Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Third Camp is about Real Lives

Interview with Hamid Taqvaee
Third Camp TV

Maryam Namazie: You wrote the Manifesto of the Third Camp against US Militarism and Islamic Terrorism, which many people are now supporting. Why did you feel the need to write it?

Hamid Taqvaee: If you have a look at the political situation of our era, it seems that there are mainly two forces that actually determine everything in the political arena in the Middle East, the west and even the world. These two forces are the USA and its allies on the one hand and Islamic terrorism on the other. But the fact is that it is not only these two. What we are saying is that neither of these two forces actually represents people. Even people living in Islamist societies, and I can say especially those people, are not represented by political Islam, or by Islamic governments such as the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Third Camp addresses that force which represents the majority of people of the world – a majority which has no interest in the war between these two poles of Islamic and US-led terrorism. They reap no benefits from their war.

In the conflict between the two in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, it is people who are actually sacrificed. People have no reason to take part in this. But the question is what do they do? Must they stay home, witness the carnage that is unfolding before their eyes and do nothing? Of course not. The Third Camp enables people to make a stand against both poles of terrorism in our era. Since people are losing everything in this confrontation, we must establish and organise a third movement. The third camp is a movement not an organization; it is a movement against political Islam and US militarism.

Maryam Namazie: It’s not yet well known but one gets the sense that it is crucial…

Hamid Taqvaee: Yes, it is not well known and that is why one of our main aims is to introduce the movement to as many people as we can. I believe public opinion on the whole is with us. If they come to know about what we are saying, if they were able to find out our goals and purpose, I think they would join us. In Iran, and countries like it, I can say with confidence that more than 90 percent of the people are with us and that we are representing them. They are with us against Islamic terrorism; they are against US militarism. I think we can say that about today’s Iraq and other Middle Eastern societies that have been at the frontlines of the conflict. In Europe, too, people know what is going on after September 11, Madrid, London, Bali. Even in western countries, where people are faced with massive media propaganda, I believe that most people if they knew about us, if they heard what we say and represent, they would join us. They would join the third camp movement. As I said, I think the third camp represents a majority of people in any given country. They just need to know that such a force and movement exists, and that it is active. They would join as soon as we were able to reach them.

Maryam Namazie: I think that is one of the things that we are witnessing. When you talk to activists who are reaching out to people, they say that a lot of them feel a sense of relief that there is this human alternative and they don’t have to choose between bad and worse.

Hamid Taqvaee: Exactly.

Maryam Namazie: There has been an immense amount of support for the Third Camp, but also some criticism. It would be good if you could address some of them here. Some are saying that it is wrong to gather opposition to both US militarism and political Islam since one can’t deal with both at the same time and also because they say, both are not equally important. Groups like the Stop the War Coalition believe that the main issue is Empire or US imperialism.

Hamid Taqvaee: This is not new. As far as I remember, since the start of my political life, I have heard this sort of position from anti-imperialist activists. They ask “What is the main problem?” but never ask for whom and in what context. They imply that there is one main problem for every single person in our era. And they always say that the main problem is imperialism. During the Cold War, there were two different groups. One of them would say that the main enemy or the main problem was the Soviet empire; the other would say it was the US and western empire and they had ongoing discussions with each other. Now that the US is the only superpower, everything has become even more simplified for them. Now we have only one empire to address!

But let’s think of this from the point of view of women in the world, for example. In Islamist societies, or for women who are considered Muslim, what is the main problem? The empire or political Islam? For women in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Algeria, and even Muslim women in Scandinavia, Europe, and the US, what is their main problem? Their problem is that political Islam forces them to wear the hijab, prevents girls from playing with boys, and even allows 9 year old to ‘marry’, which is nothing more than legalising child sexual abuse. Political Islam is a massive movement and from their point of view, from the point of view of millions and millions of women, the main problem is not the empire or US imperialism.

Maryam Namazie: But in countries like Iraq, for example, it is US imperialism that has wreaked havoc….

