Guevara, Ernesto "Che", 1928-1967 discussion

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Big Brother
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Oct 24 2006 17:50
Guevara, Ernesto "Che", 1928-1967 discussion

I finally got around to reading the article by Nick Health on Ernesto Guevara, see link http://libcom.org/history/guevara-ernesto-che-1928-1967 A very good article but I feel parts needs commenting on.

“He acted as the main spreader of Stalinism within J26M.” fraud, Che was an admirer of Maoist, the significant different between Stalinism and Maoists it while Stalinism concentrated of the issues of the working class in Urban areas, Maoists concentrated on the issues of rural working classes. Also to describe Che allegiance to Stalinism is also wrong as his allegiance quoted by himself as a “Leninism-Marxist” with Maoist influents and by those who knew him well.

“When Juan and Eva "Evita" Peron started on their rise to power, using populism and appeals to workers and peasants to install a regime that had many fascist characteristics (1944-1952)” indeed correct but the article fail to mention that Che’s father was against fascism during the WWII and in fact spy against known members of the fascist party with Che’s a willing participant in amateur spying ring. By the time the world war ended the Peron views of Fascisms was watered down but yes still had fascist characteristics.

“Che acted as a willing tool of the Soviet bloc in spreading their influence.” Che was also a “willing tool” to the Maoist in order to gain new trade deals to replace the sugar trade deals lost with the U.S.

“He still remained a convinced Stalinist with admiration for China and North Korea.” Che in fact hated the North Korean ideas of Total Socialisms as where the individual is a property of Socialist North Korea.

“He had no disagreements with the Soviets about what sort of society he wanted - a bureaucratic authoritarian state-capitalist set up with contempt for the masses.” Fraud in his last speeches he respected the ideas of the individual, and Che was fully aware of Soviet Style Capitalism was heading for a collapse. Che had plenty of disagreements with the Soviets, it is just those views are not made public as it is considered as explosive. Those details are stilled held in the archives at the Cuban Government.

“His attitudes and actions reveal him to be no friend of the working masses, whether they be workers or peasants.” An odd statement to make considering…

Other than that a good article.

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OliverTwister
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Oct 24 2006 18:37

Revol's right.

What exactly did you like about the article, you clearly don't want to believe anything bad about Che.

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Volin
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Oct 24 2006 20:01
Big Brother wrote:
in his last speeches he respected the ideas of the individual

What do you think that means given the context of, I don't know, his politics and everything?

Big Brother wrote:
Also to describe Che allegiance to Stalinism is also wrong as his allegiance quoted by himself as a “Leninism-Marxist” with Maoist influents...

Tankies never usually call themselves Stalinists, they've always been Marxist-Leninists.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Oct 25 2006 00:00

Mao broke with the USSR partly because he considered himself the authentic heir to Stalin.

Coconut man
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Oct 25 2006 03:45
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“He acted as the main spreader of Stalinism within J26M.” fraud, Che was an admirer of Maoist, the significant different between Stalinism and Maoists it while Stalinism concentrated of the issues of the working class in Urban areas, Maoists concentrated on the issues of rural working classes.

I'm pretty sure that he only started favouring Maoism over Stalinism after he actually visited the soviet union, which was after the J26M had taken power.

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Also to describe Che allegiance to Stalinism is also wrong as his allegiance quoted by himself as a “Leninism-Marxist”

Not unusual for a Stalinist. Most Stalinists I've come across have called themselves Marxist-Leninists, claiming that "Stalinism" doesn't really exist as it's just a continuation of Marxism-Leninism.

Battlescarred
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Oct 25 2006 08:13

As Nick Heath is quite close to me, I'd like to convey the view from him that Maoism is a form of Stalinism ( in line with what others posters have said)

Big Brother
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Oct 25 2006 14:48
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“Revol's right.
What exactly did you like about the article, you clearly don't want to believe anything bad about Che.”

Yawn… I was merely correcting factual information; did I not say that I agree with the statement as a whole?

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“What do you think that means given the context of, I don't know, his politics and everything?”

No had no idea what you mean by that statement was you referring to me or Che?

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“Tankies never usually call themselves Stalinists, they've always been Marxist-Leninists.”

It reminds me of the statement by Revol 68 “Maoism is just Stalinism for peasants, the differences between the two are like the differences between New Labour and the Democrats.”

It depends on your opinion but I would rather use the term Maoist for factual correctness. As for Marxist-Leninist/Stalinists debate I can only go by what I read and there is no other way to critically analyses people supposedly had said. I had to base my judgement on the author's ability to preamble an unbiased judgement. That is of course highly dependent on the authors own personal view. As this is the case for this article.

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“He acted as the main spreader of Stalinism within J26M.” fraud, Che was an admirer of Maoist, the significant different between Stalinism and Maoists it while Stalinism concentrated of the issues of the working class in Urban areas, Maoists concentrated on the issues of rural working classes.

