"Left-Wing" Communism, an Infantile Disorder
Arrigo Cervetto – The time of Lenin’s clarity
“Left-Wing” Communism, an Infantile Disorder was published by Lenin in June 1920. The work formed a living part of the political cycle characterised by the biggest revolutionary crisis the European and world proletariat have ever lived through.
Our Marxist school demands a Leninist reading of our masters’ works. This is always the case, and particularly as regards the study of “Left-Wing” Communism. This work by Lenin was one of the strong points of Stalinist ideology. It was proposed as a kind of “tactics manual” from which to extract, in no matter what occasion, the magic formula to exorcise and expunge every criticism of the ideology of “socialism in one country”. For democratic and social-democratic ideology, it was a kind of new Prince of the Russian oligarchy which, in Bolshevik garb, decked out a totalitarian regime.
That season of the ideologies of the bipolar world imposed its own reading of “Left-Wing Communism”. It could not be otherwise: the ruling ideology is the ideology of the ruling class, was what Marx and Engels taught way back in 1846. This ideology had to be ripped apart by the revolutionary minority which, Leninistically, read that work in order to seek in it the deep meaning where Lenin had placed it. “Certain fundamental features of our revolution have a significance that is … international”; Lenin clarified that the meaning of this statement is to be found in the “historical inevitability of a repetition, on an international scale, of what has taken place in our country”. The historical-universal validity of Leninism was the landing point at which the science had arrived. There was no turning back.
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