Comrades, I can definitely see the need for a new Marxist party, or some sort of new Socialist party which could unite leftwingers in the Labor Party and members of various other left and Marxist parties.
But as far as I can see nobody has gotten together and done a serious critical analysis of what went wrong with the 20th Century Socialist experiments in the Soviet Union and its allies in Eastern Europe, and how a new ruling bourgoisie was able to emerge. There is certainly no common conclusion.
Some factions blame the failure of Socialism in the Soviet bloc on Stalin, others on Gorbachov, or Yeltsin, or Trotsky. Nobody seems to have criticized Lenin or Marx themselves.
Comrades, we will get nowhere until we conduct an in-depth analysis, not fearing to revise the theories of Marx, Engels and Lenin themselves in the light of 20th Century experience.
I have conducted just such an analysis myself, as published in many articles on my website (The Unorthodox Website at www.btinternet.com/~tony.papard/). In particular the article on 21st Century Socialism – just called Socialism on the Home Page index. Other articles of interest are Confessions/Explanations of a Former Stalinist, Still Stealing From The Workers’ Wage Packets, Errors of the Socialist Era, Graveyards of Socialism, The Kronstadt Uprising in Defense of Soviet Power, Socialist Democracy and Democratic Socialism all on the above website.
Also there is a link from the home page to my newer weblog, which can be located at tonypapard.info/Â Here, under the May 14th entry, is an article on Blair’s Legacy and a call in the final paragraph for a new Socialist party uniting Communists and former leftwing Labor Party members.
Please feel free to use any or all of these articles as a basis for discussions on what went wrong in the past, and how to develop Socialism in the 21st century.
In my view the partial failure and ultimate collapse of Socialism in the 20th century cannot be blamed on any one individual or group of individuals. In the final analysis I have come to the conclusion it was the apathy/political immaturity of the masses, which should have been foreseen by Marx, Engels and Lenin, which led to the power gained by the people in the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917 being allowed to slip out of the hands of the masses and into a new ruling class.
There was a fundamental flaw in the system, so this would have happened, in my view, had Leon Trotsky or anybody else taken over from Lenin instead of Joseph Stalin. Indeed the rot in the system had already started during Lenin’s lifetime – see my article on the crushing of the Kronstadt rebellion, a crime in which both Lenin and Trotsky were heavily implicated.
Nobody is beyond criticism – we all made mistakes. Until we admit that, comrades, and learn from these mistakes, we will get nowhere fast.
Tony Papard (ex-member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and Young Communist League in 1960s/1970s)