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From what is to begin? by Alexander Gachikus





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From what is to begin? by
Article Posted: 08/13/2012
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From what is to begin?


 
Party Ideas
From what is to begin?

In response to my article “Cautious emancipators of Labor”, or, rather that place where I criticized the passion of Revolutionary Front (leftist group in Russia) for conferences, one of the representatives of Revolutionary Front wrote that Gachikus is not in the know that there are several crises in Revolutionary Front recently, and conferences were necessary.

Let us examine this question in detail.

I remind about what I wrote in that place of the article “Cautious emancipators of Labor”. I quoted from opportunists from the group “Emancipation of Labor” (leftist group in Russia), which criticized Revolutionary Front for the abundance of the articles about conferences in their newspaper. The representatives “Emancipation of Labor” said that it is not interesting for workers to read that, they said that it is necessary to write about “daily wants” of workers. In response to that I wrote that although the passion of Revolutionary Front for conferences is not to my liking, however, what sirs from “Emancipation of Labor” offer instead is by far worse, it is economism. I also wrote that I discommend the edition of newspaper in this stage.

The question emerges: for who is your newspaper, who is it intended for? Is it intended for broad masses? Then I agree with “Emancipation of Labor” in the respect that it is wrong to write about conferences in it – however, it doesn’t means that it is necessary to write about “daily wants” of workers, about economic struggle between employees and employers. I don’t agree with these decayed conclusions of “Emancipation of Labor”.

Let us recollect Lenin’s idea of the formation of the party. The essence of this idea is the creation of the restricted solid core of professional revolutionaries, theorists, which connected through several intermediate levels with the broad masses of proletariat and semi-proletarian strata which follow proletariat. I shall try to outline these levels (such circles, concentric circles), which I see them theoretically, ideally (i.e. not what we have currently, but what we have to aim at).

1) Above-mentioned restricted solid core of theorists, “Lenins”. Its occupation is the elaboration of the most general foundations of ideology, strategy and tactics. There are people who understand Leninism thoroughly. The number of this circle is several tens at the most.

2) Propagandists, “Stalins” (in the sense what Stalin was before 1922-30). There are people who understand Marxism-Leninism satisfactorily. Their occupation is the application of the ideology of the party to all current events, processes, occurrences; popularization of party’s ideas in plain living language, which is understandable for the broad masses (even if such popularization threatens our ideas with simplification, it doesn’t matter, it is “teething troubles”). The number of this circle is several hundreds or even thousands.

3) Agitators. There are people, who understand Marxism quite roughly, nevertheless are able to carry party’s slogans to millions of proletarians and the allies from middle class; who are able to convince and to arouse (the latter, i.e. whipping up emotions, plays a large role at this level, while in the “first circle” the cold rigorous scientific foresight is necessary in the first place). The occupation of this level is distribution of leaflets and oral propaganda mainly (plus partly writing articles to our editions, I shall say below about that). The number of this level is probably several tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands.

4) The broad proletarian masses and the part of middle class, labor aristocracy, intelligentsia, which follow proletariat; mainly youth, women, immigrants. The number of this level is millions and tens of millions.

Who is the newspaper needed for? Obviously, it’s needed for broad masses, i.e. for the 4th circle of my scheme. Today, in the presence of Internet, the representatives of the 1st and the 2nd circles can communicate with each other using Internet. But among who is information about conferences needed for distribution? Obviously, it is needed for distribution among first 2-3 circles. Is it means, that we must lower the level of the newspaper to “daily problems”, as “Emancipation of Labor” offers? No. I repeat following Lenin, that we need the newspaper of political exposures, which castigates police; which expose the connection between police violation and the interests of bourgeoisie; which connects the struggle for democracy with the interests of proletariat; which expose the connection between police violation of ruling regime against us and police violation of ruling regime against peoples, which oppressed by Russia; the newspaper, which cultivate international solidarity with peoples of poor nations, with Islamic revolution, as well as solidarity with the western proletariat; the newspaper, which not restrict within limits of daily problems, but connects these problems by thousands examples with the problems of poorest strata of other nations, from USA to Afghanistan, with world policy.

The question emerges: is the newspaper needed in this stage? I don’t want to stifle initiative of honest comrades. I want only to remind Lenin’s words, which he said at about 1920, that communists are the very thin stratum of society, and it is wrong for them to try to solve the problems instead of people, it would be more correctly to organize people to solve these problems.

Furthermore, where should we go with the newspaper? I both consider in my theoretical views and know by experience, that it is wrong to go to entrances of factories (such actions are similar to actions of activists of Hizb ut Tahrir in Bashkortostan, who distribute their leaflets among parish in mosques). We should go to the poorest youth, and it’s no matter, are they employed or unemployed; moreover, we should distribute our leaflets and newspapers not among anybody, not indiscriminately, as left activists did in 1990’s, but only among prepared ones, who was given a circle of oral talks.

Above I spoke only about information flow from the 1st circle to the 4th one. It is clear, that the feedback (i.e. information flow from the 4th circle to the 1st one) is needed too. These are items to the newspaper, the information about the facts of police abuses, misery etc. and the criticism of the “highest” party circles. It is clear, that party leadership would lose contact with masses without such feedback; theory, which the leadership embeds in masses, would deviate from the correct course; leaders would degenerate into philosophers-celestials, alienated from the real life, who philosophize for the sake of their own pleasure.

Last, it is necessary to be ready from the outset to the probability of the exposure of our activity by police and we must try to reduce this probability to zero (it is clear, that the detention under present-day “civilized” order can occur not for “politics” at all, but for ordinary “criminal offence” - “give us a man, we will find the article to put him behind the bars”). Lenin’s scheme is good also in the regard that it minimizes this probability: the extraction of a single “link” from the “chain” doesn’t result in the break of the “chain”, because in fact it is not a chain at all, but concentric circles. Every single link can be replaced by new link without detriment to the party: if one member of the 1st circle has “fallen out”, he (she) can be replaced by the most able one from the 2nd circle etc. (on the other hand, that member of the 1st circle, who has “fallen out”, i.e. has gone to the jail, would act as a member of the 3rd circle).

It is clear, that it will be more difficult, more complicated in practice, than on paper. But, anyhow, this Lenin’s plan solely is correct, because hysterical impulses, when the honest, but not very conscious revolutionary tries to go alone to the people, come to nothing. We already have such experience; it was very painful, yet very helpful experience: we have learned by our own mistakes. But now we must go forward, not stumble at the same point for the second time.

October 26, 2009

A. G.

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