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Lenin in the historical judgment of Costanzo Preve / by Salvatore Bravo

Costanzo Preve’s words well capture and express the main prejudice to be transcended in order to restore honours and errors to Lenin and get us back on the road.

by Salvatore A. Bravo - Monday 22 January 2024 - 441 letture

Now that the Soviet Union has fallen ingloriously, precariousness has become the constant in every part of the world. The oligarchs are not afraid of communism, so they act without any limits. The opportunity to rebuild the international of the peoples now finds the historical conditions, but lacks class consciousness. The great work of the spirit and politics that awaits us is to reconstruct a critical and transformative cultural hegemony into which to channel, without sectarianism and useless preconceived closures, the forces that already oppose the system of global domination and exploitation. First and foremost, we must eliminate the black legend of the 20th century as a century of horrors alone, an ideological version for the use of capitalism, and restore historical truth where ideological violence reigns.

Costanzo Preve’s words well capture and express the main prejudice to be transcended in order to restore honours and errors to Lenin and get us back on the road:

"Historians call the theory that the Spanish de facto genocided the Amerindian peoples of Latin America a ’black legend’ (leyenda negra). I am not a specialist in that history, and what I say must be taken with the benefit of inventory. It seems to me that the Spaniards first wanted to subjugate and enslave, whereas the Anglo-Saxons wanted to clear the land and thus directly genocide. If I am wrong, please correct me.

On the other hand, since a picture is often worth a thousand pages of theory, one only has to look at the faces of George Bush and Hugo Chavez to know which of the two colonial models has been able to integrate the dominated more. Even now those who watch American TV shows will see niggers in all sorts of sauces, nigger policemen, nigger firemen, even nigger executives, but they will never see mixed black and white couples. Ask yourself why, and you will begin to understand something more about the contemporary ideocratic imperial American-directed world.

Today, Lenin is the main protagonist, along with Hitler and Stalin (poor Mao and Mussolini are forced to sit in the second row!), of the ’black legend’ of the 20th century, a diabolical century in which the utopia of virtue was turned into terror (Hegel, Merleau-Ponty, Furet, etc.), and in which communism was nothing but the political application of Fordist levelling to the social world.

Since we Italians always distinguish ourselves by being fierce and buffoonish (but often we do not know that others notice, and if they do not say so it is only out of politeness!), this theory is as Italian as pizza and haute couture, and has found in Marco Revelli its most determined exponent. The ’repentance’ of the ex-Lotta Continua, this unpleasant sociological, moral and editorial phenomenon, evidently has a duration of many decades" [1].

Oblivion and censorship in the decades of post-Soviet totalitarian and anti-democratic neo-liberalism have removed Lenin from political and philosophical view. The system tames intoxicating subalterns by educating them to despair. Not only is there no alternative, but the system is inviolable and invincible, so following Cartesian provisional morality one is asked to adapt to the world and change oneself and not the world. Lenin brings back hope and praxis, everything is still possible, we must prepare the new generations for the possible that may appear at any moment. The war of the monopolies makes the system fragile and unstable, so the cracking is already in the wars that are consummated in their tragic normality, class consciousness is lacking, it is all to be built, and it is the great task that awaits us to overcome the alienating anomie of our time.

[1] Costanzo Preve, At eighty years since Lenin’s death (1924 -2004), Communism and Community, 22 January 2014


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