Social pressure and adaptation (was Re: A question for Jose P.)

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky nestor at
Thu Sep 2 16:41:30 MDT 1999

El  2 Sep 99 a las 4:09, Jose G. Perez nos dice(n):

> The SWP in the 30's 40's and 50's had a great deal of
> experience and success in applying precisely such careful,
> communist tactics within the trade unions. [...] In the
> words of the manifesto they did not set themselves up as a
> party opposed to other working class parties, they tried
> to distinguish themselves by being the best and most
> farsighted militants of the working class movement.
> However, the SWP historically did not succeed in
> consistently applying that same approach to other apects
> and manifestations of the class struggle. This has been a
> generalized weakness [...] in the attitude of
> many Trotskyist groups towards national and social
> movements in the third world, and especially in Latin
> America, especially those whose leadership is perceived as
> being bourgeois.
> In another thread Nestor suggests maybe this is due to an
> adaptation to imperialist pressures, if I understood his
> point correctly. Undoubtedly it is a weakness in the way
> the SWP educated and organizes its members and followers
> on this very important point, but I don't think it come
> from adaptation.

I did not imply adaptation at all.

"Adaptation" is not the word. It implies active
consciousness of the situation. I would almost _bet_ that
this is not the case. But conditions of existence may (and
usually do) determine the forms of consciousness in many
ways, most of them not perceived by the subject (and
object) of historic action. And conditions of existence in
the belly of the monster may prove too strong for even the
best intentions of the SWP leadership.

However, pro-SWP Trotskyists in Argentina (Moreno for
example) may be honestly regarded as the expression of
American imperialist pressure on our own Left.
This was the concrete consequence of what follows:

> More fundamentally, though, it comes from elevating a
> purely ideological, propagandistic "struggle" for Marxist
> "theory" or "program" or "strategy" as the highest form of
> revolutionary politics. Thus in the 1970s, the SWP
> invested enormous resources to purely ideological
> discussions of what revolutionaries ought to be doing in
> Chile, ought to be doing in Argentina, ought to be doing
> in Latin America...

Objectivelly, then, they were aping from the Left the world
patronizing attitude of the American bourgeoisie. May a
humble "quod erat demonstrandum" be added to this last sentence?


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