I'm pretty sure that he only started favouring Maoism over Stalinism after he actually visited the Soviet Union, which was after the J26M had taken power. “

I hate to add that Che was an admirer of Maoist and had long desire to visit China and North Korea before he got involved with the Cubans in Mexico.

Coconut man
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Oct 25 2006 16:19
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I hate to add that Che was an admirer of Maoist and had long desire to visit China and North Korea before he got involved with the Cubans in Mexico.

Yes, but he was also an admirer of Stalin. You can admire someone without subcribing to their political ideology. What I meant was that he only rejected russian "socialism" in favour of the chinese brand after visiting both the soviet union and china and saw both systems in practice.

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OliverTwister
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Oct 26 2006 01:48

revol's right, also note that Mao never broke with Stalin, he broke with krushchev because he was not Stalinist, erm "Marxist-Leninist" enough.

Also note that anyone calling themselves "marxist-leninist" descends from Stalin theoretically, as all other leninist-derived traditions do not use that term (ex. Trotskyists/Bordigists usually called themselves "Bolshevik-Leninists" or a variety of other terms but never "Marxist-Leninist").

Feighnt
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Oct 26 2006 10:10
OliverTwister wrote:
revol's right, also note that Mao never broke with Stalin, he broke with krushchev because he was not Stalinist, erm "Marxist-Leninist" enough.

i'm not precisely sure what constitutes a "break," but Mao became quite sick of Stalin during the revolution, since Stalin was pretty set on making the chinese Commies subservient to the USSR. this lead to, in particular, rather bad decisions coming from military advisors sent from russia, who seemed to want the chinese to fight a traditional war rather than a guerilla war (which was completely unrealistic for the chinese Communists' situation). eventually, mao got his way and traditional ideas were chucked out (the psychotic nature of his regime aside, Mao was quite the clever military leader, at least).

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Oct 26 2006 11:22
Feighnt wrote:
i'm not precisely sure what constitutes a "break,"

Up to the 1960s, china was full of USSR military and economic advisors. After that, china was preparing for war with the USSR - there's a break.

Feighnt
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Oct 26 2006 11:50

whoops embarrassed point taken!

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OliverTwister
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Oct 30 2006 18:44
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but Mao became quite sick of Stalin during the revolution, since Stalin was pretty set on making the chinese Commies subservient to the USSR.

That's a Maoist myth. Mao was Stalin's #1 guy in "Russifying" the CCP. When Stalin worked out a deal with the KMT, allowing them to massacre the workers in the Shanghai Commune, it was Mao and his clique who forced the communists to retreat and allow the workers to be massacred.

booeyschewy
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Oct 31 2006 04:27

everyone needs to learn the word kruschevite revisionist, and it will settle it all (chuckles)

MalFunction
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Nov 10 2006 16:57

coming soon to a bookstore near you...

Ernesto Che Guevara "Critical notes on Political Economy" Ocean press, march 2007. £12.99 (440pp)

"first publication of Che's highly controversial and much speculated about critique of the Soviet economic system"

might settle a few arguments

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AndrewF
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Nov 10 2006 20:25

I think describing maoism as stalinism is pretty empty and more to do with the trotskyist influence on anarchism then anything else. If you want to lump them together leninism would be a more accurate term.

Mao was always pretty independent of stalin and the two of them didn't really get on. He needed Russia technology, in particular the bomb so he had to suck up but he was also generally trying to manouvere the CCP into a dominant position in 3rd World communism in opposition to the Russians. He's some crap formula about stalin being 70% right but considering the lack of debate allowed in CP circles the implication that he was therefore 30% wrong is not a minor thing at all.

His opposition to Kruschev wasn't based on a love of stalin but on recognising that what happened to stalin could happen to him.

Finally the Shanghai rising was actually Stalins stunt to prove to the trotskyists that he was still leading the world revolution - that is why it was time to coincide with the party congress. Mao was quite a distance away at the time and didn't really play a role in it one way or the other.

All that aside the main reason not to use such lazy shorthand is that stalinism is no longer of any influence in the world but maoise is still significant in parts. As such we need to be able to criticise it directly not though a second hand critique of stalin that the adherants of maoism won't recognise as a critique of them.

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Khawaga
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Nov 11 2006 16:42
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Maoism is just just Stalinism for peasants, the differences between the two are like the differences between New Labour and the Democrats.

Agree. But would throw in theories about people's/ guerilla war as being a difference. This might also explain why Che as a guerilla fighter was into Maoism.

Dundee_United
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Nov 11 2006 17:21

Something I've always wondered about is why have some Maoist movements been active in building democratic peasant unions? Surely it's anathema to them - unless there's Maoists and there's Maoists (which is what I suspect's the case).

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Khawaga
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Nov 11 2006 18:40
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Something I've always wondered about is why have some Maoist movements been active in building democratic peasant unions? Surely it's anathema to them - unless there's Maoists and there's Maoists (which is what I suspect's the case).

Do you have any specific examples? Are you thinking of Nepal and the state of Bihar in India?