Hamid Taqvaee: OK, but what about Iran? For 27 years, not only women, but a majority of the population have had no rights. In any sense of the word, the Islamic Republic of Iran is an every-day terrorism ruling Iran. In Iraq, too, Islamic sects are fighting each other and slaughtering children. Sunnis killing Shiites and vice versa. In Iraq, both the US and its allied forces as well as Islamic groups are killing left, right and centre in the name of democracy or resistance! It doesn’t matter what they call it! They are killing people everyday.

People, civilians, who have no interest and no participation in the resistance, get slaughtered. We don’t have resistance as such in Iraq. We have different Islamic and nationalist factions and the occupying forces of the US and Britain fighting each other. That is the situation in Iraq.

Maryam Namazie: Darren Cogavin has written a piece in the Blanket criticising Anthony McIntyre’s article in the same publication in defence of the Third Camp. He says that one of the most basic tenets of consistent democracy is solidarity with mass-based rebellions against occupation, national oppression and colonial rule when they actually occur.

Hamid Taqvaee: Again with the mass-based something! Mass-based what? Hitler relied on the masses. Initially in Iran, Khomeini had the masses with him. So what? Masses can go wrong and most of the time - when there is no left or progressive force present - they do. It happens all the time, everywhere. Masses go and vote for Bush in America and regret it after a few months. It happens everywhere. So don’t talk about ‘the masses,’ ‘what the masses say’ and ‘what the masses don’t say’. That is one point. The other point, even in this context, is that there are no masses behind Islamic forces in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. That is a big lie. Like the mass media, it categorises all people living in the Middle East as automatically supporting political Islam because of where they were born. This is a big lie. It’s as if to say you are with Tony Blair because you were born in Britain since he is your prime minister! This is the same nonsense they spew about the Iranian people. There are no ‘masses’ behind political Islam, even in Iraq, in my opinion. The masses in Iraq want peace; they want a normal life; they want to get rid of all of the forces - Islamist and western - that are making life intolerable. They want to get rid of all of them so they can get on with their day-to-day life, go to school, have hospitals, have electricity, running water… That’s their main problem not resistance against the empire or the democracy that the empire wants to give them. They are defending life. So we have to have a force representing life in Iraq and in fact the masses are with that force. If there is not such a force there, we have to go and create it and organise it - a force defending life against both those poles and fighting against both of them. Going back to old terminology and Cold War logic won’t get us anywhere. Speaking of what the masses want doesn’t help. You don’t determine politics by what people say but by what they really need. What they really want. Even if they don’t know it. Even if nobody represents them. You have to find out what it actually is – it’s not subjective but objective. And you have to go out and be the voice of the people. And represent what they want and need and organise them around that and create a political force against the so-called “resistance” and forces for “democracy”. None of the two poles represent people in Iran, in Iraq, or elsewhere in the world. They merely represent different camps of the ruling classes.

Maryam Namazie: Let’s leave the masses out of it for now; the same writer says that the biggest obstacle to US domination in Iraq and the Middle East is the armed resistance without which US imperialism might well be preparing for a full scale invasion of Iran. So basically he says the manifesto contradicts itself because it is actually this very political Islamic resistance that has stopped the US from entering Iran.

Hamid Taqvaee: With this logic, one could say, ‘if there was no US forces in Iraq, Islamic forces would make the country much worse than what we have in Iran today. Women in Iraq would be in a much worse situation if they had a regime like Iran’s.’ The problem with this writer is that he doesn’t see both poles in the conflict. Automatically, he thinks that whoever resists the US is good. Is pro-people. That’s wrong. This sort of logic has never worked throughout history and it doesn’t work here either. It is not the case that because the US is against the people, therefore, whoever resists the US is with the people. The same logic would be the reverse in Iran. The Islamic Republic is against the people based on what it has done for the past 27 years ruling Iran, and the US is against the Islamic Republic of Iran so the US is with the people of Iran. That’s wrong! That sort of logic won’t get us anywhere. It depends what point of view you are looking at it from. If you look at it from the point of view of only opposing the Islamic Republic in Iran then you will conclude that the US is pro the people. And if you think of it in terms of only opposing the forces that are occupying Iraq, you will come to the conclusion that Moqtada al-Sadr or Islamists in Iraq are with the people. Either way, this is incorrect.

