Thursday, August 08, 2013

Latest Revolutionary Democracy


By Ray Jones

Revolutionary  Democracy Vol XIX No 1 April 2013. £4.50 plus 50p from NCP Lit, PO Box 73, London SW11 2PQ.

This issue of Rev Dem includes the usual in-depth articles on Indian politics as well as a wide range of material from around the world and historical documents.
There are two interviews with Aleksandra Kollontai, a leading woman Bolshevik in the 1930’s, on the situation of women in the Soviet Union.
There’s also two interesting records of meetings between Stalin and Mao – in which Kim Ill Sung gets a mention. These give an insight into the early relationship between the Soviet Union and revolutionary China.
Rafael Martinez provides a scathing critique of the economic programme of the South African Communist Party (SACP). This centres on an attack on “market socialism” with a side swipe at “peaceful coexistence”.
While I feel there is some weight to his criticisms of  market socialism in general I think in other places he goes off the mark. His suggestion that the concept of “democracy” is not a Marxist Leninist one is surely mistaken – the concept of “Democratic Centralism” immediately springs to mind.
And I think he’s a little unjust to some quotes he gives from the SACP – even if his unease that their policies has some basis.
Culture as usual is not forgotten in Rev Dem. There is a highly self-critical article by Sergei Eisenstein on his film Bezhin Lug from International Literature, 8, 1937. This gives an idea of how art was considered in the Stalin period in the Soviet Union.

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