Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/936/24612

From The Socialist newspaper, 15 February 2017

No, Trumpism is nothing like Leninism

Lenin addresses a demonstration in Moscow, May 1920

Lenin addresses a demonstration in Moscow, May 1920   (Click to enlarge)

Nick Chaffey, Socialist Party Southern region

Steve Bannon, chief strategist to US President Donald Trump, once called himself "a Leninist" - to the delight of Victor Sebestyen, a journalist for the Times, Spectator and Standard.

Sebestyen puts Bannon and Lenin together in a 'Comment is Free' article for the Guardian to demonise his two foes by showing their alleged similarities. "Bannon has an assortment of Leninist political tactics that could have come from the Bolshevik leader's playbook."

How could Steve Bannon, investment banker, former vice-president at Goldman Sachs and founder of 'alt-right' blog Breitbart News, call himself a Leninist? Vladimir Lenin was the leader of the Russian revolution that ended Russian capitalism and formed the first democratically elected workers' government in history!

In 2013, Bannon apparently said: "Lenin wanted to destroy the state and that's my goal too." Bannon seems to see the capitalist state as an obstacle to maximising the capitalists' profits.

But for Lenin, the capitalist state ensured the capitalists' economic interests were maintained. The goal of the first workers' state was instead to ensure that the majority ruled in the interests of the majority. Through the 'soviets', democratic workers' councils, elected representatives from workplaces formed a government at local, regional and national levels.

Traditional conservatives like Sebestyen fear the right-wing populism of Trump, with his blows against the institutions of capitalism such as the judiciary, press, and free trade agreements. Trump's populism threatens their control.

But they are even more fearful of the insurgent left. Bernie Sanders' campaign against the billionaire class threatened the Democratic establishment of Hillary Clinton and her Wall Street allies. They fear the renewed interest in socialist ideas, growing mass protests, and struggles like the fight for a $15 minimum wage.

But how could Sebestyen conflate such diametrically opposed ideas? The title of his latest book, 'Lenin the Dictator', makes his intentions clear.

This is a familiar rehash of the view that the vicious Stalinist bureaucratic counter-revolution that emerged after the death of Lenin was inevitable, and a seamless transition. It ignores the material basis for this, following the isolation of the Russian revolution after the destructive years of civil war, and the defeat of other revolutions, especially in Germany from 1918 to 1923.

From here, the first democratic workers' government in history is slanderously heaped together with Stalin's forced labour camps. Sebestyen adds in a dose of unsubstantiated character assassination in his attempt to bury Lenin and the Russian revolution.

Lenin was committed to the international struggle of the working class to replace the capitalist system of war, poverty and inequality with a socialist world - one where working class people democratically own and plan production to meet the needs of all. He was committed to building a mass revolutionary party with a clear Marxist understanding of capitalism, the Bolsheviks.

The Bolsheviks alone put forward a programme to satisfy the needs of the masses; "peace, bread and land." Their decisive leadership - while other political forces made compromises with the capitalists - led them to win a majority in the soviets, and end Russia's involvement in the bloodbath of World War One.

Lenin was critical of all that stood in the way of the working class; the capitalists themselves, their media allies, and their shadows in parts of the leadership of the workers' movement. His 'guilt' is his role in the abolition of capitalism and landlordism in Russia, and the example it offers today in this new era of capitalist crisis and revolution.

Add 20% postage. Available from leftbooks.co.uk

bookshop@socialistparty.org.uk

PO Box 24697, E11 1YD

020 8988 8789

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 15 February 2017:


What we think

Council cuts can be fought - and they must be

Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels


Socialist Party news and analysis

March to save #OurNHS

Resist Trump and his rotten policies: why I'm walking out on 'Day X'

Socialist Students: growing, brimming with confidence

Thousands march to defend Glenfield heart centre

Save child refugees, fight the cuts

Prison deaths scandal: invest in better inmate and staff conditions

Super-rich subsidised


International socialist news and analysis

Spain: clear win for left at Podemos conference! Now build class struggle

Committee for a Workers' International and Izquierda Revolucionaria - towards unification

