Colombia, Ireland and 'petty bourgeois reformists'

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky nestor at SPAMsisurb.filo.uba.ar
Wed Oct 27 01:56:24 MDT 1999



El 27 Oct 99 a las 17:52, Philip L Ferguson nos dice(n):

>
> SF and the IRA were *revolutionary nationalist movements*
> in the sense that the Third International - especially
> Lenin and Trotsky - used this term, and both consisted
> overwhelmingly of working class people.  When I was
> political education diurector for the Dublin area of SF in
> the late 1980s, we had 250 members in the city.

What you mean, Philip, a Marxist acting as "political
education director" of a rotten bourgeois self-defeating
movement?

This does not surprise me, in fact. Whenever I read on
these lists about concrete events in the Third World or in
countries of arrested development, or at places where there
is an ongoing struggle against imperialist occupation, I
say to myself "Oh, God, here we go again, they are
beginning to talk on Argentina!".

There has been a similar experience among us, on a
different tune, that of Angel Caeiro and  the union
militants of the State Employees union. But the outcome was
sadder than yours, because his pupils ended up as
divisionists, trying to break the workers movement in two
with the backing of European social-democrats. If Julio had
the time to tell us the whole story (which he knows very
well) it would be very instructive.

[...]

>
> This was a classic 'lower orders movement', as Marx
> described the Fenians. And just as Marx pointed out that
> this was one of the critical aspects giving the Fenians a
> 'socialistic tendency', it was also a key characteristic
> that impelled the Republican Movement of the 1970s and
> 1980s in a socialist direction.  The tragedy was that the
> leadership could not make the transition from
> revolutionary nationalism to revolutionary socialism - for
> while revolutionary nationalism is very much supportable
> in oppressed countries it is certainly *not* to be
> confused with revolutionary socialism - and thus ended up
> retreating.  It has now abandoned revolutionary
> nationalism and SF is becoming a fairly run-of-the-mill
> bourgeois nationalist party, a transition which - as it
> would have to be - is accompanied by changes in social
> composition and orientation.

This has always puzzled me, Philip. I understand your
involvement in SF and their activities, but didn't you find
any serious movement in Ireland giving critical support to
the Fenians? I mean, a group of socialists and
revolutionaries who would strike together with them but
organized separately? Why didn't you yourself try to help
forging something the like? Maybe I am too Argentinian in
the experience, but is it not almost a rule of thumb that
these leaderships _do not_ "make the transition"? I believe
the whole issue of the party lies behind these questions,
and your answer will be most welcome.

By the way, the following lines of your posting, which I
will snip for the sake of brevity, are in my opinion
excellent, and I will use some of them from time to time
here in Argentina, where we also have our harvest of
"programme fanatics" (we suffer from every disease of a
senile capitalism and have never enjoyed the benefits of a
full grown one, that's hard luck!).

Nestor









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