China prepares to invade Taiwan

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Fri Jun 9 15:24:12 MDT 2000

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky wrote:

> [snip] how would the
> United States of America be like today if it had been taken away from
> brutal foreign occupation, from internal fragmentation in warrying
> fractions, from hunger and disease, half a century ago. This is the
> history with China.
> [snip]
> Good luck during the early period has been a very important issue in
> the success of the USA. They were gifted by Napoleon with half a
> continent in order to transform them into a great power on the oceans
> against Britain.   [snip] when... Britain was left with the
> seas for her mighty Navy, the USA were already strong enough not to
> have to support

Actually Nestor doesn't catch the full irony here. The Monroe Doctrine,
the founding document of U.S. imperialism, was directed against direct
interference by continental powers in Latin America -- but Monroe
could take this step only on the implicit assumption that (at that time)
*enforcement* of the Doctrine would be up to the British Navy. The
U.S. was not yet strong enough to enforce it. And since British capital
was already elbowing out Spanish interests, England had no interest
in *direct* interference.

> But it is not so easy to see why should people who call themselves
> Marxists follow that trend of thought. Aren't we supposed to know
> better?

Yes. Actually, there are some extremely difficult theoretical and practical

issues around power within revolutionary movements that need to be
worked out over the years  -- and democracy mongering and bolshevik-
baiting do not contribute to the debate but prevent it.

I agree with Jose and others that those issues have been most thoroughly
worked out in the Cuban Revolution -- but no one revolution can provide
a template. All revolutionary movements are (during the long build up to
insurrection *and* in the period, perhaps of some years after a successful
insurrection) minority movements. And yet their survival (Yoshie has
of this on this list) in part depends on maintaining and building
mass support -- which cannot be done either with commandism or with
merely charismatic leadership and "propaganda" not rooted in people's
actual political experience. So there are real contradictions to be worked


More information about the Marxism mailing list