[lbo-talk] why is the left dead?

Wojtek S wsoko52 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 20 15:39:24 PDT 2010

[WS:] I beg to differ. I think the heights of the left were years 1917 - 1924. The Left was the strongest politically and Stalinism was still in the future. After Lenin's death - it was only downhill.

There were two reasons - first social conditions for left mass mobilization were still there, but slowly disappearing with industrialization. By that I

mean social solidarity not eaten away by capitalist individualism. The second reason was that that the existence of a strong genuine vanguard party - a necessary condition of left mobilization as Lenin aptly observed - that was still relatively free of authoritarian tendencies. With Stalinism, the vanguard element was gone.

I am sorry, but the sixties were but children's play.


On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 10:30 AM, Max Sawicky <sawicky at verizon.net> wrote:

> My two-cent thesis for the day is that the heights of the left were
> the Panther convention in Philadelphia in 1970 and MayDay 1971 in
> Washington D.C., the latter the wonderfullest experience of my youth,
> notwithstanding my beating at the hands of police and not getting laid
> that weekend. Mass anti-war civil disobedience. The left was
> coherent in its incoherence, by which I mean there was a mosaic of
> groups and tendencies, but there was an overlay of mutual tolerance
> for diversity and democratic (to a fault) norms of behavior. There
> was no hierarchy, no generals. The convention was similar; of course
> the BPP was a hierarchical cadre organization, but they did not try
> and impose a line on the construction of a 'peoples constitution.' My
> sense -- I wasn't there -- is of a similar MayDay-type convergence in
> Seattle/1999. The ascension of Obama has effectively paralyzed that
> sort of mobilization, at least for the moment.
> On Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 11:19 PM, shag carpet bomb <shag at cleandraws.com>
> wrote:
> > carrol, of course, says there is no such thing as "the" left.
> >
> > WRT the platypus discussion is was a commonplace that the left is dead.
> >
> > Why is the left dead? is this a reference to the end of Grand Narratives?
> >
> > what are people talking about when they say "the left" is dead?
> >
> > sometimes, people have suggested some sort of coherence to leftist
> movement
> > in the 60s. but then when i've read histories, i don't get the sense of
> > coherence. what little bit i discerned in What is to be Done made me
> think
> > that there wasn't much coherence then, either.
> >
> > why do we think there was some sort of coherence in "the left" in the
> past?
> > was there? maybe i read too much history focused on contentions among
> > leftists, but i'm hard pressed, thinking about those histories, to see
> any
> > coherence, at least coming out of the 60s.
> >
> >
> > shag
> >
> > --
> > http://cleandraws.com
> > Wear Clean Draws
> > ('coz there's 5 million ways to kill a CEO)
> >
> > ___________________________________
> > http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/mailman/listinfo/lbo-talk
> >
> ___________________________________
> http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/mailman/listinfo/lbo-talk

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list