The point is that you don’t have to choose between these two poles. We have to go and create a third camp against both. That’s the whole point.

Maryam Namazie: He goes on to say that the third camp is social chauvinist and “has chosen to position themselves against the growing movement challenging US imperialism arms in hand at a time when revolutionary Marxism is most urgently needed.”

Hamid Taqvaee: Revolutionary Marxism defends itself and defends the people. If there is a force that we can refer to as “revolutionary Marxism”, why doesn’t this force go and create and organise its own movement? Why do we as Marxists have to support somebody else all the time? In the Cold War, why did we have to support the Soviet Union vis-à-vis the USA? And why now, do we have to support Islamists against the USA. And every time, we have a big enemy – the empire or whatever they call it - and we have to support those who are seen to be against it. Why shouldn’t others support us? Why are we not creating our own movement with our own political aims and goals and calling on everybody to come and support us!

There are Islamists against the USA. Fair enough. I accept that. We are against the USA as well. Why shouldn’t Islamists have a discussion among themselves about supporting Marxists? And actually when Marxism was more fashionable in the 60’s, we did have this sort of thing. There were so many religious groups that called themselves ‘Marxist’. Now it is the opposite. Now some Marxists call themselves ‘Muslim’ and that is the main problem of the anti-US movement. The upper hand in this movement is with the Islamists, unfortunately. And Marxists like the one you are quoting, always think Marxists have to go join a big front and support somebody else against the US. If today, it is Sheikh Nasrullah or Hizbullah, then we must all go and support them. At the time of Khomeini, they supported Khomeini. But then you think of it from the point of view of ordinary people. People in the streets. Public opinion all over the world. They don’t buy this sort of logic because it has nothing to do with their real lives. They don’t go by terminology and abstract concepts of ‘who is the main empire of this era?’ They don’t think that way. They simply think about what benefits them; what’s for them and what’s against them. And the people of Iran who have been living under the yoke of Islamic rule know what Islam is. It doesn’t matter whether you tell them that Islam is against the US. It it not their criteria. What is important, and really matters is not the Islamic Republic-US relationship, but the relationship of both of these poles with the people. That’s the way we Marxists should judge and criticise different political movements, parties, and governments. So again referring even to Marxists as a political group or party or movement and then demanding that we as Marxists go and support political Islam or Islamic forces is just ridiculous.

Maryam Namazie: The author goes on to say that the manifesto ‘recycles the odious garbage of Samuel Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations, directing liberals outside the ranks of the ‘Irrelevant Left’ to enlist in the crusade for western secular and enlightenment values against savage, fanatical Islam.’

Hamid Taqvaee: Why must the achievements of humanity, secularism, defending human beings, humanity, civil society and so on belong to the west or to the east or... They belong to the human race. They are the results of thousands of years of human history. They are latest achievements in politics, sociology, and science. The same way that everybody uses the latest achievements of technology, for example, everybody uses a TV, cars, and planes. In the same way we have social and political achievements that belong to human beings. One of them is secularism; another is civil society; another universal values. They are defended in any country all over the world. So they don’t belong to any one culture at all. Saying they do has to do with relativism. People like the author think that culture is a relative thing. So to them we have Islamic culture, western culture, eastern culture, and when we are defending the achievements of human beings, the achievements of science, technology, sociology they just put us in one of those categories. They say: ‘you are defending western culture’. In reality, east or west is irrelevant. Human beings, humanity, the human race has the same values everywhere in the world. We believe that secularism, having a civil society is a good value and it is good for everybody. Everybody benefits from it; it doesn’t matter whether you were born in Iran or in France. Civil society is one of the latest achievements of human history. It doesn’t belong to any culture and we don’t divide cultures in this way. We believe and support the culture that defends humanity and human beings and oppose the culture which is against them. If you think about it, you will see that a culture which is against human beings belongs to a class which rules across the world. They have different versions: the Islamic culture defends the ruling class in Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran belongs to that eastern culture and the culture of Mr. Rumsfeld and Bush belongs to the ruling class in the USA and it is in the category of western culture.

