation produced a deviation from the basic energy of the age of revolution visible in the Amerian and French Revolutions. Sure, these revolutions failed to achieve the full democracy wished for, but rejecting democracy for that reason was a mistake.
To reject all of that as bourgeois phasing for something to come next, something really ill-considered, was a wrong-headed development.
Marx and Engels, we forget, recovered after the 48’s and accepted this viewpoint, more or less, as they worked with labor union movements in a parliamentary context. The difference between what Marx/Engels said and did is entirely misleading and historically disastrous. They were incurable in one way, and always reverted to form, e.g. as the Commune appeared. But a closer look shows that they found the method in the second internationale. That the working class betrayed the cause, as they embraced nationalist war taxes at the beginning of WWI, to the enduring fury of Lenin, does not change the basic facts of the case. But we forget the so-called Leninist left ditched the proletariat at the at point and appointed themselves the true guardians of culture as blanquist conspirators.

The whole potential of democratic socialism got wiped out, and I can understand Lenin’s outrage at the dawn of WWI, but the fact remains that Lenin hated the proletariat from before that moment and wasn’t a real Marxist and thought that the proletariat, contrary to the whole impulse of the Marxist left, was too stupid to do the job, thus the need for revolutionary blanquism, terror, and totalitarian substitutes for liberal freedom behind their crocodile tears of sympathy for the working class. Surely the real socialists never intended such an outcome. Part of the problem is with Marx whose analysis was far less cogent that his followers think.
What was needed was the hybrid democratic revolution of core liberalism and socialism together. For one to jackknife against the other was the source of the chaotification that came later.

Tags: 1848+ · liberalism · Ultra Far Left

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ryan // Jan 4, 2012 at 11:16 am

    This blog needs some citation. It makes some extremely important claims with absolutely no evidence. It also makes some undeniable incorrect statements that are not based on any of Lenin’s, Marx’s, or Engels writing or actions. Absolutely no where in a single one of Lenin’s works does he claim, “socialism should abolish all rights and liberties.” And any Marxist Lenninist that claims such is no Mraxist Lenninist at all.

    Secondly, you claim, ” Sure, these revolutions failed to achieve the full democracy wished for, but rejecting democracy for that reason was a mistake.” Has some serious historical inaccuracies as well. To start, the US never attempted, in its entire history to establish a full democracy. it attempted and did establish a republic which operates democratically. In other words, the people do not have control over what they vote for, but elect people to make votes for them. Additionally, socialism, even under the Lenninist model, does not reject democracy at all! In fact, one could make a very valid argument that pure socialism is far more democratic than either capitalism or social democracy. If workers had direct control over their businesses, which only under pure socialism they do, they could have direct control over the hours the worked, the matieral they produce, and the vacation time they can afford to give themselves.

    Consequently, only under a pure socialist system can workers have any say in their polical affairs as, “social democracy,” still operates under the idea of republicanism. When elected officials cast votes for constituents, there is not a democracy. The workers should have the right to fully say how the wealth that they produce is distributed.

    Lastly, your comment,

    ” but the fact remains that Lenin hated the proletariat from before that moment and wasn’t a real Marxist and thought that the proletariat, contrary to the whole impulse of the Marxist left, was too stupid to do the job, thus the need for revolutionary blanquism, terror, and totalitarian substitutes for liberal freedom behind their crocodile tears of sympathy for the working class.”

    Well I do not even know where to begin on that one. You really need to read Lenin’s works before attempting to make such broad and baseless claims. That is simply the only way to describe such a terribly incorrect claim. Lenin undeniable dedicated his entire life, after the death of his brother who was executed by the Czar for his political activism and attempt to organize an armed rebellion, to the revolution of the proletariat.

  • 2 nemo // Jan 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I will address this comment further today, and onward. Many of these statements look unfounded, but they are actually attempts to cut through the false appearances here. I think that much leftist discourse is a victim of its own followers. Anyway, your fist objection is problematical: the issue of liberal rights is the object of much indirect undermining. And in the Bolsheviks that legacy resurfaced with a veangeance.

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