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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 20. 29th August 1973

The NZ Revolution

page 19

The NZ Revolution

Dear Comrades,

Your correspondent, "ex Party Member", Salient 36/18 July 26, obviously does not like the "Peoples Voice". It is also obvious that as he was a Party member sometime during the period 1945-1970, he must bear some, if not considerable responsibility for the alleged decline in sales of the "Peoples Voice" which he asserts took place in that period.

It would appear that he is one of the Bailey- Manson group which parted company with the Communist Party of New Zealand in 1970. He now asks on what grounds our Party can claim to be Marxist-Leninist. He thereby implies his own qualifications in this philosophical field. He goes on to misquote Lenin's definition of New Zealand as a social democratic paradise and adds that the conditions described by Lenin still apply. In making this assertion, he shows himself to be, not a Marxist-Leninist, but a dogmatist, for conditions have quite clearly changed radically since Lenin wrote thus about New Zealand. The world in which NZ exists has also changed to the point where, to quote Mao Tse Tung, "Revolution has become the main trend in the world today".

But "ex-Party Member" describes as bufoonery the need to build a force capable of seizing State power when set forth in the "Peoples Voice". By this jibe he denies the revolutionary potential of our class. He thereby serves his masters well, for this is exactly what the rulers of New Zealand wish all workers to believe.

Lenin, in his book "What is to be Done?" makes a devastating attack on the theory of spontaneity but "ex Party Member" is basing his attack on the CPNZ and the "Peoples Voice" precisely on this theory. This is clear when he says, apparently in all sincerity, "conditions in our country are not those to produce a vigorous Marxist-Leninist Party". Is it not clear that in making this claim he sees "conditions" exercising the decisive role, but leaves out of his consideration of these "conditions" the interaction of classes and parties in changing these conditions? Yet I suppose he still considers himself a Marxist- Leninist. It is apparent that he does, in fact, make strenuous efforts to deprive this philosophy of its revolutionary character. He thereby reveals himself as a thorough-going revisionist.

The "Peoples Voice" on the other hand fulfills Lenin's behest that "he who forgets that 'the communists support every revolutionary movement/ that we are obliged for that reason to expound and emphasise general democratic tasks before the whole people, without for a moment concealing our socialistic convictions is not a Social-Democrat." (In today's setting read a "Communist'") Set out in "What is to be Done?" p. 102, Selected Works, Volume 2. Lawrence and Wishart.

Now, Lest Auld's acquaintance be forgot, I remain,


S. Devereux.