The above is an edited transcript of Maryam Namazie’s interview with Hamid Taqvaee on Third Camp TV on August 29, 2006. The programme can be viewed on Third Camp

See also: Maryam's Post at Renegade Eye about The Third Camp Manifesto.
Maryam Namazie


SecondComingOfBast said...

It would be great if a third, independent movement could take root and spring up which could look after the people that are negatively affected by both sides of the current conflict.

The only problem is, the problem with and potential for infiltration. How do you pevent that? How do you keep someone from either of the oppossing forces from insinuating themselves into the group in such a way as to undercut any progress they might make?

Remember the big red scare of the nineteen fifties? The FBI was warning everybody about the evils and dangers of communism, J Edgar Hoover even wrote books about it and gave speeches, and devoted most of the FBI resources to fighting it.

Then, come to find out later, the so-called American communist party ended up so heavily infiltrated by FBI agents and informers that they may have at one time constituted a majority of at least some of the various groups.

And you had the same problem, I believe, in some of the labor movements. It took violent insurrections in some cases (such as the coal miners of Appalachaia) to overcome the oppossition to the movement.

This sounds promising, but I'm just pointing out that they should be aware of these pitfalls, which maybe they addressed. I haven't had time to read the entire post yet, so maybe it is addressed, if not, it should be pointed out.

beatroot said...

What we are saying is that neither of these two forces actually represents people.

Bull. The US and most of its allies are democracies. We can change the course of events. Unfortunately we don’t have the politics to be able to do it – ‘Third Camp’ included.

In the conflict between the two in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, it is people who are actually sacrificed.

The situation in those three countries are all completely different and they are not just a conflict between ‘Islamic terrorism’ and the US.

The conflict in Afghanistan – in its present form – has been going on since the Soviets left. It’s a conflict between different groups within Afghanistan, some of which are Islamist. The US is supporting the same side as the Soviets did. But the ‘Taliban’ - which I suppose is what he means by ‘Islamic terrorists’ are a shifting bunch of war lords changing sides mainly for money and influence, not religious motives. That’s Afghanistan.

”. None of the two poles represent people in Iran, in Iraq, or elsewhere in the world. They merely represent different camps of the ruling classes.

So what about the people who risked their lives to vote in Iraq? They did that because they want to change their circumstances. They are doing so not in circumstances of their own choosing, but that goes for all of us.

This might be the ‘Third Camp but it full of the same tired old sloganizing of the dinosaur left.

MarxistFromLebanon said...


ever since Saddam was ousted, the United States created a vacuum and followed a policy to divide Iraq into three parts that is now dragging Iraq into a civil war. As marxists over here, we sadly expected that Iraq was going to head towards a civil war.

Democracy is when the people are being emancipated to know what is their rights and not just go vote. If it is simply voting, then Lebanon has been democractic since 1926.

Great post from our comrade from Iran.


Craig Bardo said...

There is a tendancy on the left (Marxists included) to equate two different, even opposing forces, where no such equivalent exists. For example, the New York Yankees may play the Little League champions, but no one suggests that they are equal. Further, characterizing US action as imperialism stretches credulity. Empire suggests that there is at least a ruling class - as in the monarchy of the former British empire or the politburo of the former Soviet empire. These two thoughts in combination are what is wrong with the premise of the Third Camp.

Islamist aggression can't be morally equated with U.S. defensive action (I concede that an arguement may be offered regarding Iraq, although I would not agree) and despite the rhetoric from the left, there is no permanent ruling class in America - if there were Bill Clinton never would have been President.

