racketeerism and parasitism

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Alf
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Aug 7 2010 20:23

I agree as well, let's close this thread. Certainly these questions will be examined elsewhere, but not right now and not on this particular thread, I think.

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Aug 7 2010 23:48
Felix Frost wrote:
888 wrote:
Small discussion circles - fuck that - I'd rather join the Republican Party. Discussion circles are completely idealistic anyway, even if the racket theory were true theory can only come from action, not from observing from outside. So if the racket theory is true it's better to become a nihilistic hedonist and enjoy life than form a discussion circle.

I'm rather confused by the logic here: Why would forming a discussion circle stop you from taking part in action? Or for that matter, why would forming a discussion circle stop you from becoming a nihilistic hedonist and enjoy life?

Well my understanding of the quote I was responding to is that to avoid becoming a racket you are basically limited to discussion circles - any other form of activity is bound to end up diverting the working class down some false path

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Aug 20 2010 00:04

Noa Rodman, Post 154 Aug 7 2010

Quote:
All joking aside, I agree McIver, so maybe a last attempt to get an answer to my questions. What points do the existing writings on parasitism put forward and what is the argument? Likewise for Palinorc's text on rackets.

Noa, I have thought a lot about it but there's nothing new to say about 'parasitism', it was never my concept.

Continue to question the ICC on 'parasitism', but you have posed the relevant questions here and answered many of them perfectly well. Regarding 'rackets', not much more to add. There was an observable phenomenon in political life and society as a whole that required understanding and analysis. I'm talking about political communities, voluntary associations, that were formed for reasons not made clear. To me, the actions of these associations were irrational and destructive mostly to their members. The goals mostly contradicted the means, and there was a process of sham (using Jules Henry's term) that covered up these discrepancies. Either those conflictive situations in groups are 'life' and irrelevant pseudo-problems, or they are much more pervasive than we think.

By identifying the mechanisms of domination, perhaps the irrationality can be minimised or disabled, and lessons learned. The individuals caught in rackets aren't evil or stupid, yet they unconsciously perpetuate an alienated mode of being that doesn't contribute to honest thinking and practice. More than that one can't say, I'm not offering other 'revolutionary alternatives'. I don't think Camatte/Collu, Adorno or even Robert Michels (in Political Parties, 1912) were offering 'counter' solutions to what they were describing. I think those changes will come from much deeper and broader social transformations.

Now, to me the excerpts below, from the ICC's membership conditions, confirm the barracks life of a modern Bolshevik racket. This is their 'argument' -- not something they would describe as an 'argument for a racket', but unfortunately it turns out to be like that. Why exactly? As I say above, one must leave that to further research. Not all political rackets are the same, it just happens that the study of this one has been more accessible.

It's indicative that the words 'comrade' and 'militant' are interchangeable. Sadly, the job description fits a fanatic weekend-warrior and an obedient corporate cog.

Notice also the axiom about being 'engendered' by the working class, a claim that can't be proven or falsified. This cultish claim goes something like this: we are an emanation of the proletariat because we say so. Also, Marx and Lukács said so, when they proclaimed that we communists are the advanced vanguard of the proletariat. No further proof? Well, we sacrifice our evenings and weekends to the communist cause, we are semi-professional revolutionaries, what more proof do you want?

This Jesuitical description of a 'militant' and his duty of obedience to the 'collectivity' is not only from Lenin's 1902-3 cookery books, but has the military whiff of Osip Pianitsky's Bolshevising manuals. The Zinoviev-Kamenev-Stalin troika of 1923-25 dominated the Comintern when Pianitsky's apparatus was in power. This Comintern functionary was a Zinoviev lieutenant who specialised in setting up clandestine and 'dual organisations' for the Comintern. Pianitsky's apparat funded and trained Communist parties outside Russia, and closely liaised with the GPU. It seems that Albert Treint, Chirik's mentor in the French CP, applied Pianitsky's methods in the French CP. This meant the imposition of militarised discipline and the purging of oppositionists, mostly Trotskyists, before the United Opposition of Zinoviev-Kamenev-Trotsky. The Chirik iconography doesn't say much about Chirik's association with Treint at this time. More historical research is needed on the Bolshevisation imposed by Pianitsky on the communist parties (and by Treint on the French CP). These techniques of domination survive, unrecognised, in the language and practice of left communism. The ICC excerpts below support this observation.

It is not clear why Chirik split with Treint in the 30s. It's very unlikely that it was because of Treint's past bureaucratic actions. The ICC's hagiography of Chirik says: However, after defending a minority position against the rise of opportunism, both men [Treint and Chirik] left the Ligue in May 1932, and helped to found the Fraction Communiste de Gauche (known as the Bagnolet Group). In 1933, this organisation split and Marc broke with Treint, who had begun to defend a position on the USSR similar to the one later developed by Chaulieu [Cardan] and Burnham (“Bureaucratic Socialism”). http://en.internationalism.org/ir/065/marc-01

This is patently ignorant. Chaulieu and Burnham didn't develop a position called 'bureacratic socialism' but Treint seems to have called the USSR 'state capitalism'. Quite different from the apologia 'workers' state' of Trotskyism and the Italian Fraction at the time. Treint was at last seeing reality, that the USSR was another class despotism. But it seems that Chirik, a loyal Bolshevik, couldn't stomach this, to him the USSR remained something defensible, a 'workers' state'. Was this the reason for the split? If it was, Treint was certainly onto something, not his apprentice. But the hagiography needs a hero cult, a founding leader who was always correct even when not, that's when obfuscation and vagueness paper over the historical cracks.

An aside: James P Cannon, one of the founders of American Trotskyism, was also a Zinoviev creature, according to Max Shachtman, who knew. Cannon was a ruthless and hands-on apparatchik, his example inspired manipulative sociopaths like James Robertson, the founder of the US Spartacists. This is mentioned to suggest that the industrial output of Leninist rackets started years before Stalinism, and that the Comintern 'oppositionists', including the Trotskyists and left communists, shared in the justification of a counter-revolution.

Now, sorry for this long intro, here are the excerpts. To me, they read like retro-upgrades from the Pianitsky era:

... the first condition for joining the ICC is that the comrades who pose their candidature have to show their understanding of, and full agreement with, our programmatic principles.

However, the degree of their agreement with our political positions is not in itself sufficient to become a member of the ICC. Candidates must also show their will to defend the positions of the organisation, each according to his or her own personal capacities. We don't demand of our militants that everyone has to be a good orator, know how to write a leaflet or articles for the press. What's important is that the ICC as a whole can carry out its responsibilities and that each militant is ready to give the best they can to allow the organisation to assume fully the tasks for which the working class has engendered it.

Militants of the ICC are not passive spectators, nor sheep bleating behind a 'bureaucratic leadership' as our detractors claim [get that, protozoa!]. But they do have definite duties the organisation. First of all by paying their dues (because without money the organisation can't meet the costs of printing its press, hiring rooms, paying for travel, etc.) They have the duty to take part in meetings, in interventions, in the distribution of the press etc., and in the internal debates of the organisation: defending their disagreements while respecting the rules of functioning established by our statutes.

