Trotskyism or Leninism – a contribution from Southend, Leigh and Canvey Island CPB Organiser

Whilst facebook is a wholly inadequate venue to conduct political debate, it does on occasion provide a fascinating insight into the ideological workings of comrades in the struggle (or rather comrades in the struggle for the defense of revisionism). The Red Youth Blog has had its attentions drawn to a new political debating page entitled PoliticsUK. Red Youth welcomes all attempts to open up debate amongst the British population, and we were glad to see the thoroughly non-sectarian approach undertaken by one of the organisers when they posted up our youtube video of comrade Harpal Brar’s Trotskyism or Leninism. Unfortunately this video attracted the attentions of the CPB Branch Organiser for Southend, Leigh and Canvey Island, comrade Peter, who came along to give his insightful analysis of both the video, the role of Stalin and the CPGB-ML! Comrades wishing to read his thoughts may visit the page directly here, or read the debate as it stands at 7.30pm this evening below. To enable readers to follow the ‘arguments’ of the CPB’s leading man in the south east, we’ve helpfully put his comments in bold. Enjoy!:

“Politics UK
Red Youth Blog: Trotskyism or Leninism? – Are they the same thing? What are the differences?

Trotskyism or Leninism?
Harpal Brar delivers a 45-minute presentation on the theory and practice of Trotsky and ‘Trotskyites’, followed by Q&A at the CPGB-ML’s Party Study School, November 2011. One of the my…
Like · · Share · 4 hours ago ·
Mark Caudery and Richard Frazer like this.

Chris Rawlinson Harpal Brar is a joke. This is a man who believes that North Korea is a successful workers’ state, that Kim Jong Il was a great leader, and that his son is a legitimate successor. Of course, Brar’s own son is a prominent member of his little organisation, so it’s hardly surprising that he has shown support for nepotism.
4 hours ago · Like · 4

Richard Frazer He still has a lot of influence in the ultra left wing
4 hours ago · Like

Mark Caudery It is interesting to compare different political schools of thought though, even if they are “ultra left”.
4 hours ago · Like

Sarah Whittaker These will not work in western society and probably not work well in any other society either. Does not matter the minor differences between them.
4 hours ago · Like

Chris Rawlinson Richard, I’m not sure he does. Far-left socialists in this country more often than not are Trotskyites, but even amongst the Stalinists, Brar’s group is small.
4 hours ago · Like

Chris Rawlinson Sarah, the differences are rather large, actually.
4 hours ago · Like · 2

Paulo Cannon don’t really see how you can criticise a man (or woman) for bringing their children into the socialist movement – even if you don’t like his particular brand of marxism. Most leftists fail miserably to bring wives, children and family into political work.
4 hours ago · Like

Chris Rawlinson That’s not really my criticism, is it?
4 hours ago · Like

Matt Beebee Trotsky considered himself a Leninist; Trotsky and ‘Trotskyists’ believe in proletarian internationalism and continual revolution rather than the ‘socialism in one country of Stalin’. Ideologically, Lenin and Trotsky were very much the same.
3 hours ago · Like · 4

Peter Kalve Brar is a millionaire businessman in Indian textiles (=sweatshop work) and his son is an arrogant heart surgeon and heir to the political grouplet. They clain to be erstwhile Stalinists, yes – they think the dictator was the best thing since sliced bread. I have no doubt they applaud the gruesome murder of Trotsky, his son, and other family members. Of course, if they actually lived during Stalin’s era (like my grandfather did in Latvia) they probably wouldn’t be around now. My grandfather was sent to Siberia for 10 years for having given water to some Polish NKVD prisoners who passed through his village in the late 1940s. The Brars are an elitist scum – no self-respecting communist should have any time for them, or their grouplet. Real Marxists should avoid them like the plague.
3 hours ago · Like · 2

Jack Mcnally Screw Marx-Leninism, Stalinism is a failed experiment but Trotskyism is the only ideology(except perhaps left communism) which has genuine potential to advance the world and free it’s people.
3 hours ago · Like

