J.Plant,Liquidating the TP and Trotskyism.(part 3)

Robert Malecki malecki at algonet.se
Fri Oct 11 04:28:59 MDT 1996


>Around the world workers are moving into new organisations. This
>tendency reflects a recognition of the failures of stalinism and social
>democracy, but does not yet reflect an ability to overcome the
>limitations of either. In the USA there is now a Labor Party. In Italy
>we see the growth of Rifondazia, in Britain the launch of the SLP to
>challenge the death-grip of the Labour Party. And there are others.
>New proletarian parties do not face only new challenges. Old
>problems remain to be attacked and overcome, which earlier parties
>have failed to defeat - the cluster of problems around working class
>independence from the interests of the ruling class (especially when
>dressed up in terms of 'the nation').

In reality what Plant describes as the workers moving into "new"
organisations is in fact more of the same politics of the old Social
Democratic organisations and neo-Stalinist organisations under new
conditions. It is not the name or the label of the so called "new" parties
but the political line that counts! The political line of these "new"
parties is the same old Social Democratic and Stalinist crap of the old
preceding era! What has changed is that Plant a Trotskyist liquidater wants
to capitulate and liquidate the revolutionary politics of Trotskyism
represented in the LO and the TP in order to tail these "new" formations
under the deguise of fake political unity on all of the old bankrupt
political programs. For example the popular front politcs or work in the
trade unions.

Plant continues;
>
>The problem of the 'nature of the epoch' interacts strongly with that
>of 'revolutionary consciousness and revolutionary leadership'. This is
>true almost regardless of the extent to which the 'Leninist' party idea
>is adopted. From an idea of the times in which we live, we derive a
>plan of action and our ideas about organisation and tactics. At least,
>this is the approach that we have been used to taking. The new
>mass parties (and aspirant mass parties in the case of the SLP) do
>not seem to reflect this approach. Instead they indicate a wish on the
>part of the masses to organise in the face of major threats to their
>rights, to unify and to overcome old divisions. If necessary, we seem
>to hear from them, unity is more important than clarity over past
>differences ; we have new problems to deal with.

The above his the confessions of a liquidater! In fact the refgormists and
centrist formations always want to turn over a new leaf after the disaster!
The only difference here is that the Trotskyist liquidaters want to be the
best organisers of a cleaned up reformism or Stalinism! That is the problem.
Instead of pointing out to the workers all of the historical betrayers of
these misleaders you want to join hands with them and DUPE THE WORKERS
AGAIAN! This is not a prblem. This is a betrayal of the revolutionary
program and principles of Trotskyism.

Plant continues;
>
>Leadership is undoubtedly a factor in the success or failure of
>revolutions, but if every leadership produced in the history of the
>proletariat (with the exception of Lenin ?) has failed in one way or
>another, do we not need some new theory of leadership ? The
>bourgeoisie has developed theories of leadership and gained
>experience in applying them in business and in the military. The
>revolutionaries have chanted the mantra about 'the crisis of
>proletarian leadership' for nearly six decades without producing an
>anaylsis or theory of leadership. It is high time to develop something
>better.

This is just a big fat lie! In fact the LO was quite explicit in explaning
the reasons for the crisis of leadership. That Trotskyism failed is
partially because of the liquidation of the old cadre and the opportunist
liquidationist of the fake Trotskyists that took over after the second world
war.


>
>Some of the problems about leadership arise out of the conception
>of the 'Leninist Party', (in practice usually a Zinovievist or even
>Stalinist concept has been used) the function of which is to bring into
>the proletariat a 'consciousness' which it is incapable of developing
>without the assistance of the intellectuals. Trotsky did not accept this
>formulation of Lenin's (see the biography of Stalin), but never
>succeeded in bringing this disagreement to the centre of his thinking
>about the revolutionary party. We need to attack this question today
>with determination, to adopt a view on the role of revolutionaries in
>relation to mass movements.

The above is also a bunch of liberal Menshevik crap. The democratic
centralist model of the party worked both fine for Lenin and later on
Trotsky. It was and is counter posed to the reformist idea of the party of
the whole class and later on the Stalinist model for organising the part and
the International. But Plant wants to to here is give us a combination of
all three! As a new model. But this is just so he can unite with these other
trends in the labor movement that are responsible historically for all of
the defeats of the International workers movement.

He is in reality plauding for a 1990ties model of Menshevism with a high
tech solution!

