Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

May 20, 2014

National liberation and Bolshevism reexamined: A view from the borderlands

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 5:09 pm

This article jibes with mine on the Riddell-Kellogg exchange.

John Riddell

By Eric Blanc . ( Eric Blanc is an activist and historian based in Oakland, California. ) A view from the Czarist empire’s borderlands obliges us to rethink many long-held assumptions about the revolutions of 1905 and 1917, as well as the development of Marxist approaches to national liberation, peasant struggle, permanent revolution, and the emancipation of women.

The following paper analyzes the socialist debates on the national question up through 1914. I argue that an effective strategy of anti-colonial Marxism was first put forward by the borderland socialists, not the Bolsheviks. Lenin and his comrades lagged behind the non-Russian Marxists on this crucial issue well into the Civil War—and this political weakness helps explain the Bolshevik failure to build roots among dominated peoples.

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2 Comments »

  1. This article looks like a bit “what if”. Well, if there was no soviet-split, Africa and nearl all asia would be socialists, and they could be far stronger than otherwise and exist up today. Maybe they could had “won” the Cold War. This helps explain why Soviet Union fell and China is capitalist now.

    Comment by Daniel de França — May 20, 2014 @ 8:59 pm

  2. And I am not sure about the importance of membership numbers. Even if you sum all of it, it’s still much smaller than the total working class population. The communist party of china is in an all time high: http://www.theatlantic.com/china/archive/2013/05/communist-party-membership-is-still-the-ultimate-resume-booster/276347/

    And whatever is the time of the event, the mobilization capacity is completely subjective. You cannot gauge it. I think you just cannot stop trying, you have to keep trying.

    Comment by Daniel de França — May 20, 2014 @ 9:16 pm


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