Which dodo is really dead?

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Sat Sep 14 06:32:22 MDT 1996

On Sat, 14 Sep 1996, Richard Bos wrote:

> It is strange that the bourgeois media always have time to attack Lenin,
> Marx, Stalin, and Mao too. But Trotsky, it seems, through the capitalist
> media looking glass, led the perfect private life, and won the Russian
> revolution single-handed.

Louis: It wasn't always that way. During the 30s and 40s, being pro-Stalin
was a surefire method to advancement in the unions, state department, film
industry, etc. All Trotskyists got for their trouble was busted teeth when
they tried to sell their newspapers publically.

Of course, Trotsky was easier for the bourgeoisie to swallow in the 1950s
and 60s when the Kremlin was the bogeyman. But today both figures are
discredited in polite bourgeois society.

My position on the whole Stalin-Trotsky question is to simply state that
whichever thinker helps you understand the current class struggle and act
effectively on it, then go for it. Gonzalo's reading of Stalin wasn't an
obstacle to allow him to reach the most deeply oppressed people on the
continent, a real breakthrough when you stop and think about it.
My own study of Trotsky's ideas has helped me enormously but I am not
going to go out and proselytize for them. 11 years of that was enough.

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