If I were to say the word “Communism”, it’d probably conjure up visions of nuclear arms, police states, espionage, repression and so on.

All in all, not a pretty picture.

However, these descriptions are better attributed to the USSR than to Communism itself- though most people can’t seem to tell the two apart.

And it is here that the problem lies. Communism, like so many ideals, is judged and condemned for the actions of a few false-followers. As Christianity is blamed for the Spanish Inquisition, Islam for terrorism, and Nietzsche for Nazism, Communism’s reputation is warped and twisted by the actions of what was once the USSR and Maoist China. To many today, Communism is synonymous with totalitarianism, oppression, and poverty.

And that’s where is blog comes in.

Here, I describe- in layman’s terms (none of that overly-technical gibberish about dialectics and such)- what Communism actually is, as well as the issues confronting Marxists today, and the general future of the movement.

Workers of the world unite!

24 Responses to “About This Blog”

  1. December 3, 2010 at 10:28 am

    These “false-followers” who distorted the meaning of Marxism (and what’s more, killed many genuine marxists) are worthy of contempt, which is what I think you’re trying to say here. So why do you gladly link to Stalinist and Maoist websites (and little else)?

  2. 2 trotskyite
    December 3, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    It’s tough sorting out the pseudo-Marxists from the true believers- if you’ve got any suggestions or links you’d like to see added, by all means send me a couple.

  3. 3 Schalken
    December 5, 2010 at 4:21 am

    So you simply can’t distinguish between Stalinism and, say, Trotskyism?

    And no, I don’t have any links to recommend to you; as long as you’re claiming that you’re an anti-Stalinist while not even being able to recognize blatantly Stalinist websites, I don’t think any genuinely Marxist group would want your site to be linked to them. I’m sorry if it sounds cruel, but it’s the truth. I know it’s true for myself and my site.

    Also, please stop using language like “true believers” — Marxism isn’t a religion.

  4. 4 trotskyite
    December 5, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Sounds fair.

  5. 5 Schalken
    December 5, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Also, to be helpful instead of critical, I’ll point out a few organizations you link to who not only defend but admire the old state capitalist Eastern bloc:

    CPUSA (Communist Party of the United States of America)
    Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
    International Socialist Organization
    Worker’s World Party
    PSL (Party for Socialism and Liberation)
    Communist Party of Britain
    Communist Party of Ireland (Pairti Cumannach na hEireann)
    Welsh Communist Party
    Morning Star
    New Worker (the website of the party behind this paper features a tribute to Josef Stalin in their “our heritage” section — so much for “it’s tough sorting out pseudo-Marxists…”)
    People’s World

    Seriously now, I’m not the only one wondering what’s going on with your links. On the links page itself, one commenter wonders why a self-proclaimed “Trotskyite” would link to the Stalinist parties of the British Isles but not the Trotskyist groups.

  6. 6 trotskyite
    December 5, 2010 at 4:45 am

    In “defense” of a number of the links you have listed, I’d argue that such groups as the CPUSA generally don’t desire to see a repeat of Stalinism, and even with certain ties or sympathies to USSR, “guilt-by-association” is a slippery slope. Pretty much everything has some link to something terrible (anti-smoking campaigns were first created by the Nazis, for example)- so I’m reluctant to judge (that said, if I can find that these guys are full-fledged Stalinists, then I’d have no issues with denouncing them- I’ll take down “New Worker” right away). Plus we have to deal with the issue of the past being the past- because Christianity has played a major role in genocide and imperialism doesn’t make the work of Mother Teresa or Oscar Romero less valuable. Such groups as the CPUSA (as watered down as it has become) do seem to be working towards empowering the working class- again, I’m pretty hesitant to take ’em down because of the sins of their predecessors.

    But in perfect honest, I’m a pretty clumsy Communist myself. I’ve never actually had much contact with the far-left and have been forced to teach myself Marxism (which would explain the many, many faults with my blog). I have to say, I appreciate the help you’re giving me though- thanks for the list.

  7. 7 Schalken
    December 5, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Go look at the other links as well.

    The Revolutionary Communist Party, which isn’t any of those things (not even a party!), is led by an insane Mao wannabe called Bob Avakian who has built a personality cult about himself. There’s nothing repentant about his/their Stalinism.

    Check out Worker’s World Party. They’re cheerleaders for North Korea. The so-called Party for Socialism and Liberation is virtually identical, having left the WWP a few years ago during some infighting in that wretched group (the WWP also has some kind of personality cult centered around some dead hack called Sam Marcy, who’e virtually unheard of outside of the WWP’s fantasy realm).

    These groups aren’t reformed Stalinists.

    But the bigger issue is this: even if groups like the CPUSA and British CP have turned their back on Stalinism now — and what choice did they have? — they’re parties that cheered the Soviet Union’s slaughter of workers for 70 years. Somehow they’re now on our side just because they’ve changed their language? Hardly! Go look at their press. All of those reformed “Communist” parties are now essentially just a shade to the left of the labor/Democratic parties in their respective countries; their rhetoric and methods have changed, but their position in the camp of the capitalists hasn’t.

    I empathize with your position, though; when I was younger (or perhaps just more naive), I considered that most groups that called themselves Socialists were just that. Sure, some of them might had ideas I considered strange (like American groups that prattle on about peasants) or had questionable histories, but by uncovering the history of the 20th century workers’ movement — especially the history of the so-called Communist Left — I found that all of the mainline “Communist” Parties, whether they were Stalinist or Maoist, and all of their descendants, were simply capitalist parties. Sure, they advocated state capitalism and dressed it up in lies using Marxist phrases, but they were capitalist nonetheless!