These duties are not new. Already in 1903, in the debate on paragraph 1 of the statutes of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party this question of "who is a member of the party" set the Bolsheviks against the Mensheviks. For the Bolsheviks, only those who took an active part in the life of the organisation could be considered members of the party, whereas for the Mensheviks it was enough to be in agreement with the positions of the organisation and give it their support to be considered as militants. The position of the Mensheviks was firmly opposed by Lenin in his book One Step Forward, Two Steps Back. For Lenin, this was a purely opportunist vision, marked by petty bourgeois conceptions. Lenin's detractors have often claimed that his position was 'authoritarian' and was part of his aim to establish the power of a small minority. In fact the opposite is the case: it is the opportunist vision defended by the Mensheviks that contains that danger. 'Rank and file' militants who have little conviction and little political formation are going to be much more inclined to allow the 'leaders' to think and decide on their behalf than militants who have a deep understanding of the positions of the organisation and are actively involved in defending them. It is the conception of the Mensheviks which at best leads to a small minority carrying out its own personal, adventurist policies behind the back of the organisation and in opposition to it.

On this question of "who is member of the party" the ICC remains faithful to the conception of the Bolsheviks. This is why we make a very clear distinction between militants of the organisation and sympathisers who share our positions and give us their support.

A fair number of the comrades who take part with us in public interventions, help us to distribute the press and give us financial help are not yet ready to be fully involved in militant activity, which demands a lot of energy and perseverance in long-term, regular work. To join the ICC as a militant means being able to put this activity at the centre of one's life. Commitment to a revolutionary organisation is not a kind of hobby. It requires of each a militant tenacity, a capacity to stand firm against wind and rain, to avoid being demoralised by the ups and downs of the class struggle. In other words, it requires a profound confidence in the historic perspective of the proletariat. Revolutionary militancy also demands a loyal, disinterested dedication to the proletarian cause, a real will to defend the precious instrument of the organisation whenever it is attacked, denigrated and slandered by the forces of the bourgeoisie and their accomplices in the parasitic milieu [my emphasis -- this remarkable diatribe was noticed by revol68 -- 'you can't parody this shit' -- post 12, Sept 16 2006]
http://libcom.org/forums/thought/tired-of-the-icc]

In order to become a militant of the ICC, you also have to have the ability to integrate yourself into a collective framework, to bring solidarity between comrades to life and to banish petty bourgeois individualism, which is expressed in the spirit of competition, jealousy or rivalry towards one's comrades in the struggle, all of which are veritable diseases of the ideology of the ruling class.

To become a militant of a revolutionary organisation, what is needed, as Bordiga put it [not to mention Stalin and Mao], is strength of conviction and a will to action, which includes the permanent combat against the weight of capitalist ideology within the organisation.
http://en.internationalism.org/joinicc

You can't get a better self-description, of a militant racket.

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Aug 20 2010 12:29

Not so much a response to your post, as some afterthoughts to the issue of para/rackets.

I finally read Eduard Fuchs' appendix to Mehring's biography of Marx; he writes that if anything Marx's mistake was to have not responded sooner to the danger of Bakunin! Mehring didn't know yet of the letters of Lassalle/Bakunin to Bismarck/Czar. Fuchs explains that in the time of the second international anarchism wasn't such an issue, so that its understandable that Mehring downplayed it. I don't think Mehring's account contradicts the ICC's account, and just read some of Mehring's comments about anarchism. Fuchs (just echoing Mehring, really) writes that all sides in the International played dirty, so there's enough blame to go around, sort of speak. My criticism of the ICC's account still stands with regards to their rather harsh dismissal of Mehring, who just raised some basically common sense points (which I mentioned in post 82). But this is 'just' about historical accuracy - the same thing the letter to Palinorc's text does; point out somethings left out (or distorted) in the ICC's account of the case of Radek.
My main criticism is that the theses don't explain what parasitism is; and I see that its defenders do not or cannot explain the theoretical contribution of the theses ('look out for parasitism!' is not much of an explanation).

A couple of points on rackets. Folks like Palinorc, Sam Moss and others aren't saying anything new or particularly revolutionary. Most of the aspects they highlight were already said and addressed by people like Lukacs in his essay on organization (he was of course a student of Simmel and Weber).

Second point; of some of these theorists it can be rightfully said 'doth protest too much'. What do I mean by this? Take Palinorc's text where writes:

Quote:
But joining a racket is usually exhilarating at the beginning, when the new recruit is convinced that his participation will shape history and that he’s joining a collective venture to help humanity. He also feels that he’s found a heroic community of like-minded comrades. Joining a racket has this hidden libidinal dimension, which explains the enormous attachment and zealotry of the members. At the beginning, a recruit is unaware that he’ll be persuaded to lose most of his individuality and free time, and that the false community of the racket will only accentuate his alienation.

This was most likely Palinorc's OWN expectation, and he's disappointed. It's good that the ICC warns against these kind of false hopes. You have to be incredibly naive to expect an overcoming of 'alienation' by joining a communist organization, and yes surprise surprise, you sacrifice your 'free time' to it; it's not about self-realization of your individuality.

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Aug 20 2010 16:16
Noa Rodman wrote:
It's good that the ICC warns against these kind of false hopes. You have to be incredibly naive to expect an overcoming of 'alienation' by joining a communist organization, and yes surprise surprise, you sacrifice your 'free time' to it; it's not about self-realization of your individuality.

Noa, are you saying it's necessary to join a 'communist organisation' to 'make the revolution'? Is the latter impossible, in your opinion, without the growth of the former? You imply some tacit support for the ICC's 'mission' in your brief summary - 'It's good that the ICC warns against these... false hopes'. What you seem to be saying - 'You have to be incredibly naive to expect an overcoming of 'alienation' by joining a communist organization, and yes surprise surprise, you sacrifice your 'free time' to it; it's not about self-realization of your individuality' - is that you can fight alienation with alienated means.

PS - I won't be able to respond for a while...

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Aug 20 2010 16:26
Noa wrote:
Mehring didn't know yet of the letters of Lassalle/Bakunin to Bismarck/Czar.

I think it was the Bolsheviks who revealed Bakunin's letters to the Czar - but can't see what real relevance to the Marx/Bakunin debate they'd have, except as a convenient attempt to try to embarass/slur Bakunin for his 'weakness' in his years in the Czar's dungeons. But "Mehring joined the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) in the early 1890s" so it seems unlikely he'd remain unaware of the Lassalle/Bismark letters when they were known of in the SPD scene years before;

Quote:
"...the proof of this came into our possession — that Lassalle had in fact betrayed the party. He had entered into a formal contract with Bismarck (with no guarantees of any kind in his hands, of course). At the end of September 1864, he was to go to Hamburg and there (together with the crazy Schramm and the Prussian police spy Marr) ‘force’ Bismarck to incorporate Schleswig-Holstein, i.e. to proclaim such in the name of the ‘workers’, etc., in return for which Bismarck promised universal suffrage and a few spurious socialist measures. It is a pity that Lassalle was unable to play this farce through to its conclusion! It would have made him appear deuced foolish and an utter gull! And it would have put paid to all such attempts for ever!" http: (Marx to Kugelmann, 23 Feb 1865) //www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1865/letters/65_02_23.htm

A footnote in a book version states "From certain Reichstag debates (after 1870) it became evident that Bismark and Lasalle had met and exchanged letters. Some years ago the letters that passed between them were discovered among the secret papers of the Prussian Home Ministry."

Noa wrote:
Fuchs explains that in the time of the second international anarchism wasn't such an issue

Still quite an issue, as the only significant rival radical current;

Quote:
The anarchists were not prevented from participating in the first congress (or rather two congresses) held in Paris in 1889. A split in the ranks of the French Socialists had resulted in the simultaneous holding of two international gatherings: one called by the French Marxists (called "Guesdists," after their leader Jules Guesde, a former anarchist), which was attended by delegates from practically all countries; the other called by the followers of Paul Brousse, also a former anarchist, who had become the leader of the extremely moderate "Possibilists: " The latter gathering was attended by representatives of the British trade unions, among others. The anarchists had delegates at both assemblies. They were not bothered by the Socialists, who were preoccupied with the problem of two rival international Socialist congresses.