Report: Izquierda Revolucionaria central committee meeting

French presidential election: crisis in the establishment parties

France: police attack triggers protests

Yemen solidarity


Workplace news and analysis

United fightback needed as entire grade of rail worker is at stake

"Disgraceful" treatment of sacked EHRC workers

Vibrant Picturehouse pickets in continued living wage strike

Ultimatum as Deliveroo drivers down tools in Brighton

Solidarity with Tesco Ireland Valentine's Day strike

PCS union pledges to fight Jobcentre job losses at public meetings

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Anti-trade union laws used against 'Trees Action' protesters

Support floods in for the Cardiff no-cuts three

The Socialist: 20 years old and more important than ever

Toxic fracking could start in England in 2017

May Day greetings in the Socialist

New Socialist Party press


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

No, Trumpism is nothing like Leninism

Foreign aid's not the problem - it's capitalist thieves

Vivid visual account of the Paris Commune

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 15 February 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Russian revolution:

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: The start of the 1917 Russian Revolution

triangleFebruary revolution 1917 - what lessons for today?

triangleNottingham Socialist Party: The lessons of the 1917 Russian Revolution

triangleManchester Socialist Party: The role of women in the 1917 Russian Revolution

Lenin:

triangleTense, lively prologue to events which changed the world

triangleSmearing socialism by attacking the arts

triangleTrotsky and February 1917

Revolution:

triangleVivid visual account of the Paris Commune

Workers:

triangle13 million-strong Italian general strike

Trump:

triangleSocialism not Trumpism: Thousands more protest and plan to walkout

Bolsheviks:

triangle1917revolution.org website to launch

Press:

triangleNew Socialist Party press

Stalin:

triangleBook review: Spy drama gives insight into capitalist coup plot

Poverty:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Marxist:

triangleReport: Izquierda Revolucionaria central committee meeting

Counter-revolution:

trianglePalestine/Israel: Everyday life under occupation

Donald Trump:

triangleResist Trump and his rotten policies: why I'm walking out on 'Day X'

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

22/2/17

Obituary

Obituary: John Pickett - 1954-2017

22/2/17

Review

Web series review: Cooked - "How capitalism ruined eating"

22/2/17

Retail

Organise to reverse 28% rise in violence against retail workers

22/2/17

Local government

Worried about fake news? Start with Labour councils' budget lies

22/2/17

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

15/2/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

15/2/17

Review

Vivid visual account of the Paris Commune

15/2/17

Foreign Aid

Foreign aid's not the problem - it's capitalist thieves

15/2/17

Russian revolution

No, Trumpism is nothing like Leninism

8/2/17

Arts

Smearing socialism by attacking the arts

8/2/17

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

8/2/17

Review

Tense, lively prologue to events which changed the world

8/2/17

RMT

Southern dispute: disappointment and anger - RMT president responds

7/2/17

Liverpool

Housing: Irresponsibility becomes reality

3/2/17

Parliament

Response to Derek Hatton's criticism of Corbyn over Brexit vote

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle24 Feb Byelections: Break with Labour Blairism wasn't on offer

triangle24 Feb Needed: socialist councillors

triangle22 Feb Support the NHS? Join the march!

triangle22 Feb Thousands more protest and plan to walkout

triangle22 Feb February revolution 1917 - what lessons for today?

triangle21 Feb Dublin: #JobstownNotGuilty

triangle17 Feb Tata pension deal: 'Gun to the head' offer accepted

More ...

triangle27 Feb Leeds Socialist Party: Building the Socialist Party in Leeds

triangle27 Feb Nottingham Socialist Party: The inspirational life of Eleanor Marx

triangle27 Feb Birmingham Central Socialist Party: NHS cuts - What do The Tories' STP plans involve?

triangle28 Feb Bristol Socialist Party: February 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice