No sense of proportion

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at
Mon May 13 00:21:44 MDT 1996

Carlos notes:

>    I don't see the point in discussing these points further with
>    Louis.  Louis hates the SWP but is trained in its politics and
>    political program.  He still is an SWPer with a "mother's complex".
>    He cites the same arguments, the same figures, the same bullshit.
>    His discussions with you and Miller is *from* an SWP trained
>    brain.  He accusses everyone who disagrees with him of being a
>    sectarian, but he is himself a sectarian who never built anything
>    in the mass movement and belongs to an organization, the Cof C in
>    the US which is as incapable of building anything in the mass]
>    movement as the SWP is.  Why waste your time?.  Discussing or
>    taking Louis seriously is *really* having *no sense of
>    proportions*.

This would be fine if Louis's positions weren't representative of a
sizable section of the left. The debate isn't just an individual
jousting match.

The factors I think have to be emphasized again and again in relation
to those who give uncritical support to the politics of the Sandinistas
and Castro (and in general to those who tail non-revolutionary existing
regimes or movements) are:

1) the development of socialism in the world needs revolutionary
workers' states run by revolutionary socialist regimes. Cuba doesn't
have a revolutionary socialist regime, even though the revolution set
up a workers' state. The Sandinistas never even set up a workers' state;

2) setting up a workers' state was quite possible in 1979 in Nicaragua
given the utter disarray of the bourgeoisie after the defeat of Somoza.
In fact, as the development of Sandinista/Castroite 'realism' has shown,
it was not just possible but the only *realistic* alternative -- *if
your main objective is to create a socialist country in a socialist

3) the apologetics for Sandinist policies, with facts and figures that prove
nothing because they are irrelevant to the political issues involved,
reveal a different objective from that of creating a socialist country in a
socialist world;

4) if your objective is clear, it is easier to make the right decisions
about how to achieve it. Distinguishing between the objective of revolutionary
socialism in Central America and the objective of petty-bourgeois nationalism
in a single country such as Nicaragua is part of this process.

So it's not a personal thing with Louis. And it takes patience. As I wrote
before, debating with positions like those defended by Louis is part of the

struggle for leadership in the class. Even if they're wrong, they're still
far from defeated. People waking up to socialism and mobilizing to action
will be
far more likely to meet Louis's arguments before they meet ours, for some
time yet.

The representative nature of Louis's arguments goes beyond his own
political base. There's a vague left consensus quality to them that will
make it easier
to defeat as mobilization increases, but for the time being offers some
attractions to people hesitating to commit to a real internationalist
revolutionary alternative. If the Sandinistas or Castro (or whoever) do it
for us, we don't have to do it ourselves.



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