Vilken roll spelar politiska partier under övergången till en annan samhällsordning? Detta är en fråga som debatterats inom vänstern minst 150 år. Denna artikel, "Spontaneity and Marxism", belyser frågan historiskt och kommer fram till att enda sättet är politisk organisering i form av ett massparti. Den försöker också förklara varför denna marxistiska insikt glömdes bort från början på 1920-talet.
in 1901-04 argued for the use of techniques of illegality on the road
to a Kautskyan mass workers` party. For the Comintern leaders in 1920,
a really mass workers` party is actually impossible until well
after the seizure of political power. This approach is genuinely a Blanquist
regression from Marxism.
In this theory the masses can neither be nor become politically conscious
beyond the gut attempt to defend their immediate interests. As a result,
the party has to lead the masses, as it were by the nose, through linking
their defence of their immediate interests to the idea that the conscious
minority of communists should rule. This concept is at the heart of the
3rd Congress Resolution on tactics argument which was part of the
basis for the concept of the Transitional programme. But in fact
what results is necessarily a choice between adventurism (or sectism)
The Bolsheviks` and Comintern`s error is perfectly understandable in
the circumstances. On the one hand, the spontaneous mass movement had
not succeeded in overthrowing capitalism - or the labour bureaucracy
- in western and central Europe. On the other, since the treaty of Brest-Litovsk
in 1918 the Bolsheviks had lost majority support. They were also engaged
in building up a state on the basis of a narrow layer of `advanced workers`
who had become military and civil state functionaries of a party-army
which ultimately functioned as a collective Bonapartist representative-master
of the Russian peasantry. In these circumstances it is hardly surprising
that they produced an ideology in which the broad masses are seen as unconscious
objects of manipulation by the conscious minority.
The Marxist argument
is that the consistent pursuit of its own collective interests by the
proletariat as a class logically leads to the overthrow of capitalism
and the emancipation of humanity.
But this argument does not at all imply that the working class as a class
is capable of identifying its common interests as a class without
going through the process of organising itself, initially for partial
struggles, then for a permanent general movement, then at the level of
the political struggle with the capitalists over general laws (etc).
The immediate interest of a particular group of employed workers is not
at all the same thing as the general interest of the working class as
a class. Consider, for example, the interest of groups of skilled workers
in maintaining differentials. For Marxists, it is through going
through the process of organising itself as a class that the proletariat
comes to identify those interests that are its common interests as a class.
Andra artiklar på denna sajt för det f.d. brittiska kommunistpartiet försvarar också på ett originellt sätt den gamla, marxistiska uppdelningen i "minimi-" och "maximiprogram". Trotskismens s.k. övergångsprogram, som jag knapphändigt berört tidigare i denna blogg, utsätts för hård kritik.