Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

Challenge Hierarchy; Topple Rulers

>There is a need to
>study history and learn its lessons—why
>some approaches failed—for instance anarchism,
>in the 1930s Spanish Civil War and why others
>succeeded, like the workers revolution of
>Russia (before Stalin) with its democratic
>soviets, equal rights for women and gays, and
>guarantee of self-determination for oppressed

Ahh, yes... the Glorious Workers' Revolution in Russia. Was it a success? Hardly. The radically democratic workers' soviets had been thoroughly disempowered and destroyed by 1920 (at the latest). This wasn't the nightmare of Stalin, it was the totalitarian nightmare of Lenin and Trotsky; those two hated democracy.

Consider the following anti-egalitarian and antiparticipatory sentiments of the leaders of the Russian revolution:

Leon Trotsky, a famous creator of the first coordinator economic system, said that the social rule of workers over society "is expressed... not at all in the form in which individual enterprises are administered." That is, Trotsky felt it would be fine for the Bolsheviks to leave the usual factory hierarchy in place so long as central administrators like himself ruled "in the interests of workers."

As to why Trotsky championed "one-man management" in the factory we need look no further than his cynical view of human nature: "It is a general rule that man will try to get out of work. Man is a lazy animal." Naturally comrades at the center society must sometimes coerce "lazy animals" for their own good. Finally, Trotsky added: "I consider that if the Civil War had not plundered our economic organs of all that was strongest, most independent, most endowed with initiative, we should undoubtedly have entered the path of one-man management much sooner and much less painfully." In other words, Trotsky didn't reluctantly accede to coordinator structures out of necessities compelled by the Civil War, as apologists maintain, but because he preferred them.

These elitist sentiments defined Trotsky's agenda for society, a coordinator and not socialist agenda in which central administrators would appoint "one-man managers" who would rule over "lazy workers," in the workers' own interests, of course. If autonomous workers' organizations must be smashed in the process, so be it. They only prevent those such as Trotsky form protecting workers from the consequences of their own laziness -- from ruling the workers to free them, so to speak. It is clear this coordinator agenda had nothing to do with making labor a "free expression and hence the enjoyment of life."

Lenin evidenced his own coordinator orientation when he argued: "It is absolutely essential that all authority in the factories should ve concentrated in the hands of management." He followed this logic to its conclusion, noting that "any direct intervention by the trade unions in the management of enterprises must be regarded as positively harmful and impermissible."

Whereas Trotsky appealed to to a cynical view of human nature to justify coordinatorism, Lenin appealed to another bulwark of antidemocratic economic ideology, modern technology. "Large scale machine industry which is the central productive source and foundation of socialism calls for absolute and strict unity of will... How can strict unity of will by ensured? By thousands subordinating their will to the will of one."

Apparently, for Lenin, like Trotsky, it was sufficient that the "will of one" be well motivated, an analysis Stalin no doubt appreciated.

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