Saturday, January 12, 2008

What's Wrong with "Anti-Stalinism"?

Lenin's Tomb asks: "Why did so much anti-Stalinist criticism descend into mysticism, platitudes, heroic 'stands' and dogma? Why was it so easily co-opted?" ("Alasdair MacIntyre and the Moralists," 11 January 2007).

What's wrong with "anti-Stalinism"?

One, it never made sense to elevate the mere fact of being a minority faction on the Left oppressed by the majority faction to a system of political philosophy, let alone morality.

Two, "the philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it," said an eminent nineteenth-century philosopher. What "anti-Stalinists" should have done is not to specialize in denouncing "Stalinism" but to figure out how to become the majority faction on the Left, take power, and run things better than "Stalinists." But they never managed to take that first step, and they have never properly analyzed why they couldn't.

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