Interview with Borotba leader Victor Shapinov, Part 2
By Greg Butterfield
WW: Borotba seems unique in the post-Soviet left in bringing Marxists from many backgrounds and historical currents into a united communist organization. How were you able to achieve that?
VS: We worked hard on it. It involved both theoretical and organizational work.
From the theoretical side, we tried to focus on the contradictions that exist in society now and analyze them from the point of view of Marxism.
We see that the splits that were part of the communist movement in the past are not so important now, or we see them in a very different way. We saw that there were some groups that are like reconstructors [this term refers to people who re-enact historic military battles, like Civil War re-enactors in the U.S.]. They want to refight the old battles.
We don’t want to be like this. We want to make real politics for the working class and oppressed peoples, and not play at being Stalin, or Trotsky, or Mao Zedong, or whatever. Because those people did not play at being Marx or the Jacobins. They made revolutionary politics for their times.
From the organizational side, when we started to create Borotba, we decided to try and look upon ourselves and what we were doing through the eyes of the people, not through the eyes of competing leftist groups.
How do the common people see us? That is a practical criterion for our work, not the opinions of some publications that spend all their time critiquing other leftists. If you don’t waste a lot of time on that, you have more time to observe how the people see you and how to reach them.