Thursday, 3 May 2007

Boris Yeltsin: Far-left Reaction

Spartacist League / CWI exchange

I realise by now the corpse of Boris will be quite, quite cold - but in the world of far-leftist politics a week is a slightly longer time.

I've been awaiting the Yeltsin obits for some time now - the left is at its best when it knows who it hates, and it hates them passionately. I also enjoy it when various leftist publications sweep aside the vestiges of bourgeois-morality (respect for the dead) for the sake of a good, fiery polemic.

It's long been a common refrain of the Sparts in the international communist league's that members of the Socialist Party's CWI were during the early 90's "on Yeltin's barricade". It's a widely acknowledged fact that if you are to observe an exchange between members of each organisation - a mention is guaranteed within the first sixty seconds, regardless of the previous conservation or wider political context within which said conversation is enacted.
The Spartacist League quote, rather amusingly, a "front page" CWI account during the period, from the "Barricades in Moscow":
"I am a participant in the struggle for democracy...I went to the White House and helped build barricades around the monument." (1991)
Interestingly in a piece released by Militant titled 'Militant's Real History' the following contrasting quote is provided:

"We publicly distanced ourselves from the pro-capitalist Yeltsinites,... flooding towards the defence of their hero at the White House in Moscow"
I suspect this inconsistency will be largely attributed to the malignant role of the Grant / Woods grouping, as suggested above.

However we view the CWI position on "Yeltsins barricades" retrospectively, the party make it slightly clearer how they feel about him with the benefit of hindsight, in a April 26th article titled "Wild capitalism across the former USSR". In which the "bitter experience of the mass of the population under his rule" is duly noted. Ignoring the historic inconsistencies - it is a fairly perfunctory obituary with the usual stodgy prose we've all come to expect from 'The Socialist'.

I await the Spartacist League rebuttal with a certain amount of unhealthy glee.

Yeltsin: Drunken Buffon

Moving on, the New Communist Party tell us it was the "drunken buffoon" Yeltsin who put the "final nails into the coffin of the Soviet Union". That's more like it, comrades! It doesn't exempt others from blame of course, citing "traitor" Gorbachov as a precursor. After this some curiously random points are made (try finding the point in there if you can) about British history before ending on a high-note, the defense of the workers' states in "China, Korea, Laos, Vietnam...Cuba". So many workers state, so little time in which to defend them.

There hasn't been much else on the Staliniod-left that i've actually seen, hopefully Lalkar or the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) will provide us with something yet.


Jonathan Wood said...

I have a photo of a Spartacist that I took on a march in London if you'd like it.

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