    If you’re interested in genuinely communist positions, I recommend reading up on the history of the Communist Left. For English speakers, the two primary groups that trace their history back to the communist left are the International Communist Current and the International Communist Tendency (neither of which I have any particular ties to). Both of their sites have a wealth of good information. Alternatively, you could poke around on Libcom some. Anyway, the point is, you don’t need to feel as though you can’t figure things out because of your lack of real life contact with these groups; i’d wager that you’re better off for having never met the “Revolutionary” “Communist” “Party!”

  8. 8 casiesse
    March 26, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    I’d like to get some of your opinions on the way forward for any Trotskyist / left Communist sympathisers, given that to believe in any form of Marxism or Communism is to believe in the need for action. As someone having come from ICL / Spartacist League and left dissatisfied with the whole movement, I can’t help feeling that as a generation we are moving further and further away from developing any revolutionary consciousness.

    • 9 trotskyite
      March 26, 2011 at 10:02 pm

      Depends on who you define to be our generation. In the West, yeah- there doesn’t seem to be much of any revolutionary drive. However, if we look at other parts of the world, particularly the Middle East at the moment, we’re seeing the disenfranchised Arab youth rising up en masse…

  9. 11 xx
    August 24, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    this is one of the best socialist opinion sources I’ve seen in general, let alone blogs
    keep it up, comrade

  10. October 15, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Have you read Trotsky’s The Revolution Betrayed?

    • 15 trotskyite
      October 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      I have not.

      • 16 arielnietzsche
        October 15, 2012 at 11:04 pm

        Yeah man, your comment how USSR and communism differ is pretty liberal and reactionary of you. Especially if you declare yourself as a “Trotskyist” yet not read Trotsky. The thing about the USSR is, it’s a degenerated workers’ state—it is a workers’ state, but a bureaucracy is in control of the means of production. This doesn’t mean that the USSR is state-capitalist—it is in fact, in the lowest stage of socialism, according to historical materialism. It is socialist, and dismissing the Soviet Union’s material basis and socialist framework planned economy is not the right way to start.

  11. 17 trotskyite
    October 16, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Whoa there- let’s not be hasty to start chucking out the whole “liberal” and “reactionary” smears.

    Firstly, I didn’t say I hadn’t read Trotsky- I have. I simply haven’t read “The Revolution Betrayed”, although I’m not unfamiliar with the argument Trotsky makes in it. And I further don’t believe I have to agree with each and every thing Trotsky said for me to be a Trotskyist- my reason for calling the USSR state-capitalist is that (1) it’s an easy way of introducing people to the differentiation between Communism and Pseudo-Communism, and (2) because I really do believe Trotsky was affected by his own feelings when he called the USSR a “degenerated workers’ state”. I mean- put yourself in the man’s position; would you want to admit that everything you had worked for had fallen apart? I doubt that I’d be able to.

    • October 16, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      My bad. I apologize for my rudeness. The USSR was nothing near “state-capitalist”. What do you mean by pseudo-communism? No one told you to treat Trotskyism as dogma–Trotsky, however, makes a valid argument in defense of the USSR. However, he criticizes the degeneration of the working class and the rise of the bureaucracy. One reason for these degeneration was not only because of the despotic actions Stalin took–but more so, is the backwardness and the uneven development between capital and labor during Imperial Russia. The contradictions between the backwardness and the collective ownership that the revolution has contributed to only implement the rapid industrialization in the USSR. The Bolshevik Revolution was not a failure–it was a success and there was a material basis in the USSR. It’s really not state-capitalist; the working class was in charge of the means of production. However, it was in its first stage of socialism and it was transitioning from capitalism (which was not developed in Russia) towards socialism. The NEP was a transitioning stage–it cannot be considered state-capitalist.

      • 19 trotskyite
        October 17, 2012 at 12:02 am

        What I guess I mean is that the USSR was state-capitalist in that the bureaucracy who comprised the state, rather than the workers themselves, ultimately called all the shots. I’m not talking about the NEP here- I’m talking about the whole social-political-economic system of the USSR post-Lenin. I aint knocking the revolution, but the degeneration of the USSR into a bloated, bureaucratic nightmare under Stalin (and his successor’s) despotism.

        Point is- when its politicians and bureaucrats running the machine, rather than the workers, I’d define that as state-capitalism.

  12. 20 Joe Rosenthal
    December 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Over 50 years ago during my university days I encountered communist activists going about their idiotic
    “agit-prop” activities. I told them then they weren’t simply wrong-they personally had serious psychological problems and required professional therapy. That is still my view-then, now. I told them then that anyone so blinded that they spent their life in a cause which in America would never, could never, be successful and was hated by 95%+ of the populace, which it was then and is still now, 50 years later, had very serious psychological difficulties in personal adjustment to society, other people, and any outlooks dissimilar to their own. I stumbled across your website and I see you are one of those who, in today’s time, is still at it. Endlessly arguing with other marxists as to the correct form of communism..Trotskyites, Maoists, Stalinists, Avakian and his nuts, the Workers World party and its nuts, etc.etc., ad nauseum. All of you together don’t amount to a thimble full of people of any significance much less power and YOU NEVER WILL. I do not know if the FBI still infiltrates your various wacko organizations-it probably would be a waste of their time and money. This is a big country and so we have tiny groups of anti-societal looneys of all types–you are just another group.

  13. December 27, 2012 at 10:34 pm


    I like your blog, our blog site is a collective work of leftists, could we add your site to our blogroll?

  14. 24 David
    January 11, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Hello. I am currently looking for an organization to join, something that falls with my personal beliefs and can help me thrive and grow as a Socialist (I hesitate to subdivide my leanings along specific lines, as I am still not entirely sure with whom I most relate) , and I have found your blog, the resources therein, and the comments left by others to be very helpful. I enjoy your writing style and look forward to reading more in the future. Thank you.

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