Follow-up to Marshall and Cockshott

Sun Aug 27 16:46:38 MDT 1995

On Sun, 27 Aug 1995 13:38:34 -0400 (EDT) Louis N Proyect said:
[among other things, mostly about Scott Marshall and Paul Cockshott, who are
well able to answer for themselves]

>I would also like to throw down the challenge to any Trotskyist
>"vanguardists" out there on the list. Isn't Walter Daum, the publisher
>of "Angry Workers on Parade" or "Hammer and Sickle Forever"--the
>name escapes me--qualified to represent himself as the Trotsky of the
>modern era. His group has, as we in the SWP used to delicately put it,
>fewer than 10,000 members, but its IDEAS put it in the vanguard, I
>would suppose.
>What is the debate about exactly? Its not about something so sterile
>and unimportant as permanent revolution vs 2-stage theory, popular
>front vs united front, support or non-support for WWII, etc. The
>debate is about the psychopathology of groups of "Marxist-Leninists",
>Trotskyists, etc. numbering less than 1/10th of 1/10th of the
>population of a given country representing themselves as the vanguard
>of anything. This approach has led to dogmatism and sectarianism and
>is an obstacle to the building of a genuine revolutionary party.
etc., etc.

What brought that on? I'm an infrequent contributor to this list,
certainly in comparison to Paul, Scott or Louis. I did a couple of days ago
take Louis to task for suggesting that Nelson Mandela's "accommodations to
Afrikaner capitalism" (Louis' words) are "events beyond [his] control."
Louis was "skeptical of the moral stance of critics ... from places like
the United States ...", so I pointed out that there are communist workers
in South Africa who are angrily combating the ANC's capitulations to
not only South African capitalism but imperialism as well.

I take it than rather than correct the impression that his position puts him
on the imperialist side of the class struggle, Louis prefers to dodge the
IDEAS at issue and turn to ... what, mockery if it can be called that?

Was that it? Or is he just out to lambaste Trotskyists in general and took
me as a handy representative? Louis, if you want to self-flagellate for your
political past, go right ahead, but please don't blame me for anything but
what I actually stand for.


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