Jack Mcnally Seriously this guy quotes Stalin, who was an amateur when it came to Marxian analysis. He has no credibility.
3 hours ago · Like

Paulo Cannon Thats a bit OTT Peter. You have no information at all or evidence of any sweatshop other than idle gossip you came across from CPB and NCP members – your quarrel with Ranjeet was when he refused to give you £200 so that you could buy Lenin’s Collected Works and write ‘theoretical’ essays for the CPGB-ML. If you have any factual evidence,indeed if you’d even ever had a conversation with Harpal or any member of the cpgb-ml in person you could at least have some justification for basing an opinion (even an incorrect one). To just slander and chuck about mud is a bit rich. The video makes it quite clear that there is a chasm between Leninism and Trotskyism, not one of character and personality but politics. Try to moderate your unjustifiable behaviour.
3 hours ago · Like

Peter Kalve Why don’t you admit Stalin was the mass murderer that he was – oh I forgot, Stalinists never face up to anything – good job you weren’t around in Russia in the late 1930s…what a joke
3 hours ago · Like

Peter Kalve Stalin’s policy of Collectivisation – how many deaths, Paulo? How many millions starved because of that prat?
3 hours ago · Like

Paulo Cannon No need to get carried away. Yes I uphold the work of the CPSU in the thirties, I think there was far more blood on the colonial flag of this country then ever there was on Stalin or the USSR. I think they did a great job smashing the Nazi’s and its a good job they were around in the 1930’s because we certainly wouldn’t be here now if Hitler had got his way. I’ve got a lot of time for Harpal,a s I have for anyone who talks rationally and in a calm and dignified manner. You could learn some lessons.
3 hours ago · Like

Peter Kalve Bull – you and your little grouplet do not deserve such respect – even Goebels (not that different from a Stalinist in his ability to lie) was able to speak politely. But this is no time for politeness. This is the time to call an irrelevant sect an irrelevant sect/
3 hours ago · Like

Peter Kalve So you support the CPSU in the 1930s. Bully for you. Do you support the murders Stalin ordered? Do you support the starvation created by that butcher? Do you? Don’t give me your weasel words about colonial blood, that your irrelevant sect uses to try and avoid answering the questions asked. You know nothing about the USSR under Stalin, you, King Brar and his Crown Prince. This is no longer the time for polite discourse, but the time for polemmic against a bunch of self-deluded, self-important fools, who know nothing about history, the real meaning of socialism and the dialectic, or about the real working class.
3 hours ago · Like · 1

Politics UK Please keep the personal insults out of here. Let’s debate this maturely.
3 hours ago · Like · 2

Peter Kalve We all know how violent Capitalism, imperialism and fascism were. I do not need lessons from quasi-Stalinist joke grouplets to tell me that. I know. But you know nothing about Stalin, or, if you do, you lie
3 hours ago · Like

Politics UK Please refer to the Politics UK posting rules:
PoliticsUK Posting Rules
PoliticsUK Posting Rules Please read carefully before posting. R…
by: Politics UK
3 hours ago · Like

Peter Kalve apologies – Stalinists make me very angry.
3 hours ago · Like · 4

Richard Frazer Gotta say I know little about the ideologies hence why we have the thread on here. However it seems a little far fetched to suggest Stalin was not responsibile for thousands upon thousands of innocent people. There are mountains of evidence of this
3 hours ago · Like

Richard Frazer So what are the key differences between Leninists, Stalinists and Marxists generally?
3 hours ago · Like

