Sadly, no matter how stuck they are in the 20th century, Leninists never seem to go away. Even in good old Grand Rapids, we still see these folks on occasion.
Recently, some anarchists in Atlanta published a good essay titled “Smashing the Orderly Party: An Anarchists’ Critique of Leninism” that presents a strong critique of Leninism. A really nice thing about it is that it doesn’t just focus on history—which can quickly tend to become a debate over who knows more about what past event in Russia—and looks at the ways Leninist thought and practice works in the present.
From the authors’ introduction:
“I would like to write down some thoughts regarding Leninism as a historical and theoretical position. I am writing to those who are willing to listen in hopes of refining a critique of authoritarian socialism. I do not have delusions that this short essay will convince anyone of something drastically outside of what they already believe or, at least, that is not my intention.
Recently, there has been much debate on list servs and social media sites about an upcoming “Bash Lenin Pinata Party” being hosted by some local Atlanta anarchists. In response to this, Leninists and other authoritarian socialists (including Maoists from other parts of the country) have responded with vitriol, homophobic slanders, and multitudinous critiques of anarchy, “sectarianism”, and “trolling.” I am writing this because I believe that anarchists and anti-authoritarians in other parts of the country have had similar encounters with Leninists. The responses I have seen are usually limited to poking fun or reverting to listing-off familiar historical bloodbaths of the Leninist project. I hope to bring a humble contribution to the discussion with the intention of increasing our capacity to meaningfully engage in ideological debate with the Party of Order – be it Leninists, bosses, police, liberals, misogynists or anyone else who seeks to impose discipline on our bodies.
For a wild, uncontrollable, rebellion without object or measure.