Fwd: Finally, a reply to the Stalinist

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Thu Feb 22 07:30:54 MST 1996

On Thu, 22 Feb 1996 detcom at sprynet.com wrote:

> Leon Trotsky had a novel approach to party
> impurities; execution.  Trotskyists avoid
> the facts, as Commander of the Red Army (from
> March 1918 to January 1925) the army of the
> revolutionary Soviet Union - Trotsky ordered
> the use of military force against the Krondstadt
> uprising of sailors in 1921.  The Krondstadt
> uprising was protesting Communist Party policies.

Louis: I think we are finally getting to the bottom of our
troubles with the PCP supporters. Jay Miles says that Trotsky had a novel
approach to "party impurities".

Look, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the *governing party*. It
was bound by Soviet constitutional law. Even under the constraints of a
brutal civil war, it could not violate state law.

Meanwhile, the PCP is a guerrilla group that would like to rule Peru. It
is a Maoist party that is trying to take power. When the PCP administers
"people's justice" in the countryside, it is the judge, the prosecuting
attorney and the executioner.

When Trotsky, on behalf of the Soviet state, carried out summary justice on
the battlefield, he was responsible to the people of the Soviet Union who
had overthrown the provisional government in favor of socialism just the
way Grant or Pershing was to government of Lincoln.

The PCP acts as if it has already taken power and this is what people
like myself, Monthly Review and NACLA find offensive. Peru has had a
left-wing movement that predated the PCP. This movement is not Maoist.
There is a divided movement in Peru: Maoist and non-Maoist. The PCP
tells the non-Maoist left in Peru to become Maoist or else get out of town.

This list is a microcosm of the left internationally and in Peru as well.
Maoism is weak internationally and in the United States. There are a
handful of Maoists on this list and this corresponds to their importance on
the left.

The left in the United States has been vaccinated against the kind of bombast
and empty militancy Maoism represents. That is why we don't include tags
like "Long Live People's War" at the end of our messages. These types of tags
are a substitute for thought and action. They are the verbal equivalent of
hammer-and-sickle badges.

Maoism is not just ultraleftist, it is intellectually shallow. I
presented evidence that Stalin was responsible for the Shanghai massacre
of 1927. Meanwhile the PCP defends Stalin's reputation as one of the
great revolutionaries of the 20th century. There is no analysis of why
the massacre happened. All that Axtell can say is that comrade Stalin
made an "error", but Mao didn't forsake him. Mao remained faithful to
Stalin. This kind of stuff might pass muster in the circles you travel
in, but for people who are trained to think critically--as most people on
this list are--this is just laughable.

Maoism has made a re-appearance in Peru and has galvanized the scattered
dregs of the American Maoist movement. So what do our Maoists do on this
list? They embark on a path of reading everybody out of the revolutionary
movement who does not share their view of the PCP. It is they who are the
genuine item and everybody else who is a fake leftist.

One of the people who they attack is worse than a fake leftist. They
charge him with being a cop. What evidence do they provide that Carlos,
the Trotskyist of Argentinian origin, is a cop? None.

What happens to police agents in Peru, Jay Miles? The PCP administers
summary justice. You and the other PCP supporters are the very reason
most of us find the PCP that inspires you totalitarian and creepy. You label
people cops without evidence.

We can extrapolate your witch-hunting mentality on this list and apply it to
the guerrilla movement you identify with. What difference is there between
the kind of baseless charges your hurl at a member of this list and the kind
of charges that have led to the deaths of leftists you disagree with in Peru?

By the way, Jay Miles, the reason I supplied my "resume" is that I
believe actions speak louder than words. I don't go around appending tags
like "Victory to People's War" or "Long Live Communism" to my messages.
Words are cheap. In your case, they come across as posturing. I have no
patience for phrase-mongers. If a mass socialist movement is built in the
United States, it will have be because activists with accomomplishments
in the mass movement have decided to coalesce.

There will not be a place for Maoism in this impure, revisionist
movement. You are too revolutionary for us. I strongly urge you and
Axtell and your co-thinkers to keep your organizational and
political independence. I also urge anybody on this list who gets turned
on by phrases like "Long live People's War" to join up with these two and
Quispe. The role you can play is as a pole of attraction to all those
leftists who like to holler out radical phrases. You and the rest of the
Maoist movement should be the place people go when they choose verbal
militancy over action. If the US left is something like the human body,
then the role you play is something like the small intestine. Not a
glamourous organ, but an important one nonetheless.

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