'Armed Social-Democrats' - Maoism & class struggle

Rahul Mahajan rahul at peaches.ph.utexas.edu
Tue May 28 16:29:33 MDT 1996

Very amusing, Hugh. All that verbiage and you didn't even address my
question. The various Trotskyist sects (3 people who form the vanguard of
the vanguard, except one of them turns out to be a Menshevik opportunist,
and then the other two have an antagonistic contradiction about how to
handle him, so you're left with 1 person who has the "correct line") have
been just as stupid, dogmatic, uninterested in the material realities about
them, and combative about obscure formulations that mean nothing in
practice as any Maoist sect.

About the other points you made. I of course never equated Trotsky with
Mao, and am well aware of the things you said that were true, e.g. that Mao
became a good friend of dictators and imperialists while he was in power.
To say that Mao was never a communist but rather some kind of bourgeois
nationalist is idiocy worthy of Robert Malecki and does not require

The comparison of Trotsky and Mao is completely pointless, since not only
did Trotsky never head a country, no Trotskyist group has ever held state
power. Reading your posts is certainly helping me to understand why.
Although Trotsky and a few of the early Trotsky-inspired analysts did often
root their work to some degree in an analysis of the specific material
conditions of the societies they were talking about, even here one can see
the tendency toward abstract schematism based on a profoundly idealist
notion of the correct ultraleft path (usually justified by the
pronouncement: do X and then the people (or the proletariat) will rise up,
without bothering about the mechanism or the likelihood of such things ).
In the later sects, as exemplified by your own analysis, any possibility of
considering the concrete realities of any society in any way -- economic,
social, ideological, geographical -- is tossed right out the window in
favor of calls for revolution based on a known, pre-set path which is
historically inevitable even though it never happens.

"Superficiality?" The word applies perfectly to the incessant invocations
of worldwide revolution of late 20th-century Trotskyism, though I imagine
few would go as far as you, who have explicitly defended superficiality as
a principle in the analysis of society and of revolutionary movements.


     --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---

More information about the Marxism mailing list