What holds us back?

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Sat Apr 6 11:14:09 MST 1996


On Sun, 7 Apr 1996, Ken Howard wrote:

> >Curioser and
> >curioser, Is stalinism and the perversion of marxism embodied within it
> >counter revolutionary or not? Those who sit on the razor are bound to
> >damage to themselves.KenHoward.
>

Louis: Adolfo has made a valuable point. There is nothing stopping
Trotskyists or anti-Stalinists of one sort or another from going out and
building parties based on the model they favor. This is not 1936 when an
attempt to build a group that was not loyal to Moscow was almost doomed
>from the get-go. Rather than blaming Stalin for all of our problems, the
comrades who come from a Trotskyist tradition have to look within
themselves at some point. Trotsky made a number of profound contributions
throughout his political career, but the one that was most dubious was
his decision to build a "Fourth International." The parties that belong
to this tradition *never* made any breakthroughs anywhere, even in
countries where the CP was not hegemonic.

With the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the dubious status of socialism in
China, Vietnam and even revolutionary Cuba, it is absolutely essential
that the left reject schemas and dogma from the past.

This does not mean accepting ideas such as "socialism in one country",
"two-stage theory", etc. but it does mean developing theory and practice
appropriate for 1996 rather than 1936. Marxism needs to be replenished on
a continuous basis with fresh analysis and an honest review of objective
conditions or else it turns into a religion.


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