Plant continues;
>
>2.3  Has the TP proved effective in practical use ?
>
>The willingness of Trotsky and the founders of the FI to update and
>innovate is strikingly evidenced by the development of the
>'Proletarian Military Policy' (PMP) in the preparation for World War
>2.  The FI recognised a growing determination by sections of
>workers to take up arms against fascism and naziism, and drew up a
>set of demands that extended and strengthened the sections on
>military policy in the TP. Such flexibility and creativeness has not
>always been typical of the Trotskyist movement (although there are
>many honourable exceptions).
>
>The intention to create a bridge to the masses has often not been
>adopted by Trotsky's successors. Even during Trotsky's lifetime
>there was hesitation and resistance about the PMP. (The British RSL
>even refused to publish the TP because of its disagreement with the
>military sections of the draft.) And during WW2, again with some
>very honourable exceptions, the trotskyists groups did not succeed
>in building support among the forces resisting war measures or
>among the armed resistance movements.


>What other instances can be adduced ? How did transitional
>demands function in Paris 68, Ceylon, Bolivia, Czechoslovakia,
>Hungary, the Stalinist collapses etc ? To answer this question
>adequately would require a major book, and preparing it would keep
>me away from the list discussion I want to contribute to. To
>summarise, (so briefly as to be grossly unfair to many Trotskyists),
>the method of transitional demands, that of bridging to the
>consciousness of the working class, has been applied only
>inconsistently and irregularly. This has been an important factor (but
>not the only one) in the failures of Trotskyism since WW2.

Naturally in order to answer the above we have to answer the question of who
were the *real* Trotskyists during this period and which kind of poltics and
program they were in reality fighting for in regards to our common history.
Tjhus and analisis of Pabloism and the Mandelites. The various other groups
and leaders that evolved after the second world war.
>
>
>To achieve the right balance in a revolutionary policy is far from
>easy. At different times since 1938, elements of the Trotskyist
>movement have failed at the sectarian and the liquidationist
>extremes, in the nearly 60 years since the TP. This is not a reason
>to reject the programme (either specifically the TP or the idea of a
>programme generally). Far worse fates have befallen the successors
>of the Comintern parties who claim allegiance to the programme of
>Lenin and in consequence built a machinery of repression against
>the workers unparalleled in the history of the planet. And the SDs
>who have claimed to be able to live on their wits, without a
>programme since before WW2, what of them ? Have they been able
>to lead and develop the workers' struggle as a consequence of their
>'freedom of thought' ? As my friend Al Richardson is fond of saying,
>'to ask the question is to answer it'.
>
>2.4  Do we need a programme at all ?
>
>A 'programme' is exceptionally useful for any group, (please note
>that the questions of 'Leninism' and the 'Leninist Party' are not
>addressed in this note. They are to constitute separate threads on
>this list in due course.) in defining its perceptions (its 'world view')
>and its proposed solutions in a concise and comprehensible manner.
>In this respect it is as useful for small groups that have no
>immediate prospect of influencing the situation as it is for a group
>that leads tens of thousands of workers. If the organisation is
>capable of using it (which is not a question that can be addressed
>here), the 'programme' is a kind of compass that can be verified. It
>allows the organisation to ask itself 'Are we headed in the same
>direction as the class ?' and to make whatever decisions flow from
>the answer.
>
>In addition, a 'programme' is a clear statement of the relationship
>between the revolutionary group and the class. It is a statement of
>what is 'on offer' as a response to the problems of the class. It allows
>workers to choose among the many competing revolutionary groups
>(although there may be other factors that influence such a choice). It
>also constitutes the basis of a relationship between workers and
>revolutionaries. The 'programme' is the first (and only the first of
>several) important definitions of what workers can expect and
>demand of a revolutionary regime. If you include freedom of speech
>and freedom of assembly in your programme, and then fail to
>deliver on it, then you abandon your right to operate the machinery
>of state.

Plant her says not to much, however i am sure that he is clever enough to
come with a purposal on how the TP should be written if is "outdated" as he
claims. It should also have a section on the evolvement of the Fourth
International since the second world war and a section on Stalinism and
Social Democracy.

So we shall see what our liquidater friends come up with in order to justify
the claims that Plant, who is one of the better spokeman for this type of
Pabloite/Mandel liquidation trend, tjhat the TP is no longer valid.

I claim exactly the oppositie! The objective situation has not changed very
much since Lenin wrote his thesis on Imperialism and Trotsky continued with
his work around the degeneration and destruction of the Third International
by Stalin. And those tendencies that fought against first Pablo (the
American SWP) and later om those who fought against Mandel and the European
and Latin Ameican sections and finally against the demise of the SWP into a
reformist anti Trotskyist formation.

Bob Malecki

Naturally as i am banned from the "Unity" list i hope someone ships these to
the list.
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