Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://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

Super-rich subsidised


International socialist news and analysis

Spain: clear win for left at Podemos conference!

CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria - towards unification

Izquierda Revolucionaria central committee meeting

French presidential election

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

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:

triangle100 years since police went on strike: "never nearer to Bolshevism"

triangleSocialist nationalisation: what it is and why we need it

triangle200 years of Karl Marx: Marxist ideas more relevant than ever

triangleStriking analysis in heat of 1917 will deepen any reader's understanding

triangleSalford Socialist Party: The Russian revolution betrayed

Lenin:

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: The ideas of Lenin

triangleWell-deserved ridicule of Stalinism is impressive, funny but flawed

triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

triangleRussia, October 1917: When workers took power

Revolution:

triangleLambeth Socialist Party: The French Revolution

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Art & Revolution

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: The Spanish Revolution and Civil War

Workers:

triangleSouth Africa: new workers' formations herald fightback against Ramaphosa's capitalist agenda

triangleFight against billionaire Newcastle boss Mike Ashley continues

Russian:

triangleSupport for Putin's regime dips over major attacks on state pensions

State:

triangleVenezuela: How can reaction and imperialism be defeated?

Trump:

triangleThe ongoing capitalist crisis and the struggle for a socialist world

Trotsky:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Leon Trotsky's Transitional Programme

Bolsheviks:

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

Russia:

triangleThem & us

Press:

triangle1000 issues of the Socialist: A vital weapon standing in proud traditions

Stalin:

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: The struggle against Stalin

Poverty:

triangleFearful bosses call for 'fairer capitalism'...

Marxist:

triangleWirral Socialist Party: The role of a Marxist at work

Counter-revolution:

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

Donald Trump:

triangleDurham Miners' Gala 2018

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

19/9/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

19/9/18

Ireland

How Irish strikers fought apartheid - and establishment anti-apartheid leadership

12/9/18

The Socialist

The Socialist inbox

12/9/18

Football

When working class women dominated football

5/9/18

privacy

GDPR data laws: Punishing workers for human mistakes

5/9/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

5/9/18

Care workers

A day in the life of a carer: "I am having trouble feeding my children on my wages"

5/9/18

Retail

Shop workers hungry for 10 an hour now and an end to zero-hour contracts

29/8/18

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

22/8/18

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

22/8/18

Workers

Union bureaucracies, soviets and workers' power

22/8/18

Palestine

Ahed Tamimi - worldwide symbol of self-esteem in face of oppression

8/8/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

8/8/18

Glasgow

Protests win temporary halt to refugee evictions in Glasgow

25/7/18

Obituary

Obituary: Ged Travers 1957-2018

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999