Dundee_United
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Nov 13 2006 00:14
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Do you have any specific examples? Are you thinking of Nepal and the state of Bihar in India?

Zapatistas - not EZLN - were formed out of campesino unions originally organised by Maoists and liberation theologists, for example

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Nov 20 2006 18:48
JoeBlack2 wrote:
I think describing maoism as stalinism is pretty empty and more to do with the trotskyist influence on anarchism then anything else. If you want to lump them together leninism would be a more accurate term.

Describing any historical movement by simply one persons name is of course shorthand, the factors involved are far more complicated, but to deny that Mao was a Stalinist is just silly. How about Enver Hoxha? Kim Il-Sung? Simply because their followers call their ideas "Hoxhaism" or "Juche", doesn't mean that the rest of the world can't call them on their shit. To attribute this to some sort of 'trotskyist influence' is silly - anyone who knows anything of the Chinese/Russian/Communist history (and is not a Stalinist/Maoist) will call a horse a horse. After all, Stalinists don't call themselves Stalinists - its "Marxist-Leninist". Well Maoists either call themselves "(anti-revisionist) Marxist-Leninists" or simply "Marxist-leninist-maoists". But they still consider stalin "70% right". What do you call someone who considers Mussolini "70% right"? A fucking fascist.

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Mao was always pretty independent of stalin and the two of them didn't really get on. He needed Russia technology, in particular the bomb so he had to suck up but he was also generally trying to manouvere the CCP into a dominant position in 3rd World communism in opposition to the Russians. He's some crap formula about stalin being 70% right but considering the lack of debate allowed in CP circles the implication that he was therefore 30% wrong is not a minor thing at all.

This is certainly true, but it's just as true for the relationaship between Hitler and Mussolini. The fact is there was a realpolitik relationship between two competing imperialist states and no ideological veneer will make that go away, but Mao's ideology was always "Stalinism 2.0"

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His opposition to Kruschev wasn't based on a love of stalin but on recognising that what happened to stalin could happen to him.

Finally the Shanghai rising was actually Stalins stunt to prove to the trotskyists that he was still leading the world revolution - that is why it was time to coincide with the party congress. Mao was quite a distance away at the time and didn't really play a role in it one way or the other.

That's a discussion for another thread - in my limited knowledge of the shanghai commune, that doesn't match. Most trots/left coms (and probably anarchists) at the time considered the rising to have happened mostly independent of Stalin, and in fact that the Comintern sabotaged it. Regardless, after 1927 Mao was pretty instrumental in purging all anti-Stalin elements from the party.

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All that aside the main reason not to use such lazy shorthand is that stalinism is no longer of any influence in the world but maoise is still significant in parts. As such we need to be able to criticise it directly not though a second hand critique of stalin that the adherants of maoism won't recognise as a critique of them.

I've never met an adherent of Maoism who didn't consider Stalin an "important historical revolutionary figure". Certainly there's enough counter-revolutionary theory in Maoism alone to discredit it, but "70%" of it is begotten from its Stalinist past. We shouldn't allow them to erase the history like that, especially when they are trying to recruit. The same reason we don't allow fascists to simply call themselves "third positionist" and oppose them on those grounds.

Battlescarred
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Nov 21 2006 09:30

I agree with Olly. A glib putdown of the notion that Maoism isn't essentially Stalinist because of "Trotskyist influence" is as Olly says , silly.

Divisive Cottonwood
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Nov 21 2006 10:07
MalFunction wrote:
coming soon to a bookstore near you...

Ernesto Che Guevara "Critical notes on Political Economy" Ocean press, march 2007. £12.99 (440pp)

"first publication of Che's highly controversial and much speculated about critique of the Soviet economic system"

might settle a few arguments

It might well settle a few arguments.

There's a lot of mystery about the final years of Che's life. Just how extensive was the rift between himself and Castro? Why did he go to Bolivia to start a guerrilla campaign? No soon as he arrived then the Communist party there declared that in no way would they support him - why didn't he know that before?
He was making vieled criticisms of the USSR in speeches, and by first hand accounts his critism of the Soviet Union, Stalin and Casto were far more upfront in private.

Big Brother
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Nov 21 2006 18:38
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There's a lot of mystery about the final years of Che's life. Just how extensive was the rift between himself and Castro? Why did he go to Bolivia to start a guerrilla campaign? No soon as he arrived then the Communist party there declared that in no way would they support him - why didn't he know that before?
He was making vieled criticisms of the USSR in speeches, and by first hand accounts his critism of the Soviet Union, Stalin and Casto were far more upfront in private.

There a good book that I've read that may answer some of those questions if you read Che Guevara by Jon Lee Anderson but I think it's important that people are mindful to read a more modern accounts of life in Cuba, rather than hark to the past. I'm currently reading Cuba Diaries written by an American Isadora Tattlin living in Cuba (2002). Anyway cheers for the info on the "Critical notes on Political Economy", I hasten to add if it's anything that Jon Lee Anderson encounter it's bound to have go some editorial adjustment".