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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 9. 9 May 1972



Thanks for letting T.S. Auld's views on Marxism-Leninism appear in Salient. That Mr. Auld revises Marxism-Leninism in the name of Marxism becomes obvious as he writes. In his second paragraph Terry demonstrates that at the Anti-Apartheid Conference he followed, not Marx, but the BBC commentator Michael Dean and his estimation of what constitutes Marxism.

Says Terry, "Michael Dean correctly characterised Devereux as a 19th Century economic determinist". Like Dean, Terry gives no information as to what constitutes my "economic determinism'. His definition of this phenomenon is "the attempt to explain mechanically the whole historical process in its infinite variety directly by the economic factor." This certainly has no application to my thinking or what I had to say at the conference.

What I said, and what Terry does not attempt to rebutt, is that South African and N.Z. societies are divided into classes, that is groups of people having differing relations to the means of production and hence to each other. In South Africa this inter-relationship of class forces has produced the social-political system of apartheid - the South African variant of Fascism. Such is the Marxist conclusion with which Terry implies agreement when he says "The Marxist recognises that the state of the productive forces in the long run determines all social relations...." But having agreed thus, he attacks the CPNZ because it recognises this truth as applied in the particular case of South Africa.

From this confusion Terry goes on to another, by affirming "Marxists recognise that there are times when political and cultural changes are decisive for changing the economic basis." Our Party sees these changes as the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the universal recognition of Marxist-Leninist philosophy as the most powerful cultural force in bringing about and consolidating this change. But for Terry such aims of the CPNZ are "pseudo-revolutionary phrase mongering."

The social and economic conditions in which these changes can be brought about have existed for a long time, but revisionists of whom Terry [unclear: Auldis] a typical representative, pretend that the political and cultural changes which will "promote economic development and change the economic basis" of Society do not need to include, in fact specifically exclude, the necessity for the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Because Terry and his revisionist cronies have thus abandoned Marxism-Leninism, they attack the CPNZ. They have deliberately buried Lenin's affirmation that he who does not accept the need for the dictatorship of the proletariat as his guide to action is not a Marxist. If Terry and his revisionist friends proclaimed this truth while pursuing their present policies, their revisionism of Marxism-Leninism would be clear for all to see.

Their line is clear. I paraphrase their programme. All the demands being made by different social groups, if they are pressed strongly enough, can be realised in practice. The resulting changes in the political and cultural superstructure will have a decisive effect on changing the economic basis of society. It is therefore politically correct to give complete uncritical support to all groups which are drawn into opposition to the policies of the ruling class.

Terry's stand suggests his belief that Apartheid can be eliminated without a change of class relationships. But he now goes much further than this and implies that the defeat of Apartheid would in itself be a political and cultural change which would change the economic basis of South African Society. Could revisionism be more open?

Is it not obvious to all that Apartheid is the last resource of a decrepit and desperate ruling class? And does it not follow that this class cannot abandon this form of its class rule no matter how much moral pressure is brought to bear on it? To do so would place their ruling class in immediate jeopardy.

S. Devereux