>>1077>I'm embarrassed to admit that I can't name a single Arab Marxist. Who are the major theorists? I'm curious to know.
I literally have no idea. I only learned Arabic because I didn't want to take Spanish in high school since the teacher was a prick and I already knew what I was going to learn (spoken at home). My vocabulary is pretty limited but I know the alphabet pretty well which is really half the battle, especially since the grammar tends to be pretty friendly.
>I don't think that all the blame for what became known as the "Leninist" party model lies with Lenin (hence the scare quotes), but a great deal of it was. Before 1917, in What is to be Done? and other works, Lenin's model of "democratic centralism" was the German SPD, and any deviations from the SPD party model were an unfortunate necessity when faced with the Tsarist secret police.
I look at this and draw the opposite conclusion. The issue is not that Lenin looked to the SPD for a model and really should have taken a more coalition based or broad tent approached, but rather that his theoretical errors in doing so are a result of there being too little sectarianism in the SPD. I don't think arguing "Rosa should have done this or that" is particularly productive, but if there is one mistake I think the communist faction of SPD made it is that they did not differentiate themselves soon enough.
The "unfortunate necessities" on the other hand are in my view, strengths. I am a big proponent of Nechayevshchina.
>In that sense, I largely agree with the pre-1917 "Leninist" model. Unfortunately, the concept of "democratic centralism" (the word was almost never invoked after WitbD) acquired a new meaning when the Bolsheviks included it as part of the 21 Conditions of Admission to the Comintern.
There are certainly issues with where this went. Again I take an contrarian stance on this though. The problem is not the centralism or insistence on unity, but rather the careerism, and democratic nature of these organizations. Democracy and bureaucracy unfortunately go hand in hand.
The insistence on national self-governance–a rejection of centralism and internationalism no doubt–is really the nail in the coffin for the comintern as I see it.
>The executive authority imbued in the Comintern executive committee was a means for Lenin to impose his will on the national sections, crucial "in the present epoch of acute civil war", as the original document stresses repeatedly.
It should have been taken further! One international party with complete centralized control.
>Alas, the western revolutions Lenin was counting on never came, and as the Bolshevik party descended into bureaucratic rule- starting at Lenin's urging with the ban on internal factions- the rest of world's communist parties were dragged down with them.
I don't think we can blame the ban on internal factions for this. The comintern's insistence on class collaboration on the other hand? That has certainly stuck with us until this very day. In my circles we are still debating whether or not the DSA is really a "deformed workers party" or a mere liberal appendage. It seems pretty straightforward to me, both in terms of the reality of the situation, but also in terms of the historical conditions of Lenin's time that would have led him to his erroneous theory, but my position has always been a tiny minority in this regard.
>Apparently a cheaper paperback is set to be released later this year, however.
I shall see what I can do! I kinda doubt it is in the JSTOR archive since there don't tend to be a lot of books, but I can also check the academic library system which might have it.