Trotskyism

tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu
Fri Oct 28 16:19:27 MDT 1994


Justin,
I find one of the strands of what you're arguing a bit censorial. I'm hip
to what the other person said about manual vs. mental labor, though
I don't know I would get that analytical or angry.  I just think you
ought to reexamine this strand, because you're depriving yourself. All
the thinkers you mentioned have their dark side: Gramsci's totallitarianism,
FS's support for the Vietnam War, Luxemburg's attack upon nationalism too much;
etc.  Why write off Trotsky only.

There is much more to Trotsky than you give him credit: he is not simply
an anti-Stalinist.  Just from what you are saying, you reveal I think the
problems of ignoring him.  When you mention that what we should do in
this country is not be in the Democrats yet organize ourselves, and also about
not knowing how to organize the working class cohesively as a whole.Well, that's
a perspective that Soidarity holds (at the risk of people now saying, yea,
yea, talk about Solidarity, and turning this into a cock fight again).
What they're missing is perhaps the central legacy of Trotskyism: the
transitional method and program, which has nothing to do with the Stallinist
era per se, specifically.  The transitional demand--30 for 40, full employment
sliding scales of hours and wages, workers' militias to defend against
fascism--pose demands which are eminently reasonable, yet which at the
capitalists must ultimately balk.  PLUS it unites the class as a whole.
This makes for much more of a radical politics than simply not being in the
democratic party.  It provides a focus for mass struggle within society
rather than merely at the level of abstract party pollitics.

Another point: it is not sufficient to just say, let's find an expert on
the Carribean.  With what theory will your Carribean theorist be endowed:
an internationalilst revolutionary one, or a pessimistic, "realist," one, boudn
to national boundaries.

But being afraid of being interrupted by call waiting, I shall talk about
other, still relevant features of Trotskuysm at a later time


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