However, violent battles were fought at the three subsequent congresses of the Second International. At the Brussels Congress of 1891, only Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis, founder of the Socialist Party of Holland, who had become an anarchist, was given an opportunity to speak on two questions of tactics that separated the anarchists from the Socialists: participation in parliamentary elections, which the anarchists rejected, and the general strike to prevent war, which the anarchists advocated but which the Socialists refused to endorse. Two years later, at the 1893 International Socialist Congress in Zurich, the anarchists were forcibly ejected, and a resolution was passed to the effect that in order to be admitted to future congresses, a delegate had to recognize the necessity of using the ballot as a tactical weapon. This, however, did not prevent the anarchists from appearing again at the next congress, which was held in London in 11896. This time they came not as delegates of anarchist groups, but as representatives of the labor unions of France and Holland, which at that time were under anarchist influence.

Their admittance to the Congress through a back door, as it were, was possible because the Socialists had sent an invitation to all Socialist parties and, with no strings attached, to all labor unions. At the time, the British trade unions were wholly uncommitted politically, and the Socialists were eager to impress the world with the fact that labor organizations of all countries participated in their congresses. Hitherto they had avoided stating outright that anarchists would not be admitted to their congresses, apparently believing that such a statement would give undeserved publicity to people they despised as cranks and nuisances.

However, the vitality of the anarchists, who had been instrumental in the formation of the French Confederation Generale du Travail (CGT), gave them pause. Anarchism, in its syndicalist version, which used the Marxist class-struggle vocabulary familiar to the Socialist rank and file, threatened to become a really dangerous competitor. Hence the Socialists assembled at the London Congress adopted a decision expressly stating that anarchists would be refused admission, which meant that the doors would be closed to them even if they had credentials from bona-fide labor unions. After that the anarchists no longer attempted to participate in international Socialist congresses.
(The Anarchist Tradition - M Nomad; in The Revolutionary Internationals 1864-1943)

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Aug 20 2010 18:47

@ ret

I should have said Mehring didn't know of the content of the letters

I also probably misrepresented Fuchs' brief comments on the issue of anarchism at the time of the 2nd I; unfortunately his text isn't online.

@Wellclose

No, Palinorc and Mciver use 'alienation' in the common sense understanding of loneliness, friendship relations, etc. My point was that this isn't what a communist organization' existence is for, which of course doesn't mean that those things aren't .. wow, I have a déjà vu

nastyned
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Aug 20 2010 20:58
mciver wrote:
the ICC's membership conditions

eek

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Aug 21 2010 10:27

Ned, it is not from any 'membership conditions' at all. It is from an article 'How do you join the ICC' on the website.

Devrim

mciver
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Aug 21 2010 10:30

Noa Rodman Post 158, Aug 20 2010

Ingram exposed the underlying aim of the ICC's 'parasitism' in 1997:

Quote:
Quite simply this doesn’t exist. It is a wholly original invention of the ICC. The ICC use it as a club with which to bash an unholy amalgam of people critical of them, seeking to tar them with the same brush in a typically (for the ICC) Stalinist manner in the hope that this parody of Marxist analysis will confuse their readers sufficient to get them to accept this farrago; a mythical category invented by the ICC to enable them to label anyone they dislike or who threatens their collective delusion. Of course they didn’t invent the amalgam technique, they are merely peddling at a more mundane level what Stalin raised to a fine art in the Thirties. Just as Stalin attacked Trotsky by arguing that he was doing the same as the fascists in attacking Stalinism so too the ICC tars every opponent with the same brush. Trotsky was therefore a fascist tool of Hitler and the Mikado. Ingram is a Mason!?!

What have I to do with unknown Spanish leftists, South American guerrilaists, Freemasons, real and imaginary or East London Ley Line benders? The answer is, nothing at all! But the critique of the ICC currently being carried out by proletarian revolutionaries can, the ICC hopes, be obscured by amalgamation with such esoteric or capitalist entities. It is utterly imperative that I be seen as having an intimate relationship (orchestrated by the State. no less) with these people. none of whom I have ever met. Sadly this relationship exists only in the deranged communal fantasy of the ICC collective mind.

http://libcom.org/history/open-letter-international-communist-current

As Ingram proved, 'Parasitism' is the technique of the amalgam. It has an unfortunately long, seedy tradition in the workers' movement and in the Bolshevik counter-revolution. That whole threads have been taken up exposing this trash shows how insidious this ICC sham has been.

You have given these theses unwarranted credibility, by assuming they are a serious 'theory'. Although you have explored the issue of calumnies against Bakunin, you haven't questioned what were the ICC's intentions against ex-members, like Ingram, Chénier or JJ. Or against Subversion, Luther Blissett, Henri Simon and others. Why is that? The 'examples' of Bakunin, Radek and others were just 'history' candy-floss, to give the campaigns against current 'parasites' a learned and authoritative gloss. But c'mon, the guys who wrote the theses are ignorant, slovenly and stupid, you don't take 12 years to produce such Scheisse. You have gone along with this sham, even if your 'verdict' seems to distance yourself from the ICC's Stalinist fables.

I doubt that saying something 'new' or 'revolutionary' (worthy of Pod znamenem marksizma?) motivated Sam Moss's or Palinorc's opinions about groups and rackets. What motivates individuals to express their beliefs I leave to self-reflection, friends or to psychologists (not lay interns). Your comments on Palinorc are bemusing. You assume 'most likely' that people like Palinorc naively expected to 'overcome' their 'alienation' by joining a racket (you diplomatically don't call a spade a spade, but a 'communist organisation'). But you haven't met Palinorc, or anybody else who claims loss of individuality -- or burgled property!-- by a racket, so your 'most likely' little jab at Palinorc lacks some basic honesty and credibility. Why is it 'most likely' that 'disappointed' folks like Palinorc felt 'alienation' and 'naively' hoped to end it? This isn't obvious or relevant at all, the reductionism reminds one of Devrim's crochetings about 'trauma', or of the ICC interns' own 'insanity' or 'hysteria'.

Let's approach this from another angle. Let's take the posts of ICC sympathisers/contacts, like soyonstout and devoration1. One perhaps senses some exhilaration and even joy at participating in what they perceive as the struggle for the emancipation of humanity via communism. No? But what attracted them to the ICC in the first place? A cold sense of historical and theoretical duty? A hidden Lutheran or Jesuitical thirst for self-obliteration under the banner of the proletariat? Or a bolt from the blue (again the little greys!) made them see the light? If they felt the need to transcend separation, loneliness and anguish at the state of the world, like many who join religious cults, were they naive, will they protest too much when they wake up? But in spite of your coy dismissal, this phenomenon of mass recruitment by irrational sects is real, not anecdotes invented by a few individuals.

But perhaps one is wrong here, it may be that what you imply is true, that the 'joining a communist organisation' has nothing to do with a sensitive individuality (a petty-bourgeois trait, no doubt), or a naive attempt to transcend alienation (assuming one feels something called this). It has all to do with, no surprise-surprise, zestfully sacrificing your free time, subordinating your will to the steely Party Spirit (read: obedience to the top egocrats), fulfilling humourless and dutiful militant tasks, in sum, giving your all to the Great Cause. Fine, but doesn't the 'militant' job description sound just like a wanted ad for office staff in a hellhole? Or rules for an OAP's street gang? Whatever, the targets seem to be dull, militarised baboons who don't mind the 'abandon all hope...' big print when they sign their life-contract with your friendly global racket.

