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Thursday, July 27, 2006

My favorite quote from Lenin


It is not difficult to be a revolutionary when revolution has already broken out and is at its height, when everybody is joining the revolution just because they are carried away, because it is the fashion, and sometimes even out of careerist motives. After its victory, the proletariat has to make most strenuous efforts, to suffer the pains of martyrdom, one might say, to "liberate" itself from such pseudo revolutionaries. It is far more difficult - and of far greater value - to be a revolutionary when the conditions for direct, open, really mass and really revolutionary struggle do not yet exist, to be able to champion the interests of the revolution (by propaganda, agitation and organization) in non-revolutionary bodies and often in downright reactionary bodies, in a non-revolutionary situation among masses who are incapable of immediately appreciating the need for revolutionary methods of action. To be able to find, to probe for, to correctly determine the specific path or the particular turn of events that will lead the masses to the real, last, decisive, and great revolutionary struggle - such is the task of Communists in Western Europe and America today

("Left-Wing" Communism, an Infantile Disorder. 1920)

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9 Comments:

Blogger celticfire, in the spirit of unity-struggle-unity, said...

An important and decisive quote.

11:10 PM  
Blogger Comrade Zero, in the spirit of unity-struggle-unity, said...

Yeah, I think this quote is important for three reasons:

1.) It illustrates the understanding that Lenin had of the mass line.

2.) It addresses where we are today in building the revolutionary movement in the U.S., and calls upon us to work and struggle even though we are not in a "really revolutionary situation". We have to build it.

3.) It shows that the Bolsheviks too were in a situation similar to ours at one time. A point that defeatists and liquidationists often forget.

All in all, it is an inspirational quotation from Lenin reminding communists how important it is to work in with the masses, even if the masses are doing things the way we would do them just yet. It is about the need for red leadership.

12:13 AM  
Blogger venceremos, in the spirit of unity-struggle-unity, said...

Interesting and valid insights Zero. There are some Maoists that feel open agitation is passe, and that we should "wait" for revolutionary nationalists forces to spontanously take up revolutionary communism and MLM.

I think, this is entirely wrong. Revolutionary nationalist forces should be supported, but politely waiting for them to take up Marxism isn't a solution, and it almost smacks of revisionism. I remember reading about Ibrahim Kaypakkaya's life, and how he had to struggle against the Turkish revisionists who would twist MLM to their ends, saying things like "in order for the spark to start a priarie fire, the ground must be dry." He struggled for a revolutionary orientation all his short life - he died at 24.

8:14 PM  
Blogger PTCruiser, in the spirit of unity-struggle-unity, said...

When Venceremos says "MLM" does that mean Marxism/Leninism/Maoism? I apologize for my ignorance on the subject (I'm working on it, though).

I thought the quote was very inspiring. I'd much rather be in the front of the line for the revolution rather than jumping on the bandwagon as victory approaches. I've got a hell of a lot of reading to do, brother. Thanks for posting this.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous L.S., in the spirit of unity-struggle-unity, said...

Hey Comrade Zero,

I really like the new banner graphic on your site. Very nice artistically and politically. Maybe a post would be in order to explain who the various people are that are pictured in the graphic, as all your readers probably don't know who all of the people are and why they are all included there. Just a thought! Solidarity!

LS

10:42 PM  
Blogger celticfire, in the spirit of unity-struggle-unity, said...

PTCruiser: MLM, in revolutionary circles denotes Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. I don't think Lenin is saying it wrong to join the revolution at decisive moments, he is simply warning against careerists who join in their own interests and not in the interest of the people (like Trotsky), as well as the points Comrade Zero mentioned.

12:11 PM  
Blogger celticfire, in the spirit of unity-struggle-unity, said...

Comrade Zero, your graphic skills are admirable! Any chance of getting you to make me a header for a fee?

2:06 PM  
Blogger Comrade Zero, in the spirit of unity-struggle-unity, said...

LS: Thanks. I think I will do that.

Celt: How bout the comrade price. I'll do it for you for nothin. I think playing with photoshop is fun.

3:17 PM  
Blogger venceremos, in the spirit of unity-struggle-unity, said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:53 PM  

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