Louis's apology for the politics of defeat

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at mailbox.swipnet.se
Sat May 11 07:54:48 MDT 1996

Louis writes, in his usual personalizing, psychologizing vein:

>Ah, you're just pissed because you would love nothing better than
>to flog the Sandinistas but lack the knowledge to get to square one.
>Months ago you bragged that you were going to set me straight about
>Nicaragua, but that never happened, did it? I have the good sense to keep
>my mouth shut when people are discussing some fine point of Marxist
>economic theory, but you can't avoid the temptation to engage in a little
>Sandinista-bashing from time to time. I hope you continue to keep these
>venomous discharges within modest proportions.

The way you talk, anybody'd think I was going for the leaders of the
Sandinistas for personal weaknesses, morally and psychologically.

For all I know they could be the greatest bunch of guys in the Western
hemisphere after Fidel, but that doesn't add a cubit of revolutionary
stature to their policies from 1979 on (or his for that matter).

Their line of international class collaboration was doomed from day one.
The treatment meted out to the Simon Bolivar Brigade was the first big
demonstration of this. The collusion of the Cuban regime in these measures
and its insistence on the blind alley of reformism (however 'radical' in
appearance) within the framework of a bourgeois state and within the
borders of one country also puts it in the dock *politically* during
history's tribunal to determine the *political* whys and wherefores of the
Sandinist failure.

There was no joy in watching the voluntary efforts of thousands of
enthusiastic foreign supporters of the Nicaraguan revolution -- not to
mention the efforts of the Nicaraguan people themselves -- being consumed
in the *politically* hopeless task of baling out a terminally leaking ship.

If there was the slightest glimmer of hope that such policies would ever
lead to a successful non-capitalist state emerging, I would support them.
There isn't and there won't be any such hope. *Politically* the Sandinista
line and the Cuban regime's support for it deserve nothing but condemnation
for wasting time and hope and consigning a golden opportunity to the
rubbish bin of history.

*Morally* and *personally* every effort -- including Louis's, it goes
without saying -- to support the Nicaraguan revolution and encourage the
Nicaraguan people in their fight deserves respect and admiration. There's
no contradiction in this, it's the expression of a tragic dialectic.

Respect should also be given to those who warn correctly of dead-end
policies and contribute concrete proposals to set them right.

When push comes to shove you need to be standing on firm principles. If
you're standing on squish, you'll fall on your face in the mud. The
Sandinista line, *politically* speaking, was squish. The push was there.
The support of the people was powerful and so was the solidarity effort. It
came to nothing because of the lack of firm ground to stand on.

Revolutions can be defeated even if they do the right things.

The Sandinista revolution was defeated because it did the wrong things,
>from the start.



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