You seem to approve of this; "It's good that the ICC warns against these kind of false hopes." I take it that for you joining a racket means doubling one's alienation, abolishing what's left of your personality, abandoning false hopes, in other words, it means sacrificing one's humanity for a practice planned by Stalinist androids, or by reanimated editors of Unter dem Banner des Marxismus. Perhaps this is the most likely reason why you have rejected the reality of rackets (never mind the theory). Why focus on, even less resist, something that's natural and commendable, something almost as objectively rapturous as enlisting under Marshal Rokossovsky's Army in Berlin (had you been another little Engel in 1945)? As long as it's under something, militancy is good, like under the banner of Marxism, or under the goodness of the ICC. If you want to beat alienation, you protest too much, forget it. Doubling or triplicating it, is possible and good. So, fully warned, join an apparat or enlist in some alternative army.

Noteworthy that in 1920 Lukács assumed that an inner moral and spiritual transformation must be possible in members of the Communist Party. He advocated a similar 'illuminated' fanatic as the ICC, but in Lukács the spiritual transformation of communists was an instrumental requirement to reach out and educate the 'unconscious' but revolutionary elements (syndicalists, anarchists) to become 'true communists'. Lukács didn't use the word alienation here, but it's implicit that he saw the need to end separations among members, to achieve solidarity. To him, human beings under capitalism had been spiritually corrupted, depraved and indoctrinated with egoism, so the Communists, by incarnating the realm of freedom, must cleanse themselves to become the spiritual vanguard of the class. In the ICC there is no such inner transformation needed, instead, tenacity, a profound confidence in the historic perspective of the proletariat, and above all a relentless will to defend the organisation against parasites, will do.

Lukács:

The Communist Party must be the primary incarnation of the realm of freedom; above all, the spirit of comradeliness, of true solidarity, and of self-sacrifice must govern everything it does. If it cannot achieve this, or if it does not at least exert itself seriously to put such ideals into practice, the Communist Party will no longer be distinguishable from the other parties, except by virtue of its programme. There is even the danger that this unbridgeable gulf which separates it programmatically from the opportunists and the waverers will gradually become obscured, with the result that it could soon be nothing more than the ‘extreme left wing’ of the ‘workers’ parties’. That in turn would present a further, more immediate danger (already posed in accentuated form by the rhetorical recognition of the Third International by the parties of the centre): namely, that the qualitative distinction between the communists and the other parties would degenerate into a merely quantitative one and in time even disappear altogether. The less a Communist Party puts its ideals into practice both organizationally and spiritually, the less able it will be, not only to counter effectively this widespread inclination to compromise, but also to educate the unconscious but really revolutionary elements (syndicalists, anarchists) to become true communists.

Compromise and disintegration spring from the same source: the inadequate inner transformation of communists themselves. The more the communists (and with and through them the Communist Party) have cleansed themselves of all the dross of capitalist, social-democratic party life, such as bureaucracy, intrigues, social climbing, etc.[all features of an existing racketeering], the more their party solidarity turns into true comradeship and spiritual solidarity – the better able they will be to fulfil their mission. Then and only then will they be in a position to gather revolutionary forces, strengthen the irresolute, rouse the unconscious to consciousness – and push aside and destroy once and for all the scoundrels and the opportunists [During the Hungarian Soviet Republic, it seems, political commissar Lukács ordered the execution of such vermin in May 1919, as a good Trotsky disciple]. The revolutionary period which we now face will be rich in protracted and difficult struggles; it will provide us with countless opportunities for this self-education. Our Russian comrades provide the most instructive example, both in organizational and human terms, that we could wish for. It is high time we began to emulate their example in this country, too.

From The Moral Mission of the Communist Party

http://www.cddc.vt.edu/marxists//archive/lukacs/works/1920/moral-mission.htm

These comparisons serve only this purpose -- that apparats and Leviathans ideologically linked to Bolshevism have served their regressive purpose, and today we live in a very different period, where such 'emanations of the proletariat' are simply impossible. The ongoing contraction of leftist or left communist rackets, even under conditions of chronic economic crisis, suggests that humanity may seek other avenues of self-emancipation.

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Aug 22 2010 22:08
Quote:
It seems that Albert Treint, Chirik's mentor in the French CP, applied Pianitsky's methods in the French CP. This meant the imposition of militarised discipline and the purging of oppositionists, mostly Trotskyists, before the United Opposition of Zinoviev-Kamenev-Trotsky.

I think you also once said Treint was a 'Zinoviete', but its not clear to me what you mean by that. Actually, it was Trotsky who wrote a letter to Treinte telling him of the need to purge the party, see http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1924/ffyci-2/16.htm

I also don't understand how Chirik could be a founding member of the Palestine CP, when he was like 12 years old.

revolut
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Aug 22 2010 22:34
Noa Rodman wrote:
I also don't understand how Chirik could be a founding member of the Palestine CP, when he was like 12 years old.

According the I.C.C.:

Quote:
In 1919 during the civil war, Moldavia was occupied by counter-revolutionary Romanian troops. Marc’s family was under threat from the pogroms (his father was a rabbi), and was forced to flee to Palestine. His brothers and elder sister were among the founders of this country’s Communist Party. Here, in 1921, Marc (still not yet 13 years old) became a militant, entering (or rather helping to found) the Communist Party’s youth organisation.

http://en.internationalism.org/ir/065/marc-01

I understand it says he was a member of the youth organization, not a founding member of the party.

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Aug 22 2010 22:54

It's interesting that 9 years later Trotsky accuses Treinte of parasitism:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1931/09/letter.htm

This is much more pertinent to the splits in the left communist milieu ( beardiest ) than the episode with the Bakuninsts at the IWA

@revolut,

that makes more sense

mciver
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Aug 25 2010 09:56
Quote:
I think you also once said Treint was a 'Zinoviete', but its not clear to me what you mean by that. Actually, it was Trotsky who wrote a letter to Treinte telling him of the need to purge the party, see http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1924/ffyci-2/16.htm

Albert Treint was a fanatical follower of Zinoviev, until the latter's fall from power in the Russian CP. As said on a previous post, during the faction fight to inherit Lenin's mantle, Treint sided with the winning troika of Zinoviev-Kamenev-Stalin. Treint became an ardent anti-Trotskyist, attacking Boris Souvarine viciously, who had expressed his support for Trotsky.

Details of Chirik's support and participation in Treint's Zinovievist-Stalinist manoeuvres are not known, or at least the sources are not available in English. Chirik was then in his late teens and early 20s. The ICC have never delved deeply into Chirik's organisational behaviour and record during his youthful association with Treint. That is a puzzling omission. But the ICC's litanies and strictures about 'the duties' of militants' sound very much like the hymns of Bolshevisation, ie, ordures from the Zinovievist-Treint school.

Trotsky's ignorant rant against Souvarine's 'parasitism' is irrational as it's spiteful. Trotsky was incapable of replying to Souvarine's pointed criticisms of Bolshevism. Souvarine's Stalin (1935) remains a worthwhile read. But Trotsky's amalgam with 'Souvarinism' doesn't work because Treint had been an irreconcilable enemy of Souvarine for years. It would have made more sense if Trotsky had criticised Treint's past Zinovievist despotism. Why he opted for calling Treint 'mad' (in another reference) or as infected by 'the bacillus of Souvarinism' is unclear. But it's good that you pointed this use of 'parasite' by Trotsky -- it shows how the term is used by 'left Bolsheviks' from way back to avoid political or philosophical arguments.

