Repost, Revolutionary Heroism

Towards the History of Maoist Dissidence in the Soviet Union – an article by Alexei Volynets. Part 1

Interesting short article on Soviet Maoism.

Afoniya's Blog

This is a translation of an article in Russia by Alexei Volynets which appeared here: with the title: The Soviet Red Guard: The Soviet Union Needs Mao Zedong. It was published on July 10.

From the 1960s to the 1980s tens of Maoist groups operated in Russia fighting against the ‘bourgeois, degeneration’ of the bureaucracy.

When histories of the dissident movement in the Soviet Union get written the “democratic”, pro-Western sector of this movement get the bulk of the attention for reasons that are rather obvious. Far less attention is paid to the nationalists of the ‘Russian party’ and the various Left dissidents. But far the most unfortunate groups of dissidents are the followers of Chairman Mao, the Soviet ‘Red Guards’. They have been left out of the story by both the “western voices” of those years and have been ignored by the contemporary historical memory of all other…

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2 thoughts on “Towards the History of Maoist Dissidence in the Soviet Union – an article by Alexei Volynets. Part 1

  1. Red Rat says:

    I wouldn’t call those guys Maoists (in a modern sense of this word, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist). Most of them weren’t even serious revolutionaries, Razlatsky being the most notable exception. He organised an underground Marxist-Leninist group called Party of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in his hometown in the 1970s and wrote a few important works on Soviet system, but I wouldn’t call Razlatsky a Maoist, he was an anti-revisionist. Maoism in Russia emerged as an independent current in the Left movement only in 2000 when Russian Maoist Party was formed.

    • While it is true there is a difference between Maoism (As MLM) and maoism as simple descriptor – a confusion that is not dissimilar to that of the USSR being called communists even when it was state capitalism – I do not see this as a problem, because the reality is that the term maoism was and is used to refer to a broad church of anti-revisionism and as a self-descriptor, long before MLM emerged.

      The seriousness or not of their politics is highly subjective – and the same lack of seriousness has been claimed about the Russian Maoist Party. Serious or not, it is nevertheless interesting, and more importantly, it counters the narrative that inside the USSR there was not native development of anti-revisionist ideas, a dominant narrative in the west.

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