2nd letter from John Emanuel


From The De Leonist Review, November-December 1995
Letter from John Emanuel, De Leonist Society of the U.S.,
to The De Leonist Society of Canada


The following exchange between our society and John Emanuel of the De Leonist Society of the U.S. is the last of the inter-party debates on our position paper of the above title.

(Post-dated September 6, 1994.)

The DeLeonist Society of Canada

Dear comrades, continuing the discussion of the differences of the meaning, origin and significance of the word "political", let's go to history and ancient society. The logical place to start is in the city of Athens, the birthplace of political society and the state. We go to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, llth edition, volumes 21 & 22 on pages 808 & 809. That section deals with the work of Plato, Socrates, and Xenophon. We start with the following paragraph. "The later years of the Peloponnesian War witnessed much mental disturbances and restlessness in Athens. More than at any other time since the age of Cleisthenes, the city was divided and a man's foes were often men of his own tribe or deme. Contention in the law courts and rivalries in the assembly had for many men a more absorbitigwinterest than questions of peace or war. Hereditary traditions had relaxed their hold and political principles were not yet formulated." The word polis may be the root of the word "political", but its parent is the word "Politia", the state. Since the state, the politia, was not yet born, the word political "was not yet formulated." Your roots are in your grandparents but you are the offspring of your parents, and no offspring such as the word "political", can be born before its parent the politia. Political spciety with its state, was struggling to emerge out of the womb of Gentile society. Old society was crumbling and confusion and disorders were consequently everywhere. The best minds of that period were struggling and groping to find the answer to their problems. Socrates and Xenophon using the "Socratic method of inquiry" as the encyclopedia writes, ask several questions on the meaning of the word state. Socrates asks "What is it?", Xenophon asks "What is a state?", "What is a statesman?", "What is a government?", "What is it to be a ruler of men?". It remained for Marx to answer these questions and he did when he declared that the existence of the state (politia) is inseparable from the existence of slavery.

The definitions of words such as political and the state, as well as other related terms that appear in other dictionaries, are like "the cow's tail" that covers a multitude of sins. For the Marxist the only reliable lexicon is history and Marxian science, and the only lexicographers are Marx, Engels, and DeLeon. Your position paper advocates political democracy under Socialism. This means that there will be a political organization to administer its affairs, and that political organization must have political power to enforce its decisions. But here you come in conflict with Marx and Engels who declare in the Communist Manifesto on page 34 the following. "When in the course of development class distinctions have disappeared and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, [the ^.'I ,U. Gov't] the public power will lose its political character. Political power properly so called, is merely the organized power of one class for oppressing another." Public power, the power of the who1e people loses its political character, and becomes industrial power. Under socialism it is all power to the Socialist Industrial Union. This is the Marxist DeLeonism that I follow. In your previous communication in support of your position paper, you claim that it projects a picture of DeLeonism as an "evolving body of knowledge and perception." However in view of the above declaration of the Manifesto, I see the unmistakable basic features in your position paper, of a corruption of Marxist DeLeonism.

In still hoping that you re-think your position paper,

I remain fraternally,

John Emanuel