Will someone please escort Lars Lih out of the history tunnel?2
16/05/2017 by socialistfight
Very interesting article by Louis Proyect against Lars T Lih and the falsification of the history of the Russian Revolution. No one else is tackling this ignoble endeavour seriously. We are close enough on this to cooperate although inevitable some differences will emerge in more detailed exposes of Lars T Lih, Eric Blanc, Paul le Blanc and others who are leading this ideological struggle against revolutionary Leninism/Trotskyism.
Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist
Chiang Kai-Shek, an honorary member of the Comintern upon Stalin’s urging
In 2011, Lars Lih wrote an article titled “The Ironic Triumph of Old Bolshevism: The Debates of April 1917 in Context” for Russian History whose thesis has been repeated ceaselessly, the latest iteration appearing on the Jacobin website. Essentially, they all argue in favor of the superiority of “Old Bolshevism” over Trotsky’s version of what took place between March and October 1917, even when Trotsky is not mentioned. Lih has a particular affinity for Lev Kamenev even though Stalin is a close runner-up for the title of Old Bolshevik supremo. Is the prodigious amount of prose advanced on behalf of Kamenev and Stalin meant to win people over? I myself get annoyed by repetition, especially those Trivago ads. Lately Lih has been joined by Eric Blanc, a young graduate student who pays lip-service to Trotsky but with little insights into…
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Well, if you want to talk, as Proyect does, about consistency on the question of cross-class alliances, he should evaluate his own support for certain governments in Latin America.
In this piece, Proyect writes as if Russia and China were viewed as presenting the same issues. Actually, Trotsky didn’t generalized the permanent revolution beyond Russia until after the Chinese defeat. Could you imagine any faction among the Bolsheviks advocating entry into the Cadets? Even Trotsky agreed at the time to enter the Kuomintang.
The above leads me to another point. It would seem that the delay in generalizing permanent revolution to China tells against your analysis holding that Lenin’s April theses reflected the new understanding of imperialism.
I still think Trotsky explained Lenin’s course best. The February Revolution proved that the Russian peasantry was incapable of forming an independent political party. Thus Lenin’s two-class dictatorship collapsed empirically into the Parvus/Trotsky one-class dictatorship.