Tuesday, 25 October 2011
The ghost of Lenin stalks the occupation.
The Bolsheviks have plenty to answer for. The silencing of all opposition voices, the millions who starved to death, the enforced collectivisation, the gulag. For those of us who became politicised during the cold war, another legacy of the old Leninist gang was constantly being told to "go back to Russia. "It didn't work in Russia did it?" etc. etc. On and on. You might expect that twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Empire that all this comparison to the Bolshevik catastrophe was a thing of the past; might indeed be consigned to the dustbin of history. Not a bit of it. Yesterday at the St Paul's camp I found myself having to go over the same old ground. The existence of a libertarian current in socialism, direct democracy, a movement from the bottom up, the anarchist tradition. Keeps me on my toes I suppose. Perhaps more telling were the Russian tourists who demanded that the couple of cops on duty at the camp explain why they allowed this disgraceful gathering to continue. That comrades is the true Bolshevik legacy. The good news is that most of the activists at the camp seem far to concerned with trying to live politics to be interested in polemic from any quarter.