A reading list for Anthony

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at SPAMtao.ca
Sat Nov 25 16:42:15 MST 2000

> And I asked: "Also, what does it mean in the concrete to reject
> "stagism" in the current historical conjuncture?  Say, with regard to
> Serbia, China, Argentina, the USA, etc.?  Take your pick, and
> illustrate it for us."  One might suspect, with regard to Yugoslavia,
> that our opponents may accuse us of "stagism," in that we didn't
> think it was a good idea for workers & peasants to revolt against
> Milosevic just at this moment in history.
> Yoshie

Not an expert on this matter. Starting from that point...

I have had the distinct feeling that Marxists who attack other revolutionaries as
"stagist" over such things as defense of the SPS vis-a-via foreign capital are
vulgarizing Trotsky's thinking on the matter. When these characters go about these
discussions it is usually from a position of a group that involves 4 or 5 people. In
that light, one can see how Trotsky would have likely  approached the question quite
differently, not being someone who was ever engaged in calling for insurrections of a
handful of people but rather entire classes. In absence of having anything better to
today's "Trotskyists" might think it appropriate to ascribe such a tactical approach to
L.D., but "all or nothing socialism" is not what Trotsky had in mind.

Stagism, so defined, could be best ascribed, IMO, to the SACP rather than those who
would defend the SPS. When the ANC was still far out of power, then I would not
it as a "stagist" deviation on the matter. However, now that equation is different
entirely and the SACP continues to be a part of the government.

It really comes down to whether or not the situation is a defensive one, or if it is
possible to be proactive. I would suggest that in Yugoslavia it was impossible to go on
the offensive without risking what has now been lost- economic sovereignty.


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