I do give the interviewee credit for acknowledging that democracy, however unevenly practiced, is superior to theocracy, especially as is practiced by Persia and formerly by the Taliban/islamists.

Ultimately the arguement fails for the Third Camp in my mind, because of the assertion that "the people" don't know what's best for them or what they need. They fail to answer how this is fundamentally different than what Khomeni sought to achieve sans Allah and their twisted interpretation of the Koran. One non clerical group of elites who knows what's best for "the people" replacing a clerical group of elites who know what's best for "the people."

No thanks.

beatroot said...

ever since Saddam was ousted, the United States created a vacuum and followed a policy to divide Iraq into three parts that is now dragging Iraq into a civil war.

It was always was three different parts until the British created Iraq. So of course when its invaded it is going to split back into three bits. Good reason not to invade it.

As marxists over here, we sadly expected that Iraq was going to head towards a civil war.

How ‘as marxists’ would you know there was going to be a civil war?

Democracy is when the people are being emancipated to know what is their rights and not just go vote…

Are you saying that people are so stupid they don’t know their rights?

sonia said...


Are you saying that people are so stupid they don’t know their rights?

Beatroot, this is what Marxism and Communism is all about - an elite of 'enlightened' party members making decisions for 'people not emancipated to know what are their rights'. That's why Communism is so evil and has to be fought against at all costs. When Marxists and Communists win, once prosperous countries are turned into economic basket cases. It's like a plague, a virus, that has to be wiped out before it can wipe out all of humanity...

Frank Partisan said...

CB: The argument that Islamism, is tiny next US imperialism, as a little league vs big league analogy, is the argument used on the left, to not be critical of Islamism.

Pagan: My FBI file, said I was going to lead a race riot, at an annual Minneapolis summer parade. It didn't matter that I was not at the parade. Agents gave themselves away, by advocating adventurous tactics.

beatroot: Beet is spelled with two Es. I like the third force position, because in Iraq, it labels the insurgency as essentially reactionary. It is active against Islamist oppression in Iran.

Afghanistan has an Islamist constitution as does Iraq. I agree each case is different. The writers of the manifesto stand up absolutely for secularism, in all situations.

I've discussed with Maryam, some disagreements with the third force position. I do like how clear it is about secularism and humanism.

Sonia: What prosperous country are you discussing?

Marxist: After Saddam was overthrown, his army was disbanded, instead of being used to bring order. The US made the choice, of supporting one religious group, over another.

It seems it has been quite awhile, since Iraq had an election.

Craig Bardo said...


I wasn't as clear as I might have been. The third camp set up a dichotomy - One pole being US imperialism - the other being radical islam. I contend that the supposed US imperialism is not that but defensive, extends rights to people far more than any incidental restriction of rights and that in any case should not be set up as a polar opposite of islamism. Islamism is inherently evil, while what the US does is not.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Again it is not about radical islam CB, it was created by the USA.

Second Beetroot, yes we foresaw the vacuum and some of us went as far as analysing how support of certain groups over others in order to trigger such a war.

Third, your democracy Sonia is worse than Stalinism or Hitler himself since you act as God without knowing what is going on. You guys are no better than the "Radcal Islamists" because you are as extreme and racists as they are. You think the D word is the salvation disregarding the South North relations, and everything rotating around "evil Islam".

I got news for ya, Allah is God of Christianity just the word Allah is in Arabic... deal with it.

Sonia, for once do your homework and research. But of course for a person who thinks N. Korea is more hell than Palestine because it is labeled Communistic (without knowing the differences) then I do not know why bother with a non-academic person. What if we say it is the Christian extremists under the influence of Zionists? Again: self-critique is a must.

No war but class war and long live the emancipation of the workers from their tyrannts (and all forms of religious institutions)

Hasta La Victoria Siempre

MarxistFromLebanon said...

oh one more thing CB:
Marx once said: Religion is the opium to the masses

Seems to me you are a victim of such opium like your extremist buddies, after all extremism is the same when one person refutes to check the other.