What was 'Zinovievism'? A transient cult within the rackets that co-existed for a while in the Bolshevik universe. Through his leading position as Comintern Chairman, Zinoviev imposed the 'Bolshevisation' of many CPs, including the French CP. This isn't the place to go into the details of the 'Bolshevisation' campaign, launched by the Zinoviev-Kamenev-Stalin faction of the Russian CP, after Lenin's death in 1924. It was aimed at the 'liquidation of Trotskyism'. In the French CP, the followers of Trotsky were even targeted as class enemies by a rabid Treint. Operatives like Pianitsky and Guralsky were useful to Zinoviev, as was Treint, but after Zinoviev's and Kamenev's defeat by Stalin (in 1926-28), Pianitsky and Guralsky served Stalin with equal zeal. This didn't save Pianitsky, who perished in the purges of 1938. Treint, on the other hand, seems to have developed a theory of 'state capitalism', which may be worth examining.

There's an interesting although quite old book (1966) on this period, by Robert Wohl, French Communism in the Making 1914-1924, and two chapters are online : http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=fZ6aAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=rober+wohl+french+communism&source=bl&ots=ty5Fyun60l&sig=K-CKteiGRa6LzFVEiUukArGokcI&hl=en&ei=QOlyTJLMKI_KjAfOhZj7CA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

It could be said that 'Bolshevisation' started earlier in Comintern, with the '21 Conditions' and other bureaucratic control measures. These affirmed a monolithic vision and the domination (ideological and financial) of the Bolshevik Party-state over the Comintern. As member of the Comintern's EECI, Trotsky corresponded with the French CP. That may help to explain Trotsky's 1922 letter to Treint, which you mention. Soon after, Treint sensed that power resided with Zinoviev's troika and not with Trotsky. So he took winning tips on purging from more reliable patrons.

Quote:
This is much more pertinent to the splits in the left communist milieu ( ) than the episode with the Bakuninsts at the IWA

Both are pertinent in my opinion. Historical distortions and apologies for racketeering in the 1870s show a historical continuity with the present. By the more recent splits in the left communist milieu I take you to mean the ICC's expulsions and intimidations. The other left communist sects don't appear to have shared this extreme Zinovievist pattern. In this sense there is perhaps an important difference in the genealogy of their praxis -- the ICT's traditions, and that of other 'Italian Left' sects can be traced to the Italian CP under Bordiga and their survival abroad after the rise of Fascism in Italy. The ICC's traditions are more problematic, this is shown in the organisational track record, which smacks strongly of ... Zinovievism, via le capitaine Treint. More research is needed to test this hypothesis.

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Noa Rodman
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Aug 24 2010 01:18

How Zinoviev ended up:

But to stay on Trotsky's 1931 letter to Treinte, probably due to lack of internet back then, but the point of the theses on parasitism could have been made by just quoting Trotsky's letter. Unfortunately a, for our discussion on parasitism, key paragraph is missing (maybe someone else can look it up):

Quote:
In conclusion I should like to express a general consideration which might perhaps prove of assistance in better understanding my evaluation of your position. In the ranks of the Left Opposition, especially its French section, a spiritual disease is rather widespread, which I would, without going into an analysis of its social roots, call by the name of its most finished representative: Souvarinism. It is – approaching the question on the plane of political psychology – a disease combining the paralysis of political will with hypertrophy of rationalizing. Cabinet wit without roots, without an axis, without clear aims, criticism for criticism’s sake, clutching at trifles, straining at gnats while swallowing camels – such are the traits of this type, concerned above all with the preservation of its narrow circle or personal “independence.” A circle of this kind, too irresolute to join the social democrats, but likewise incapable of the politics of Bolshevism, incapable of active politics in general, is primarily inclined to jot notations on the margins of actions and books of others. This spirit, I repeat, is most graphically expressed by Souvarine who has finally found an adequate medium for his tendency in the shape of a bibliographical journal, in which Souvarine subjects to criticism everything and everybody in the universe as if in the name of his own “doctrine.” But the whole secret lies in the fact that Souvarine has no doctrine and, by virtue of his mental makeup, cannot have. In consequence, Souvarine’s spiritual creative work, which lacks neither wit nor resourcefulness, is by its very nature parasitic. In him are combined the calcined residues of communism with the as yet unfolded buds of Menshevism. This precisely constitutes the essence of Souvarinism, insofar as it is at all possible to speak of any essence here ...

[paragraph omitted by the Editors of NI because it had no bearing at all on the subject of the letter ...]

You wage a stubborn struggle not for a given system of ideas and methods but for your own “independence,” and it is altogether impossible to obtain any conception of just what is the content of this independence. Comrade Treint, this is nothing else but the disease of Souvarinism. With all my heart I hope you will be cured of it

This question, which is to a considerable degree personal, would have far less significance if both of us were members of a large healthy proletarian party. But with us, it is as yet a question of a small faction which defends under exceptionally difficult conditions the banner of Marx and Lenin. For a fighting faction of this kind, the bacillus of Souvarinism is far more dangerous than for a big party. It would of course be criminal to split frivolously with isolated groups and even isolated individuals. But it is even more criminal to permit such an initial composition of a factional organization as would paralyze or weaken its aggressive propagandist spirit its political fighting capacity. That is why there are certain conditions when it is necessary to say: we defend a certain sum of ideas, but you defend a given sum of commentaries to our views; let us try not to interfere with each other, and function separately. Perhaps experience in its purer form will teach us both something. When we meet again on a new stage, we shall draw the balance, and will perhaps be better able to arrive at an understanding than we can today. I do not say that this is the sole conceivable solution, or that it is the best one. But I do not at all consider it as excluded.

mciver
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Aug 25 2010 09:50
Quote:
But to stay on Trotsky's 1931 letter to Treinte, probably due to lack of internet back then, but the point of the theses on parasitism could have been made by just quoting Trotsky's letter. Unfortunately a, for our discussion on parasitism, key paragraph is missing (maybe someone else can look it up):

I've read this Trotsky letter to Treint and may locate that missing paragraph. But I doubt that it is 'key' to anything. It was probably more of the same, part of a double-barrel amalgam against Souvarine-Treint, as were many of Trotsky's verbose tirades against Serge, the Paz couple, Simone Weil, etc. These various critics in France had realised that Trotsky's variety of Bolshevism was the usual brew of lies, apologies for mass murder and apocalyptic non-sequiturs. Their distancing from the 'Left Opposition' brought forth an avalanche of arrogant vituperation from Trotsky. The charge of 'parasitism' in this letter confirms that it was and is just an insult, when used by Trotsky or the ICC.

The questions: 'parasitic' of what? of which host body?, are not explained in the letter, the readers' agreement is just assumed. It could be of 'Marxism', 'left communism', 'Trotskyism', 'the Ligue Communiste', the anti-Stalinist milieu in France, it could be any body of ideas -- providing a hungry 'Souvarinism' with nutrients like a miam-miam broth. And le capitaine is suffering from this unknown 'bacillus', even if Zinovievism -- unmentioned by Trotsky -- was Treint's real and uncriticised tradition. But it wasn't something that Trotsky was going to focus on -- the United Opposition with Zinoviev and Kamened was now part of 'Trotskyism' murky history. When Zinoviev and Kamenev capitulated to Stalinism in 1927, their international fans (creatures of 'Bolshevisation') were cut adrift, and many veered towards Trotsky.