Richard Frazer Sorry Trotskyism as well
3 hours ago · Like

Paulo Cannon Truth is there is not ‘mountains of evidence’ for any of those claims. Pretty much everything we are told has an angle on it, thats because we live in a class society. The ruling class use the media, indeed all their institutions (which they control through private funding and the like) to deliver their world view into our school books, TV programmes and culture. We know that they lie when they tell us ‘we’re all in this together’. We know they lied about weapons of mass destruction Iraq and we know they lied and broke everyone of their ‘own’ laws of conduct in international relations when they removed and executed Saddam, Milosevic and Gaddafi. So why should we treat as shibboleths all the ‘factual’ and ‘authentic’ reports their institutions have pumped out denigrating the USSR and Stalin? Of course we shouldn’t trust that information any more than we would the reports of the BBC/IPCC when they said Mark Duggan had fired first! Have a read of this, its a nice, easy to read and good summation of some of the arguments by a Swedish communist. In the meantime, don’t take too much offence at the erratic and excitable behaviour of Peter, I’m sure he thinks he’s doing the right thing by the working class and oppressed people’s of the world – the tragedy is he spends his time defaming Stalin and or any other communist regime because he’s fallen well and truly into the bourgeois trap. The terrible results of the collapse of the USSR are still to be seen in the poisonous effects it had on many a good communist and revolutionary.

Click to access sousa_liesconcerning.pdf

2 hours ago · Like · 1

Hex Austen
2 hours ago · Like

Richard Frazer Paulo – I assure you I will read more about this and start a new thread in a few days. With a fraction more knowledge :p
2 hours ago · Unlike · 1

Paulo Cannon lol! sound. One thing with the ‘left’ in general is they’re not shy of writing voluminous essays on every topic imaginable – enough to keep you busy for more than a few days! enjoy ;-)
2 hours ago · Like

Peter Kalve Paulo, Stalin needs no defaming, only burying in the defecation of his own making. Tell me – for how many millions’ of Soviet deaths was he responsible? No changing the subject – no recourse to a common ground over the evils of capitalism that we both share, just answer a straight and simple estimate on your part – for how many deaths of his own people was Stalin responsible?
about an hour ago · Like · 1

Jack Mcnally Most of the people executed by Stalin were fellow socialists and communists, how can you justifying killing over a million comrades?
about an hour ago · Like

Peter Kalve He can’t – hence his refusal to even go near answering the question
about an hour ago · Like

Matt Beebee ‎@ Richard Frazer:

Now I will start by saying that I too am no expert on the matter, yet I will outline a basic difference between he ideologies for you.

Marxism is first and foremost an economic critique of capitalism through the labour theory of value, surplus value and a study of the progression of human development through historical materialism. Marxism outlines a specific view of history that has progressed from hunter gatherers (primitive communism), serfdom, feudalism and we are now in the capitalist stage of history.
Marx’s critique of capitalism led him to see society split into the bourgeois, those who own capital, and the proletarian, those who work capital and this concluded that the capitalist mode of production was exploitive of the proletarian.
Marx actually wrote little on the stages he thought would follow capitalism, he predicted a revolution of the proletarian who would establish a socialist mode of production under a ‘dictatorship of the proletarian’ where the state would operate for the benefit of the proletarian and be a transition stage between capitalism and communism. In the long run, the state would wither away, and communism – the final stage of human development would be established. By this, Marx meant a stateless, classless, moneyless society build on common ownership.

Lenin, theoretically at least, was a Marxist. However where he disagreed was with how the dictatorship of the proletarian should be set up, meaning how a capitalist mode of production becomes a socialist mode of production. For this, Lenin believed the proletarian would no just spontaneously rise up against the capitalists and rather they needed to be ‘nudged’ by as group of individuals who would lead the revolution. He called this group the vanguard party, as by definition, they would lead the revolution and set it in motion. He believed that the vanguard party should be democratically centralised wherein free political-speech was recognised legitimate until policy consensus; afterwards, every member of the Party supported the official policy established in consensus.

Trotskyism basically follows the same theory as Lenin, except Trotsky emphasised the idea of continual revolution and ‘proletarian internationalism’ i.e. that the revolution and the spread of socialism should be an international phenomenon. Trotsky believed that socialism in Russia would only survive if the state controlled the allocation of all output. Trotsky believed that the state should repossess all output to invest in capital formation. This, he believed was the only was the save Russia from the ‘state capitalism’ that Lenin’s NEP had created.