And Sonia, your democracy is starving 2 billion around the world, exluding the fact 1.2 billion living below standards what WHO redeems as acceptable. So yes go read Edward Said's Orientalism and watch the documentary "The Corporation"... they sure address the extremists like you for all time and all generations.

As Castillo once said: "One day the simple people will come, those not mentioned in the history books..."

Hasta La Victoria Siempre

(Now CB and Sonia can open a post about me again how EVIL I am for demanding the abolishment of poverty and workers getting their rights. Actually Sonia if it weren;t for the marxist emancipatory movements in the 19th Century and early 20th Century, you wouldn't be able to practice your art. CB still being objective as thinking Hezbollah can only hord 100 activist like you did with your "major breakthrough".

Yes to the adventurous, yes to the revolutionaries.


Graeme said...

"So what about the people who risked their lives to vote in Iraq?"

I heard a lady from Iraq say that they were told they would not recieve their paychecks if they didn't vote. Don't know how much truth there is to that, I haven't heard it from anyone else, but it is definitely possible.

troutsky said...

This thread certainly highlights the difference between those who have class consciousness and those who do not.Those who don't understand the difference between bourgeois democracy and participatory democracy will always think of the US as a liberal force in the world which occasionally makes mistakes. I for one remember a popular slogan of the Vietnam war era: "Kill them all and let God sort them out!" To my way of thinking, the US is a State within a broader capitalist, hegemonic order which is both imperialist AND Christian(ist)in much the same sense as political Islam is Islamist.There is little comparison when it comes to the economic or military power of the two but Islamists do hold control of one very powerful resource, oil.

I do not ,however, believe the argument for a third camp need be built on the premise that" all humans share the same values".We have enough in common to form a system which respects the differences, which mediates the differences, which honors and thrives on the differences as long as all our rights include enough to eat, housing, education etc. and not the right to waste and exploit.

sonia said...


difference between those who have class consciousness and those who do not

'Class consciousness' is usually a code word for 'blindly obeying a tyrannical oppressor who exterminates the rich and the poor alike'. Followers of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot had a very refined sense of 'class consciousness'. All tyrants love poor people. They are too weak and hungry to resist them. So they make sure everybody is poor and dependent on the state to survive.

the difference between bourgeois democracy and participatory democracy

'Participatory democracy' is usually a code word for 'voting for people approved by the Politburo'.

Frank Partisan said...

Stalinists particularly Maoist, don't mention class consciousness. They say, "the people", rather than anything pertaining to class.

I actually haven't heard the words participatory democracy, since early SDS.

Agnes said...

Ren, there was also a "socialist democracy", that was often used instead of "participatory democracy". Never difficult to play with terms...

The one I loved most was "original democracy". It was original, no porblem with the originality....

And by the way, while I am for it - democracy - people often tend to forget that in itself has no real positive connotation. The meaning they attach to it is , and it nis used in that sense mostly. One should take care when using it though.

IG said...

The word Democracy in what I am hearing is the right to vote. Plain and simple to most people. But those people still dont understand that true democracy isnt just deciding who is elected into office. Why dont they understand? Because the ruling class has brainwashed them since birth to believe that what we have in AmeriKKKa is democracy. The ideology of most people is that of the class that rules them so they havent developed class consciuosness in order to understand that this brutal Dictatorship of the Capitalists is not Democracy.

"despite the rhetoric from the left, there is no permanent ruling class in America - if there were Bill Clinton never would have been President." You really dont think that Clinton was a advocate of the ruling class cb? Bill Clinton destroyed more social services in the ghettos than Reagan, Bush or Bush Jr. Bill Clinton starved millions of Iraqis when he embargoed that country and he initiated the Patriot Act by signing the 1996 Counter-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.

The thing is that the ruling class cant always decided the best way to go forward in their lust for money and power. so they use their two party system to decided for them. No matter whose in office its the rich capitalists that fund every single politician running so that those politicians can pay them back with laws that favor the rich while the workers always stay at the bottom waiting for scraps from the politicians.

