Godenas at aol.com
Godenas at aol.com
Sun Feb 18 08:12:33 MST 1996
Jerry has, obviously, taken a somewhat jaudiced view of my posting on
Mr.`Cliff (calling it, predictably enough, "slander", even though most of the
post is in Tony's own words). The same is true for Walter Daum of the League
for a Revolutionary Party (why can't people simply sign their names sans
affiliation and save us--and themselves--the embarassment). Jerry, though,
in an earlier post seemed to rest content with allowing "Adam" to answer it.
But, then, Jerry is not a person to sit still for long. Never Mind.
Cliff's de facto support for the war against Stalin, regardless who waged it,
is well known. His support for anti-communist "freedom fighters" in the
Ukraine and Georgia, wholly bankrolled, armed and trained by the Wehrmacht,
was a logical extension of his obsessive anti-Stalinism. In fairness to
Cliff, he held fast to the theory that the restoration of private property in
Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union was "impossible," so that opposition to
Stalin could be consumated with the most reactionary elements with impunity.
I think it entirely plausible to speculate that, had Trotsky lived and been
given the opportunity to be "installed" as general secretary in a Soviet
Union defeated by Nazi armies, he may well have taken it. In doing so, he
most certainly would have been supported by the likes of Tony Cliff.
There are many, many, other criticisms to made of this opportunist, other
than the earlier sins of support for US and British imperialism against the
DPRK (which, as I have pointed out, was wholly inconsistent with his and the
SWPs later support for the Vietcong and Saddam Hussein). His obsession with
Soviet "expansionism" into eastern Europe (at least England has "free trade
unions," he crowed) jibes perfectly with his efforts, like so many others on
the British left, to prop up a decaying capitalism with fossilized industry.
It would not behoove the defenders of Cliff and the SWP to pursue a detailed
examination of this lackey for imperialism. Even those who have sought to
"update" Cliff, like Callinicos or Harmon, have had to abandon essential
parts of his theories in order to preserve even a shred of credibility--Cliff
claimed in the seventies that the US and the Soviet Union had staved off
economic crisis through the arms race and military spending(!!)--but the
essential Cliff remains. The theory that the "Stalinist bureaucracy" was
"counterrevolutionary" to the core has placed the SWP--together with outfits
like "Workers Power," the "Militants" and Walter's WRP--on the same side of
the class line as Yeltsin, Walesa, Hekmatyr, Reagan and Clinton.
Try as they might, they cannot help but gag over the stench of their putrid
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