Art by Yousef Amairi

Art by Yousef Amairi
the struggle continues

May 11, 2015

Communism's burial on the cheap by the revisionists, Andrew Taylor 11 05 15

When political movements go through the slow stages of reflection on their past there is a greater chance of an authentic collective rebirth and renewal. But if you just wash your hands of everything, if you dump the 'icons' once intimate to your self-understanding, there is no deep reflection on the past to inform your future.

The "post-soviet" revisionists think "It" will go away if they skip the Soviet Union and Mao and Che Guevara... But the past doesn't go away. Not even in America, the land of the dumpsites, the disposable commodities.

Revisionism is analogous on a psychological level to that tempting shortcut modern familes want when Grandma dies, to have the body collected from the hospital and have it cremated in the same day. And go to the funeral tomorrow or better yet let's skip a service altogether, cuz its depressing.

But to be perfectly honest, Doing those rush things hurts many many people in the end of the day. Because in a couple of years, that's when the unbearable lightness of being kicks in. That old existential angst phenomena. caught in a panic attack years later without a Xanax. Ya know what I mean?

And when movements re-brand themselves in this way other people sense they are running from their own shadow, that this new and improved leadership is the sort that doesn't want to peer into the hole, that can't stand to see the dirt and ashes of our mighty and frail humanity. But life is dirty. We can't just camouflage everything. People on the outside see we don't want to know ourselves, that our shiny orange or pink or green re-branding is great but didn't i see you someplace before? People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

They know about the quick shredding of the old photos, (specially those old incriminating ones when Bubbee vigorously pumped Stalin's hand in the Kremlin ) but the spectre of communism will still haunt the "New Times" scent-free party. There will always be someone at an event who walks up and says: "Oh, and by the way ~ I don't want to embarrass you but what have you guys done with Lenin?"

Do the 21st century Socialists ever wake up in a panic thinking they were once again reverently processing past his remains in the Mausoleum and what will the kids and neighbours and Democrats think ?!

What did you do in the War, Grandpa?
Am I a Sandinista too?

* Note : Lenin is supposed to have stated 2nd All-Russian Congress of Political Education Departments, on 17 October 1921,

    Весь вопрос — кто кого опередит?
    "The whole question is — who will overtake whom?"

The shortened form was invoked by Stalin in 1929, in a speech to the Central Committee of the CPSU,

    "The fact is, we live according to Lenin's formula: Kto-Kovo?: will we knock them, the capitalists, flat and give them (as Lenin expresses it) the final, decisive battle, or will they knock us flat? ".

It came to be used as a formula describing the inevitability of class struggle, i.e.
who will dominate whom.


Cybrarian said...

Well put, Andy. One just has to look at footage in Georgia on Youtube to see a sea of Red Flags, celebrating Victory Day. The crowd gathering round the speakers had family who fought the Fascists. I certainly sense a 'Second Wave' in Britain, personally and socio-politically only it is of an even deeper horror than may 1979. I was born in glasgow's East End and remember the day after the election - eerily silent and seeing everyone looking as if the life had been drained from them. It was the same last week. Only with Scottish populist Nationalism thrown in. Like you say, however, after the initial shock, it is a time to take the process s it comes. It is always painful, like childbirth. You come through it with a new sense of life and a new beginning. I've spoken to quite few who suffer from Depressive Illnesses and we all agreed that we are beginning to feel galvanised. Even though we face the next onslaught of Torydom, Reactive Nationalism ant tumult. But, the REVISIONISTS! AAaaarggghhhh .... The time is ripe for focused, clear-headed outrage. And how grateful I am that the recording and experiencing of History has been carefully archived for us to learn from. Marie Macfarlane.

awhtaylor said...

As you may have picked up on social media posts, my mother's people were in the Mills and Mines and Clydeside later on as skilled workers so I am always delighted when a Scot comments here or on my facebook posts! You are a great political writer btw. Have you a current blog, Marie? Thanks for commenting on the political temper in Glasgow today. I love the British working class. And to narrow it down because of my upbringing I dearly love Scotland!

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