Vanguard Party

Debate on Lenin and the Leninist party on BBC Persian TV

On BBC Persian TV’s Pargar (Compass) programme, aired on September 21, Maziar Razi of the Iranian Revolutionary Marxists’ Tendency (IRMT) and Professor Alireza Behtoui of Stockholm University debated the topics of Lenin, Leninism and whether the Stalinist regime was the inevitable consequence of Lenin’s ideas and practice. It is estimated that Pargar is usually beamed into more 20 million homes in Iran.

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    Actuality of Proletarian Revolution and the Vanguard Party of the Proletariat

Actuality of Proletarian Revolution and the Vanguard Party of the Proletariat

The following is Morad Shirin’s talk at the third Marxist Revival seminar. (more…)

Debate: on Vanguard Party

Comments  on Debate on Vanguard Party
The following debate took place in Internationalists
DR-JG-Erik_MR-JC

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DR

 

There are a number of important issues alluded to here, many of which appear to stem from attempts to address the endemic misunderstandings surrounding the essence and context of What is to be done?.

Anyone interested in addressing any of the issues from the nature of the vanguard party, the RSDLP, Lenin’s relationship to the broader workers movement and so on cannot gain a healthy understanding without reading Lars T Lihs relatively new book, Lenin Rediscovered: What is to be Done in context. In my view, it’s simply criminal that this book has not been properly appreciated by much of the left, and in failing to do so many activists continue to repeat mistakes or hold to illusions regarding the very nature of the party form they claim to advocate, or in turn denounce.

 

For one, any study of the concept of the vanguard party must be rooted in the context of the time WTBD was written. A Marxist living in 1902 would have had his attention fixated on two organisations, the first being the Second International – without which there could be no pretence of internationalism outside of sectarian declarations – and the second, by merit of its advanced state of industry, organised working class, and highly politicised proletariat, Germany.

 

Lenin was no exception, and despite his later (justified) furious condemnation of Karl Kautsky, Lenin’s attention was necessarily given to who was then considered one of the foremost thinkers of the German, and international, movement. His attempts to formulate an effective, centralised and disciplined party formation for Russia necessarily stemmed from his admiration of the German social democratic model. The “vanguard party” as such is not a plan for a […]

Debate: Definition of Vanguard Party

“…..I agree with you that this term(vanguard party) has been misused by “arrogant and elitist” groups. My question to you is that, isn’t the terms “Marxism”, “Revolutionary”, “Militant”, “Trotskyism” etc not been misused by the same “arrogant and elitist” groups?..” (letter of MR to PB)

Dear comrade Pat

Thank you for your comment on the concept of vanguard party. I would like to respond to your comments in few steps. Generally I think this has been one of the most positive interventions by any comrade in this list, on this issue. However I would like to show that, although you have said you “agree” with me on the concept of vanguard party, but you really do not accept this concept (in content and its historical development) and you do believe on another type of organisation (which in itself is nothing wrong with it, as long as we come to agreement that we differ and do not pretend that we say the same thing with different tone).

you write:

“I agree with Maziar that we need to develop a vanguard organisation, which I understand to mean the foremost or leading position in the movement.”

This interpretation of what I supposedly meant by vanguard part is only an aspect of it and even that aspect is not as you have presented. The vanguard party in my opinion is not just a party which “to mean the foremost or leading position in the movement”. We as revolutionary Marxists do not want to create an organisation, which appoint itself as the “leader” of the movement. This interpretation of the vanguard party is exactly what is presented by leaders of IMT and CWI (and others). The vanguard party we wish to build is primarily an organisation which comes […]