On Trotsky

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at mailbox.swipnet.se
Thu Feb 15 10:13:05 MST 1996

Louis Godena, in a tired piece of hackwork, makes a couple of really daft
He writes:

> Toward the end of his life, Trotsky lamented
>the "congenital inability of the working class to become a ruling class."

The man's in good company. In Progress Publishers' one-volume selection of
Marx and Engels correspondence (2ed) I have noted over twenty references to
'bourgeois' or otherwise non-revolutionary workers - almost, but not all
presented in the spirit of this passage from Marx's letter to
J.B.Schweitzer of 13 October 1868:

        Here [in Germany] where the worker's life is regulated from
childhood on by
        bureaucracy and he himself believes in the authorities, in the bodies
        appointed over him, he must be taught before all else to walk by

Louis G then accuses Trotskyism of adventurism, despair, reaction, as
something typical for Trotsky and the movement he founded.

Adventurism! Let's have some examples of Trotsky's adventurism, please.
(I'm half expecting him to come up with 'thrust himself to the head of the
Petersburg Putsch in 1905' and 'lured Lenin into the irresponsible coup of
October 1917 which was to cost so many toilers' lives').

Despair! Examples, please. (Was Trotsky's battle for a proletarian
revolutionary party against academic impressionist sceptics in the final
year of his life characterized by 'despair'?! Or his analysis of events in
first Germany and then Spain during the last decade of his life? Or his
intervention in the struggle for a unified Trotskyist party in China?)

Reaction! (This is priceless stuff. Stalin at the head of the Stalinist
regime shafts the Chinese, German and Spanish revolutions and cuts deals
first with Hitler then with US and British imperialism, and *Trotsky* gets
accused of reaction!)

He limps on.

>It is revealing that, nearly 60 years after his death, there is yet to emerge a
>genuinely trotskyist revolutionary movement with any influence anywhere in
>the world.

This is the classic bourgeois (and petty-bourgeois left) empiricist
argument against socialism. 'Aint no socialism nowhere - it's illusion from
start to finish.' Trouble is, socialism exists as a goal and won't go away
because it represents the deepest class interests of the proletariat. Same
thing with Trotskyism. Despite claims to the contrary by many here in the
list (like Louis G and Louis P for instance), Trotskyism is a genuinely
revolutionary movement that represents the deepest class interests of the
proletariat. If any party of the IV International anywhere got real mass
influence, the effect on the rest of the world working class would be
electrifying. That's one of the reasons for the embittered persistence of
reaction (including the reaction of 'socialism in one country' and
'peaceful coexistence') in its efforts to thwart the development of a
Trotskyist leadership.

(I'm excluding small parlitamentary groupings like elements of
>the PT in Brazil that come and go and have only limited influence within a
>very limited sphere of electoral politics)

'I'm excluding one of the surest signs that something real and significant
is on the point of happening in Brazil.'

Tired Stalinism and resigned spectatorism is what Louis G is serving up,
and he's hardly had the decency to leave it long enough in the micro to
warm it over.





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