Thats why Democracy can only stop being a oxymoron when the working class decides not only the politicians but how much we should get payed wages and our work schedules and how to run the economy and basically anything that affects our lives. Democracy can only be reached in its true form under a planned economy. Marxism is not elitist it is the philosophy of the masses and the way to liberation. Capitalism is elitist because those who have the most Capital control the lives of their wage slaves(the workers). Marxism puts the power into the hands of the people and also ends the need for the truly "evil" idea of religion. Capitalism gives power to those who can best effectively buy representation in the government. Capitalism stands for the few oppressing and robbing the many while Marxism stands for equality and is the anti-thesis to oppression.

Viva La Causa!!!
Power to the People!!!
Hasta La Victoria Siempre!!!

David Broder said...


You use the words "Marxism" and "Communism" to mean Stalinism, and ignore the Marxist opposition to such oppression as was carried out in China/USSR etc.

There were workers' councils in the early USSR and in the Paris Commune. This was real, living, participatory democracy. It bears no comparison to what happened later, after the bureaucratic coup.

What about people like Trotsky who stood up for democratic working-class power?

Wordsbody said...

Hi Renegade,

Molara here. Apologies, I've been away. Yes, you may 'do' the said post on your blog - of course.


sonia said...

David Broder,

There were workers' councils in the early USSR and in the Paris Commune. This was real, living, participatory democracy. It bears no comparison to what happened later, after the bureaucratic coup.

In Paris Commune, yes. But the Paris Commune was defeated. Many leftist then draw the conclusion that true democracy was too weak and ineffective, and decided that a dictatorship was the only way to achieve 'true' socialism. One of those leftists was Lenin.

There was true democracy (soviets, meaning councils) in Russia until October of 1917, when Lenin staged his coup and imposed a dictatorship. First a dictatorship of the party, then a dictatorship of a Central Committee, then a dictatorship of the Politburo and finally, under Stalin, a dictatorship of one single person.

Ironically, the country itself was named SOVIET Union, in honor of the once-democratic councils that were turned into rubber-stamps of the new regime...

You can read about it here.

Red Bolivarian,

I can see that the Leninist and Stalinist traditions of totalitarian dictatorship and oppression are alive and well, at least in your head. Don't worry, you are not the first to suffer from this disease, and you won't be the last. Once, I too believed everything you believe. Some day, you will see how wrong you are, like I did...

Frank Partisan said...

Welcome Red Bolivian. I hope you'll return, for the discussions here.

Sonia: I'm sure Red Bolivian can speak for himself. He is not Stalinist. He comes from the same branch of Trotskyism, that influenced me (James Cannon).

Agnes said...

"Many leftist then draw the conclusion that true democracy was too weak and ineffective, and decided that a dictatorship was the only way" - not only "leftists", Sonia, and even today the "father o9f the nation" or papa tsar or Stalin, i.e. the Fuhrer model is very strong, even today. However as fascism grew stronger, that was the recipe, "the will of the people", (what a paradox), and a very similar model was imposed (see Germany re unemployment, etc). 1917 was fascinating from this respect, yes.

IG said...

What RE said is true. I am a trotskyist. I came into socialism through Chicano Nationalism and the Black and Brown Power Movement. The ideas of Comrade George Jackson initiated my belief in communism because, as Jackson said, capitalism is the reason why the hoods are in the conditions that they are in.

For 500+ years we've been struggling since this fight has been on since the first white man step on to the Americas in 1492. I am a Chicano(Hispanic-american) that was born in the gutters of the U.S. in a place called East Los Angeles, Califaztlan.

Hello to you Sonia, sorry for just droppin in all of a sudden. I've got my own blog at
if yall wanna check it out. Peace.

libhom said...

Such a movement undermines the Bush regime's efforts to start endless wars, wars that are highly profitable for their cronies. No wonder the corporate media are ignoring it.

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