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Showing posts from November, 2013

On "Stalinism" [part 3]

Due to some of the confusion my previous two posts on "Stalinism" caused for some, I think it is worthwhile to begin this concluding post by providing some conceptual clarity.  Moreover, I want to note that this small series is not intended to be a thorough examination of the phenomenon but, rather, was initially meant to be a general summary of how I believe Maoists in particular should think about approaching that thing which people call "Stalinism", as well as the question of Stalin, and how our approach will not necessarily be the same as other marxist (or anarchist, for that matter) tendencies. That being said, what needs to be made clear is that this phenomenon that we can short-hand as "Stalinism" is indeed a phenomenon that is discussed and defined by other traditions; it is this existing definition, this spectre of party monolithism, authoritarianism, over-bureaucratization, or what-have-you, that motivated this small series.  Thus, I began by c

Promotion: Proletarian Feminist Preliminary Conference

I'm taking a break from my "stalinism" series (which is becoming longer than I intended) in order to promote the  First Conference for a Proletarian Feminist Movement , planned and organized by the PCR-RCP initiated Proletarian Feminist Front in Montreal.  This preliminary and semi-open conference will take place on November 30th to December 1st in Montreal.  Although it is intentionally beginning small (which is why the call-out, linked below, was not released until now), the idea is to build a national feminist front carefully, following the manner in which the Revolutionary Student Movement has been building itself with similar conferences. As many of my readers will be aware, the Maoist movement has been promoting "proletarian feminism" for some time, most significantly in the works of Anuradha Gandhy and Hisila Yami. The PCR-RCP has long been involved in investigating this kind of feminism and how it is precisely demarcated from bourgeois feminism.  For s

On "Stalinism" [part 2]

In the past, whenever the possible problems of Stalin/Stalinism came up, I simply deferred to  the analysis made by the Communist Party of China during the "Great Debate"  where, in the face of the Soviet Union's revisionism, they defended Stalin from rightist critiques while, at the same time, providing their own critiques.  And though I still believe this is a good starting point, I have also come to believe that more is required.  The problem with making sense of "Stalinism" as a phenomenological reality, and the possible errors this phenomenon (that we are conveniently calling "Stalinism") produces, is more than simply recognizing a general summary of Stalin's errors.  This is not to say that the above document is not useful; it provides us with some understanding of the phenomenon: it highlights the way in which the party under Stalin improperly understood line struggle and how to deal with counter-revolution; it notes that democratic centrali

On "Stalinism" [Part 1]

Yesterday at work, when I passed a poster advertising the schedule of one of the many marxist reading groups on campus, I was reminded about my intention to post something on Stalin/Stalinism that would be more substantial than my Trotsky-Stalin Mimesis piece from 2011, and more serious than my Young Stalin joke post that over-inflated my blog stats for a few months.  The reason I was reminded about my intention to post on Stalin/Stalinism was because, according to the poster on campus, the first scheduled reading of this generic marxist group was entitled something like "Stalin's Betrayal of the Russian Revolution" with a cartoon depiction of Prophet Trotsky giving Evil Uncle Joe some sort of verbal smack-down.  Beyond the obvious fact that a reading group focused on a sectarian interpretation of history––and whose theory is dependent on this sectarianism (i.e. no Trotskyism would survive if you remove its mimetic double, "Stalinism", that it itself has golem