Third camp, World Revolution

Ralph Dumain rdumain at igc.apc.org
Thu Apr 27 20:56:53 MDT 1995


Tom Condit sez:

>C.L.R. James' ~World Revolution~: Be aware that this book was
>written not long after James' conversion to Marxism and is
>sloppy in some of its historical analysis and detail.  It's very
>good reading, though.  (I think Leon Trotsky wrote a critical
>review of it somewhere--possibly in _The New International_ in
>the 1930s.)

Well, what do you think is the best (Marxist) account?  More
importantly, do you agree with Trotsky's critique?  He was not an
unimpeachable or impartial critic himself.  My memory of this is
very hazy, but I believe Trotsky criticized James for (1) being
undialectical, (2) for antedating Stalin's betrayal of the
revolution by several years (ie. reading the present too far
backwards).  James sees the revolution as consciously betrayed by
Stalin very early on, already around 1924, I believe.  When the
closed section of the Trotsky archives were opened up, I believe
some docuemtnes were found detailing discussions of James and
Trotsky on this matter when they met in 1939.  James had a very
detailed questionnaire for Trotsky asking for some specific
information bearing on (2) above, ie. what was happening around
1923.  I'm not in a position to judge this question, but Trotsky
is not a god for me (nor is James).


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