Reply to Marcus Strom

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Sep 5 06:22:49 MDT 1995

On Tue, 5 Sep 1995, Marcus Strom wrote:
> You also have your ideas on what a party of a new type is. I think I
> gave the beginnings of an outline of what I considered this to be - I
> think you should place your cards down.
In the next installment of my discussion of "Marxism-Leninism", I will
attend to Stalin's Comintern and Trotsky's Fourth International and
explain why both models of party-building have been actually been the
same in some ways: they create a "vanguardist" model based on a
misinterpretation of the actual Bolshevik experience. I spent my entire
Labor Day weekend wading through Isaac Deutscher, CP history, Trotsky and
Cannon and am nearly ready for my next post.

On the subject of the type of party I propose be built, I deal with that
in post number 3. I want to discuss my reading of the Cuban and Nicaraguan
revolutions and a book which tries to generalize theoretically from the
Nicaraguan experience called "Fire in the Americas". There will be no
ambiguity about the type of party I propose be built after this post.

My final post will deal with Trotsky's Marxism. I feel safe at this point
in stating that the tradition of Marxism was kept alive by Trotsky
throughout the 20's and 30's and that the current generation owes much to
him. However, I think Trotsky's ideas, like Marx, Engels, Lenin, etc.,
need to be assimilated and used in one's own approach to the problems of
revolution in our time. Trotskyism, time after time, shows itself to be
perceptive about the big battles of the past (China, Spain, etc.) but
fairly clueless about the class-struggles in the countries of its own
environment. The reason for this, simply put, is that the method of
Trotskyism has a built-in sectarianism and dogmatism that limits its
usefulness. I say this as an 11 year veteran of the American Socialist
Workers Party, in Trotsky's eye's the most fully proletarian and
revolutionary component of the FI.

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