Quote:
How Zinoviev ended up...

To present Zinoviev in this way is tragic. And humiliating, if this makes sense? By coincidence, today is the 74th anniversary of his murder, as August 21 was of Trotsky. How Zinoviev and many Bolsheviks ended up was horrifying, the victimisers became victims. The great, powerful and murderous Petrograd oligarch, finally abandoned by all and mug-shot castrated, before his own murder. Zinoviev's broken face joins those in Ordinary Citizens, the visual evidence collected by David King of Stalin's countless Terror victims. In Auschwitz there were also similar photos, of Jewish immates, and in Cambodia the mug-shots of Pol Pot's victims continued the necrophiliac technique of capturing faces that will be no more.

After dreadful tortures, Zinoviev was shot point-blank in the head and his last screaming moments reported to Stalin, who sadistically chuckled, savouring the gruesome details. No matter what the crime, nobody should end up like this. Those who say 'what's wrong with executing aristocrats' should also care for Bolshevik despots, they didn't deserve to be murdered either. 'Just deserts' is degraded and mindless, also because any system of retaliatory violence inevitably turns against the whole of civil society. Not only Zinoviev and Trotsky but millions perished at the hand of the Leviathan reconfigured by Bolshevism.

The moment the Bolshevik regime unleashed repression and domination, to maintain itself in power, it was at the expense of the working class and civil society. This wasn't 'gradual' and 'degenerative' but extremely fast and permanent. There was nothing to 'defend' in 'October' after that, and the arbitrary 'method' of the left communists, of staying within the RCP or Comintern, was based not on class survival interests but on a racket conservatism, which is intrinsically apologetic.

The pro-Bolshevik left communists, inside or outside the USSR, hoped for a return of the good old days when they, not the working class, had been in power. A mythical 'world revolution' was the antidote to the degeneration, without realising that the dominant terror and military despotism inside the USSR was a main obstacle to such extension. This nostalgia of 'the persistent return' was never developed theoretically, it was simply an axiom about an ever insurgent revolutionary subject, the masses who would return their true representatives to power. Until then, it was heroic to 'stand fast' to reform and defend the 'degenerating workers' fatherland'.

nastyned
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Aug 25 2010 11:57
Devrim wrote:
Ned, it is not from any 'membership conditions' at all. It is from an article 'How do you join the ICC' on the website.

Devrim

Sorry Dev, I missed that.

nastyned
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Aug 25 2010 11:58

eek

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Noa Rodman
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Aug 25 2010 21:44

Trotsky does address Zinoviev, maybe not in your preferred terms of 'despotism', but concerning his politics. So he asks Treinte the following:

Quote:
Have you understood that in the struggle against “Trotskyism” you were the unconscious tool of the forces of Thermidor? Yes or no?

and he asks Treinte to dispel the ambiguity on 'principled questions':

Quote:
What is your attitude in general to the slogan of the democratic dictatorship of workers and peasants for colonial countries in particular, and especially for India?

What is your attitude to the idea of workers’ and peasants’ parties?

Do you consider correct the formation of the Krestintern and the policy of the Anti-Imperialist League?

What is your attitude to the slogan of the Soviet United States of Europe?

All these questions which met with anti-Marxian decisions at the Fifth World Congress of the Comintern retain a great importance even today.

Btw, here's the missing passage, where Trotsky recognizes the personal differences between Treint and Souverain, but insists on a common characteristic (of parasitism):

Trotsky wrote:
J'ai souvent dit au camarade Naville qu'il avait été empoisonné pat le souvarinisme et que je craignais que ce ne soit incurable; en tout cas, au cours des dernières années, je n'ai relevé aucun signe d'amélioration. Vous, camarade Treint, vous vous considérez comme l'adversaire de ces deux hommes; de Souvarine et de Naville, et pas sans quelque raison. Cependant, en dépit de différences individuelles indiscutables, vous avez un trait commun avec eux. Vous aussi, camarade Treint, vous n'avez aucune doctrine; vous l'avez perdue. Tous vos efforts ne se montent à guère plus que des déclarations de clarification ou de caractérisation, des notes de bas de page pour des calembours médiocres.

And furthermore Trotsky writes that

Quote:
In this sphere [of tactics and of organization] our correspondence has already revealed very serious and sharp differences which my initial talks with you have unfortunately not at all mitigated. So as not to repeat myself, I refer you here only to two documents: my letter to you of May 23, 1929, and my criticism of your draft declaration upon your entry into the French League May 23, 1931. I enclose copies of both documents.

These documents I've not found, but they're certainly relevant.

Anyway, this letter complicates the story Mciver, in the sense here you have Chirik's early influence Treinte being accused of carrying out parasitic work and yet later the organisation of that same Chirik would itself use that designation. Makes you think, doesn't it?

mciver
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Aug 26 2010 01:54

Noa

Your comments seem to confirm that 'parasitism' was used by Trotsky as an amalgam in his debates with anti-Stalinist oppositionists in France. Bringing down Souvarine's prestige in France was seen as important, because Souvarine had been a key founding member of the French CP. Thus the fabrication of 'Souvarinism' obeyed Trotsky's factional needs, and could be used to tar critics as divergent as Souvarine, Naville and Treint.

Yet by saying that they had no politics or doctrine, or were 'incapable of active politics in general' (ie, not even sympathisers of Bolshevism), it was difficult to see in what way they were being 'parasitic'. A small detail: Trotsky didn't seem to label Souvarine as a 'parasite'. He alludes to 'parasitism' being a 'circle', and a type of disease, but not an infestation of 'parasites', a la ICC.

Being influenced by 'parasitism' is not the same as being a 'parasite', this state of being is what links them to plots of 'the world bourgeoisie'. That type of accusation against opponents, as 'class enemies', did come from the Zinoviev school and Treint did use such slanders during his 'Bolshevisation'. Of course, it's a main arsenal in the ICC's 'defence of the organisation'. In 1918-24 Trotsky used it as well when the needs of power dictated it: for example against the Kronstadt insurrection, slandered by Lenin and Trotsky as an Entente conspiracy led by a Tsarist general.

Confronting Treint on his past despotism as protegé of Zinoviev, would have been deeply political. Trotsky couldn't do this, as he would have denounced his own past as well. He criticised Treint for having helped 'liquidate' the Trotskyists in the French CP, not the use of monolithic methods, like the banning of factions, endorsed by the Bolshevik Party at their 10th Party Congress in 1921, as Kronstadt was being crushed. Trotsky never admitted his counter-revolutionary role in Kronstadt, and attacked Serge for (mildly) reminding the world about this bloody massacre.

Trotsky's concept of 'Thermidor' is inappropriate but revealing of his totalitarian vision of the path to communism.

Quote:
Anyway, this letter complicates the story Mciver, in the sense here you have Chirik's early influence Treinte being accused of carrying out parasitic work and yet later the organisation of that same Chirik would itself use that designation. Makes you think, doesn't it?

Yes, but there are important differences in the designations. Treint accused his opponents in the French CP of being 'agents of capital', Trotsky in turn accused Treint of being under the influence of Souvarinist 'parasitism' (meaning wimpishness and hostility or indifference to Bolshevism), and the ICC accuse their critics of being 'parasites', or conscious or unconscious 'agents of capital' (Chirik was alive when the Theses on Parasitism appeared). To me, the link between Treint's methods and the ICC's is direct and apparent. But although Trotsky's nuanced use of 'parasitism' is also an insult, it's never a theory. For that stroke of genius, you needed the ICC.

