ROOTS OF REVISIONISM
When Marx in the Communist Manifesto of 1848 wrote, “Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.”, he was not putting forward a doctrine that the socialist revolution can begin only on a national basis.
Marx was recognising that revolution within the process of evolution, being universal, resulted in uneven development and that this was applicable to the economic and political.
Taking this further in 1915, Lenin argued that, “uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence the victory of socialism is possible firstly in several or even in one capitalist country alone.”.
After the Civil War, he asserted, “It has turned out that while our forecasts did not materialise simply, rapidly and directly, they were fulfilled insofar as we achieved the main thing. The possibility has been maintained of the existence of proletarian rule and the Soviet Republic even in the event of the world socialist revolution being delayed.”
In the knowledge of the position taken by Lenin on the question of ‘socialism in one country’, Trotsky nevertheless joined the Bolsheviks just four months before the 1917 revolution. After the death of Lenin, Stalin succeeded to what Lenin had described, years earlier, as the “vantage point of the Central Committee” and Trotsky, in opposition, was to ascribe the contention of ‘socialism in one country‘ purely to Stalin.
Initially, Lenin had supported factional democracy in the Party, but in the face of combined imperialist encirclement, he was rightly supported in his demand for maximum discipline combined with the ending of factional democracy.
However, in contradiction to that, he maintained his own faction within the vantage point of the Central Committee, creating the possibility of dynastic succession. After his death, this became a reality in the factional struggle for that vantage point between Stalin and Trotsky, whose respective, fundamental Revisions of Scientific Communism were to cloud socialist democracy not only during the last century, but even into Century 21.
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