Nicaragua, Sandinistas and Socialism

glevy at glevy at
Sun Jul 9 15:31:49 MDT 1995

Andy, Chris S. and Tim W. have made me use my printer again.

I thought that Andy's post was, on the whole, rather good.  However, I do
want to make a few additional points by way of a response:

1)  I did not say in a previous post that the Nicaraguan government or
the Sandanists proposed the idea of "borgeois rule" as a matter of
policy. I wrote that they "accepted the two-step theory of revolution."
I that incorrect?  Did they accept, for instance, the theory of permanent
revolution? I think not. Did they reject the two-step theory and advance
an alternative theory?  That would be news to me.

2) Much of what Andy has written in his post concerning Chile is accurate
(although perhaps prone to a little exaggeration in parts).  He claimed
that my analysis "ignores the internal polarization of Chilean society."
In a sense he is correct.  My post did "ignore" that , but one has to
recall that the purpose of the post was to point to some differences and
similarities among the Nicaraguan, Chinese and Chilean experiences rather
than to present an "analysis" of those experiences.

3)  I wrote that "the Nicaraguan government ... did not propose moving
towards either the Soviet model or any other type of socialism."

Andy  responded by writing: "Jerry, you've got to define what you mean by
'any other type of socialism."

Again Andy misunderstands my point.  I did not say that the Nicaraguan
government did not accept my understanding or definition of socialism.

I wrote that the Nicaraguan government did not accept *any* model of
socialism.  Now, since the Nicaraguan government explicitly and
repeatedly said that they wanted a market economy and they did not want a
socialist economy, then one of two positions are possible:

Position One:
The Nicaraguan government was honestly representing to the Nicaraguan
people and the world what they wanted (my position).


Position Two:
The Nicaraguan government was intentionally deceiving the Nicaraguan
workers and farmers and the international community.

I have two problems with the second position:

1) It accuses the leaders of the Nicaraguan government of a *very serious
crime*, i.e. intentionally lying to the people about what their
intentions were. A charge such as that is not to be made lightly and is
an insult to honest revolutionaries.

2) where is the evidence that the Nicaraguan government really wanted
socialism?  If there was evidence, wouldn't Reagan have found it and
waved it in front of the American people and the world community?  If
there was evidence, wouldn't we at least have documentary proof by now?

Finally, the "commanding heights" policy was indeed a form of "social
control."  It is not doing the proponents of that policy "a disservice to
say it's not socialist" if the policy itself said that it was not socialist.


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