Noa, good luck with your search of the Trotsky-Treint correspondence re 'parasitism', I'll see if I find anything... but what for? What have your clarified about the ICC's Theses on Parasitism?

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Noa Rodman
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Aug 27 2010 21:52

Well, because the theses (nobody has claimed it's a theory, sorry if I have given that impression) on parasitism are about organization and that's the topic of the discussion in the documents attached to Trotsky's letter to Treinte, which however are probably lost.

You concede that Trotsky's use of parasitism is more nuanced, but there is no conceptual difference with how it's used in the theses. Yes, Trotsky didn't actually call people/groups parasites, instead he called parasitism a disease. And yes, he didn't write a 14 page article about it. You ironically write that these are details in difference, but it's true; they are just details.

Mciver wrote:
Being influenced by 'parasitism' is not the same as being a 'parasite', this state of being is what links them to plots of 'the world bourgeoisie'. That type of accusation against opponents, as 'class enemies', did come from the Zinoviev school and Treint did use such slanders during his 'Bolshevisation'.

The theses claim that parasitic groups are more vulnerable to infiltration by state agents, not that they're actually linked, be it ideologically or organizationally, to the state.

Maybe Treint used such slanders, like 'agents of capital', during his Bolshevisation, I see no evidence, but it's certainly possible. But it's better if you'd criticize Treint himself for not doing any criticism, than target Trotsky for neglecting that. Really, Trotsky's letter could have been written to you Mciver;

Trotsky wrote:
As I was able to convince myself from our correspondence and now from our conversations, your mind turns constantly not to questions of program and policy but rather to isolated incidents in the past. Tirelessly and – if you will allow me – with the bias of a prosecutor, you ferret out the mistakes of others, thinking in this way to minimize your own. Previously in correspondence and now in personal talks, I made several attempts to shunt you from this, in my opinion, barren path to the path of the vital and actual problems of the revolution, but you stubbornly persist on your own. Pursuing the tradition of the period when you stood at the head of the French party, you continue to demand of everybody the admission of their mistakes.

and his conclusion is fitting as well:

Quote:
That is why there are certain conditions when it is necessary to say: we defend a certain sum of ideas, but you defend a given sum of commentaries to our views; let us try not to interfere with each other, and function separately. Perhaps experience in its purer form will teach us both something. When we meet again on a new stage, we shall draw the balance, and will perhaps be better able to arrive at an understanding than we can today.
mciver
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Aug 29 2010 18:40

Noa Rodman

Quote:
Well, because the theses (nobody has claimed it's a theory, sorry if I have given that impression) on parasitism are about organization and that's the topic of the discussion in the documents attached to Trotsky's letter to Treinte, which however are probably lost.

Your 'impression' that they are not a 'theory' is irrelevant. When you claim that the Theses on Parasitism are about organisation, not 'theory', you reveal that you don't understand what you read. Of course the Theses on Parasitism are a theory, or the application of one. For the ICC, 'theory' and 'organisation' are two sides of the same coin, following the Leninist 'theory and practice'. The Theses provide a paranoid 'theory' to 'defend the organisation', in other words, a justification to unmask, combat, persecute, defeat and destroy bourgeois and petty-bourgeois enemies of proletarian minorities, especially the jewel of them all, the ICC. As always, your perennial tangents deflect from real issues. But behind this outward obtuseness, your various posts here show your underlying agreement with the ICC's Theses. You don't have ideas of your own, you are just a sapper for rackets in general.

I assume most people's on this your thread considered the ICC's Theses on Parasitism a 'theory'. Indeed it took their authors around 12 years to write these 27 gems, like two and a quarter per year. Case of a mountain aborting a mouse. But let's be considerate, delays were perhaps caused by the constant infestation of clans, though they also provided exciting bacteriological samples. Unfortunately, the Theses have much more in common with the Stalin-Vishinsky fabrications for the witch trials of 1936-38, than with a serious study of 'alien penetrations' (not the little greys again).

As many posts have proved here, the various cases against earlier 'parasites' (Bakunin, Lassalle, Radek), and, since 1981, against Chénier, JJ, Ingram, etc. were spurious slanders, amalgams and fabrications. So the ICC case has, once again, clearly collapsed. However, that didn't stop your sly yet feeble-minded endorsement of the 'parasitism' amalgam:

Noa Post 109, Aug 2 2010

Quote:
Is parasitism [here Rodman means 'parasitic activities' as defined by the ICC, not the ICC's amalgams and slanders] not just the equivalent of trolling/flaming on the internet? And although to my knowledge there hasn't been made a theory of flaming/trolling here, I bet most people have some thoughts about the phenomenon. Same for parasitism; I bet most people in leftist organizations have some thoughts about parasitism and adventurers, but they don't have a theory about it. I think this can sometimes be more 'dangerous' in the sense that individuals with different opinions are ad hoc denounced as unconstructive, self-consumed, etc., [interesting that 'state agent' is not mentioned] while the making of a pamphlet about adventurers [and parasites, why not say it?] at least opens up a terrain for theoretical discussion [but you admit there's no theory here!] rather than letting it stay in the back of the mind (I can imagine that racket-theorists will respond that all this is in reality done to create a deceiving image of openness, etc.).

(This utterly garbled paragraph appears to reject the insult 'parasite', as akin to 'flaming/trolling'. But this isn't so, what follows reveals Rodman as a sleeping fan of the ICC's amalgam technique.)

So a left communist like you (because that's what you have always been) could concoct an upgrade of the Theses -- a 'theoretical pamphlet' -- to protect leftists from having 'dangerous thoughts in the back of their minds'. Thus slander campaigns and ad-hominems are fine, at least the Stalinist filth would be out in the open, perfumed with some theoretical Noa n.5.

It's ridiculous (to be polite) to claim that 'racket-theorists' will 'respond' with the namby-pamby claim that new Theses on Parasitism exist to provide a 'deceiving image of openness, etc'. This is very unlikely, apart from ridiculous. Not only 'racket theorists' but many others will blast away at your upgraded Stalinist fabrication (if they would bother this time), as they have done on this thread. You obviously haven't learned anything from these posts. Maybe your intention was to test the waters, to see how people were warming up to the ICC's 'parasitism'. A service from a 'Friend of the ICC', if not a 'sympa' or 'candidate'.

The template for your upgraded 'theses' could be Trotsky's amalgams of 'Souvarinism' and 'Treintism' (see how easy it is to create new varieties of protozoa), which seems to enrapture you, without knowing anything about the context of those sordid racketeering episodes.

You can invent the topic of the 1931 discussion between Trotsky-Treint that you want. But that won't change the issue -- it wasn't about 'organisation' or 'parasitism'. It was Trotsky's effort to launch a reliable racket around the ideas of the 'Bolshevik Leninists' or his 'Left Opposition' in France. As an aside, I doubt that any of the letters to 'Treinte' are 'probably lost', maybe for a slovenly researcher, but copies probably survive in the Cahiers Léon Trotsky in Grenoble or in the Trotsky Papers at Harvard. Finding them would take work, nothing like your instant-gobbledygoogling forays.

The meaning of this?

Quote:
You concede that Trotsky's use of parasitism is more nuanced, but there is no conceptual difference with how it's used in the theses. Yes, Trotsky didn't actually call people/groups parasites, instead he called parasitism a disease. And yes, he didn't write a 14 page article about it. You ironically write that these are details in difference, but it's true; they are just details.

