Re: [OPE] Important review of Kautskyism Past and Present

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Date: Wed Aug 11 2010 - 07:40:10 EDT


I am not responsible for the author's comments on OPE-L. My own experience
is that people who write to me, who I do not correspond with normally and
who are not on the list, find my email address on OPE-L, so I am not sure
what public and non-public is about.

Re discussions on the urgent topic of the present crisis, unfortunately
attempts at discussion usually soon hit a brick wall of either silence or
incompatibility. Your use of 'Leninist party' has the same effect as that
of Dave Z's 'collected works of Lenin' - it really covers up for a very
real problem re the backwardness of the movement in the imperialist
countries. I do not believe that was your intention but that's how it comes
across to me. I am not being presumptuous in any way. Being in a Leninist
party etc or being familiar with the works of Lenin has little to do with
the issue, other than the obvious point that the study of the classical
Marxists or classical theories of imperialism can throw important light on
the topics in question. To try and avoid a discussion by dismissing it
because it somehow falls back on some of Lenin's important contributions
has much become very widespread in left movements in the imperialist
counties. It reminds me of points that used to be made against Marx in the
late 1960s. Marx now however is used today often in opposition to Lenin.
Fashions change.

By the way I am not in a Leninist party and never have been. I was in the
SWP for some years but that was not Leninist, just bureaucratic and

I brought Alec Abbott's work to OPE-L's attention as it offers a very
detailed and critical examination of writers who have played an important
part in the present debates re imperialism and globalisation. That is all.

David Yaffe

At 01:13 10/08/2010 +0100, you wrote:

>Insofar as there have been criticisms made of the list, I only have the
>following to say at this time:
>1. re the archives:
>Let us recall that we are a collaborative group and the decision which was
>made re the archives was made by consensus. There was debate on the list
>and ultimately a decision was made which - although most didn't consider,
>I think, was 'ideal' - was something we all could live with. My own
>opinions on that topic - like those of others - can be read on the
>archives. The criticism that the book's author makes clearly shows that he
>didn't read that discussion or the reasons _why_ there was concern by some
>about making the archives publicly available.
>2. re David's criticism.
>Yes, this has been the greatest crisis since the Great Depression since
>the 1930's. I agree with him that there should have been more discussion
>on that urgent topic. But, we are a society of individuals and what we
>discuss isn't mandated or controlled. We're not a Leninist party (or any
>other kind of party, for that matter). It's up to us. Moreover, what
>exactly does the lack of discussion mean? David might say fairly that he
>hasn't contributed a lot to that discussion here because he is engaged
>with political activism and other important tasks and responsibilities.
>Fair enough. But, couldn't the same be said for other members. It's
>presumptuous to assume the motives for 'silence' by listmembers on a
>particular subject unless you actually _know _their reasoning and
>motivation - as well as the context. .
>In solidarity, Jerry
>ope mailing list

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Received on Wed Aug 11 07:44:25 2010

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