Stalin supported the more conservative members of the Communist Party and advocated for a state run capitalist economy. Stalinist philosophy was in favour of rapid industrialization, Socialism in One Country, a centralized state, collectivization of agriculture and in practice employed many ‘terror’ tactics associated with totalitarianism. Most do not consider Stalinism as left-wing (called red fascism by many political commentators) and a deviation from the true meaning of socialism to further the ambition of one man.
about an hour ago · Like · 1

Daniel Gilfeather One day i hope that socialism will move on from the tiresome and endless argument that is “My dead Russian is better than your dead Russian”
25 minutes ago · Like

Matt Beebee ‎^ Oh I don’t necessarily agree with what I posted, I was just stating the facts as I’ve alwys seem them concerning the UUSR.
11 minutes ago · Like

Paulo Cannon Hi Matt, with the greatest of respect your not doing justice to Trotsky. He differed with Lenin on a whole host of problems and to reduce it to the level of ‘Trotsky emphasised ‘continual revolution’ and the ‘spread of socialism’ is innacurate. Trotsky would’ve been quick to make a few corrections which I’ll summarize as best I can, and if we’re going to reflect his views we should better understand them (to aid in that I’ve included some references to some of his stuff).

On the question of what kind of Party to build Trotsky opposed the position of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, voted against Lenin’s resolutions in 1902 and wrote an attack (Our political tasks) wherein he tried to equate Lenin’s vision of building a vanguard Party with the oppression and exploitation meted out in factories to the workers (he basically tried to say Lenin wanted a class of bosses and workers in the Party! “I say, you do!”). he wrote “This evil minded and morally repugnant suspicion of Lenin, this shallow caricature of tragic intolerance of Jacobinism…must be liquidated at all costs, otherwise the Party is threatened by moral and theoretical decay”. Hence Lenin is ‘evil minded’ and ‘suspicious’ in his approach to vanguard Party building.

On the question of ‘permanent revolution’ every Trotskyist knows that Trotsky held at least three different conceptions of this ‘theory’ from 1902 onwards! Initially he disagreed with the Leninist thesis of the working class making an alliance with the peasantry in the bourgeois democratic revolution. This led Lenin to declare (in Notes of a Publicist 1910) “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”. Lenin said that the theory of ‘permanent revolution’ at this time was ‘playing at the seizure of power’ by ignoring the role of peasantry. This ongoing antagonistic conflict on the nature of the revolution in Russia led Trotsky to famously declare in a letter to the Menshevik Chkeidze (1913) “The entire edifice of Leninism at the present time is built on lies and falsifications and bears within itself the poisonous elements of its own decay”. Nice! I dont want to labour this point but Trotsky adapted his theory prior to the revolution which led Lenin to declare (in Two Lines of the Revolution 1915) “Trotsky repeats his ‘original’ theory of 1905 and refuses to stop and think why, for ten whole years, life passed by this beautiful theory”. Trotsky joine dthe Bolsheviks in July 1917 at the Congress presided over by Stalin. He again attempted to revise his theory of ‘permanent’ revolution post-1917 which led him to declare “In the absence of direct state support on the part of the European proletariat, the Russian working class will not be able to keep itself in power and transform its temporary rule into a stable socialsit dictatorship. There is no doubt about it” As in 1906, so in 1922, Trotsky was wrong. In the light of such a ‘theory’ Trotsky only really offered to the Russian working class the option of all-out war in some adventurist drive into Europe and certain defeat, or a total capitulation to capitalism. Leninism, chose the only real alternative to such schemes and set about building up a socialist country – one that was more than capable of defending its rule as its shopwed in the war against Nazi Germany.

Anyway, that was much longer than I intended. Since most of this is in the video shouldn’t we stick to critiquing, using facts and sources, the specific parts we find objectionable. Otherwise its alot of writing and it doesn’t move the conversation on.

As for Peter, he’s obviously not taken his pills today, can’t we ‘liquidate’ him in the style of his favourite historical nemesis?