Leninism and Democracy
The question of Leninism and democracy has been placed on the agenda today [in 1990] by events in Eastern Europe.[i] The idea that Leninism is fundamentally authoritarian and fundamentally hostile to democracy is no longer found among bourgeois commentators alone. For tens of millions of ordinary workers, socialism has come to mean the knock on the door at four o’clock in the morning and the torture-chamber; the life of luxury and privilege led by the bureaucrats of the Communist Parties; the prime cuts of veal flown in each day from Switzerland to feed the fifteen poodles of the daughter of the Romanian dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu, while workers queue for bread.
And if this is the image of socialism, then Lenin stands to be judged as the author of the most relentless, consistent and revolutionary pursuit of socialism... READ MORE
Marxism, Hegel and Revolution
Is Hegel really necessary? This is a question of which Hegel himself was acutely aware. Other philosophers before him, from Greek antiquity to the French Revolution, had tried to describe the human condition and the ways in which we understand it. Hegel was the first to argue that the attempt itself was mistaken, as it presupposed a point outside the human condition from which that condition might be described.
Against this, he insisted on the need constantly to locate all thought, including his own, within the context of the historical development of the condition it seeks to understand. The unprecedented task which he set himself was to describe reality and our experience of it in such a way that the inner necessity of its historical development could demonstrate the necessity of his own description.... READ MORE