Oct 31, 2020
Parker and Peter join August Nimtz, the author of Lenin's Electoral Strategy (now reprinted as The Ballot, The Streets-- or Both) to discuss how Lenin and the Bolsheviks approached electoral politics and what we can learn from them to apply to today's situation. They talk about the origins of Nimtz's research project as an attempt to refute the point that electoralism must mean programmatic compromises, the influence on Lenin of Marx and Engels' 1850 address to the Communist League and how Lenin's relation to the ballot depended on the temperature of the street and meant alternating boycotts with participation on an independent ballot line. They pivot towards analyzing the behaviour and discipline of the Bolshevik faction including the consistent attempts to build an alliance with the peasantry, and the contrast between the Bolsheviks and the pre-WW1 German Social-Democratic Party, and the role of democratic centralism in disciplining parliamentary factions. They end with a reflection of what the ballot means today.
Check out August Nimtz's Amazon Author Page.
Works mentioned: Marx & Engels, Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League (1850): https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/communist-league/1850-ad1.htm
Marx & Engels, Demands of the Communist Party in Germany (1848): https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/03/24.htm
Marx & Engels, Circular Letter to Bebel, Liebknecht, Bracke and Others (1879): https://marxists.catbull.com/archive/marx/works/1879/09/18.htm