There are important differences in these details. Trotsky's take on 'parasitism' was part of the usual Bolshevik arsenal of amalgams and personal attacks. On this, Trotsky is a good role model for the ICC, so the difference is minimal. After all, Chirik used to claim that his apprentice Fabienne was 'our Trotsky' (by default Chirik was 'our Lenin'). He meant the Trotsky of 1917, not Treint's opponent of 1931. It appears that Trotsky firmly joined the pantheon of revolutionary icons after the routing of 'councilism' in the ICC (see recent Libcom thread Criticism of Trotsky).

Nevertheless, you ignore something really different. Trotsky didn't call his enemies 'parasites' for a few reasons -- in exile in Turkey he felt vulnerable and exposed to Western public opinion. To label all and sundry in this way would have parodied the Stalinist-GPU jargon too closely, and public opinion was becoming more wary of Stalinism. But more importantly, he hoped to win back some of his French opponents. You leave open doors if you tell them: 'you are being influenced by parasitism, let me save you'. But you surely close all doors with 'you are a fucking parasite and agent of capital'. So the difference with the ICC is pronounced here. Trotsky knew how to calibrate slanders and insults, as is well known in 1921 he did this without qualms, slandering the Kronstadt sailors as he ordered their bloody massacre. The sailors weren't just 'influenced' by plots of the Entente and Tsarist generals, they were actually agents of White reaction, reactionaries akin to 'parasites' that sang and danced in suspect unmanly attires.

Trotsky had practical experience in handling 'parasites' and 'agents of capital'. He had many executed during the Civil War and supported the Cheka and the whole policy of repression against civil society until his faction got booted out. The ICC has no such experience in hunting 'parasites' down. Their only try was their grotesque parody of cheka raids in 1981, when they were shitting in their pants as they recovered and stole material, slandered and intimidated people, goaded by an implacable Chirik.

How's this for a blatant apologetic of the ICC's Stalinism:

Quote:
The theses claim that parasitic groups are more vulnerable to infiltration by state agents, not that they're actually linked, be it ideologically or organizationally, to the state.

Your 'clarification' is a lie, as you conceal the cases of Chénier, JJ and IFICC, to name the more prominent. These cases have been mentioned on these threads for years, and you could have consulted the slanders online, on the ICC and IFICC's sites. You ignore that the Theses have to be read with all the material published by the apparat from 1981-2004, about 'agents' who soon became 'parasites' and conscious and unconscious agents of the 'world bourgeoisie'. All this is on their site, so your ignorant bad faith is beyond contempt.

And an unsurpassable maggot of Rodmanian wit:

Quote:
Maybe Treint used such slanders, like 'agents of capital', during his Bolshevisation, I see no evidence, but it's certainly possible. But it's better if you'd criticize Treint himself for not doing any criticism, than target Trotsky for neglecting that. Really, Trotsky's letter could have been written to you Mciver;

I'm indifferent if you 'see no evidence' about Treint's use of slanders during his Bolshevisation, why should I provide you with evidence that is in the public domain? Can't you do your own research? But this isn't a thread on Treint or 'Bolshevisation'.

Your remark about my not criticising Treint for not denouncing himself is remarkably inane. Why would I do that? Why should Treint have denounced himself in 1931? In what context? It is obvious that he wanted to remain an active apparatchik, until he suddenly broke with his comrades, including Chirik, over issues still unclear.

In my opinion, Trotsky didn't criticise Treint's past Zinovievism excessively, because Trotsky had formed the United Opposition with Zinoviev and Kamenev in 1925-28, against Stalin. Defending his new allies, Trotsky denounced Max Eastman for publishing 'Lenin's Testament' and disowned his own French co-thinkers like Rosmer, Souvarine and Monatte. All done for racketeering reasons in the already Stalinised Russian party-state. (Trotsky himself contributed enormously to the Stalinist 'Thermidor' as he called it, but he never admitted being wrong on this, or on anything going back to 1918.)

This incoherence can be pointed out, given the argumentations made by Trotsky against Treint at that time. But I can't 'denounce' Treint for his failure to denounce himself, without knowing where he stood on his past. On the other hand, you also don't know anything about Treint's replies to Trotsky, or of his discussions with Chirik and others in the Ligue Communiste and subsequent rackets Treint joined or formed, but you agree nevertheless with Trotsky's personal attack against Treint, as a template to be used against modern 'parasites'.

(Following your logic, should one condemn Lenin, for example, for his failure to denounce himself over Kronstadt, or many of the other regressive policies and actions he initiated and supported? Should one denounce dead apparatchiks because they didn't denounce themselves? How could I reach them to let them know? Would they care? Well, try it, provide your own medium and seances, or ask for Alf's advice.)

Through the posts above, you have confirmed yourself as a left communist groupie, with the mindset of a racketeer. Your renewed icon tells a similar story -- Under the Banner of Marxism served Stalinism well, through constant purges, until 1944. Quite different from journals like International Council Correspondence.

I can't wish you luck with your new 'theory'. Still, a modest suggestion for the title: Theses on how Comrade Trotsky exposed anti-left Adventurers/Part 2 of Theses on Parasitism.

Noa Rodman's picture
Noa Rodman
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Joined: 4-11-09
Aug 29 2010 18:46
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I'm indifferent if you 'see no evidence' about Treint's use of slanders during his Bolshevisation, why should I provide you with evidence that is in the public domain? Can't you do your own research? But this isn't a thread on Treint or 'Bolshevisation'.

You've constantly being saying more research needs to be done on the influence of Treint on Chirik, etc. to find out how the ICC inherited the Bolshevik methods. Is this just an empty call for clarification or are you going to do some research? I thought you were serious, but from your negative reaction to my suggestion about the relevance of the Trotsky-Treinte correspondence, you don't seem willing to do that. You are even unwilling to provide evidence for your claim that Treint used the label of 'agents of capital/state' during his Zinoviev period. If you want to present a plausible narrative about the historical inheritance of the ICC, more evidence is needed.

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Your remark about my not criticising Treint for not denouncing himself is remarkably inane. Why would I do that? Why should Treint have denounced himself in 1931? In what context? It is obvious that he wanted to remain an active apparatchik, until he suddenly broke with his comrades, including Chirik, over issues still unclear.

I didn't suggest anything about the need for Treint to denounce himself; just critiquing the methods he used during his Zinoviev period. If you denounce Trotsky for poor criticism of Treint's methods, all the more should you hold Treint responsible for his actions. I think the Trotsky-Treint correspondence puts you in an odd spot where you identify with Treint (against Trotsky), but still want to paint Treint as the original bad Bolshevik influence on the ICC. Also, you were an ICC member (I think even one of its founders), while I have never been one, so if you already think its necessary to denounce me tout court, with all the more force you should criticize your own past actions.

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But I can't 'denounce' Treint for his failure to denounce himself, without knowing where he stood on his past. On the other hand, you also don't know anything about Treint's replies to Trotsky,

We don't know Treint's replies to Trotsky (and if it were up to you, we'd never know it). However, Trotsky's 1931 letter suggests that Treint did not critique his own past. You allow yourself to make conclusions about others on the basis of much less evidence.

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(Following your logic, should one condemn Lenin, for example, for his failure to denounce himself over Kronstadt, or many of the other regressive policies and actions he initiated and supported? Should one denounce dead apparatchiks because they didn't denounce themselves? How could I reach them to let them know?

Again, not 'denounce' (that's the projection of your own methods). But if you ask, should Treint or anyone else (e.g., you) have critiqued his followed course, surely yes.