Louis, DSP, permanent and by stage revolutions

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 12 06:24:39 MDT 2002

>Of course, if your answer is "only socialism will resolve this or that
>problem" after the revolution takes place, it seems to me that you're in
>need of some "practical application of the program's" course from one
>Mr. Lenin.

As I pointed out already, Lenin and the Bolsheviks thought that unless
revolutions took place in Western Europe, the USSR's chances were dim. And
this was a country that had vast mineral resources, oil, an extensive
railway system, industry and a peace treaty with capitalist Europe. By
contrast, Nicaragua had the population the size of Brooklyn and a GDP that
was equal to what North Americans spend on blue jeans each year.
Furthermore, they lacked a powerful industrial working class that had a
long history with Marxist politics as did the Soviet working class. They
were also surrounded on all sides by imperialist-backed contra armies,
while the USSR was rapidly evolving toward capitalism. If Lenin thought the
USSR was doomed unless it was rescued by a victorious revolution in
Germany, what were Nicaragua's chances? Reading Lenin? Sometimes the
workers are outnumbered and outgunned. Look at the Paris Commune or P9 in
Minnesota if you want to understand how these things happen.

>Revolutionary socialists in such countries, or in Congo or any other
>similar country, have the historical task of formulating an economic
>plan for development of the country to expand the numbers, influence and
>structural power of the working class.

I thought you were in San Francisco. How are things going there?

>This task - reproducing and strengthening the proletariat - won't be
>fulfilled by the bourgeoisie either (as the bourgeoisie won't fully
>complete any of its historical democratic tasks) or, in the best case,
>you'll have "maquilas" owned by imperialism in your territory.  This may
>mean some limited development of the productive forces under capitalism,
>but will do little for the primitive accumulation necessary under a
>working class government to develop a socialist society.


Carlos, for Nicaragua to have "reproduced" the proletariat, it would have
taken a miracle considering the economic toll that contra war was having on
the country. Where was investment for new industry to have come from?
Banana sales overseas during a harsh embargo?

>The resolution of these and other tasks like these, by each and every
>revolution in relatively developed or economically underdeveloped
>countries will determine their fate. Of course, the degree of resistance
>of the international ruling class would be a critical factor for the
>survival of every revolutionary process.  But the alternative of not
>trying in the face of the potential opposition from imperialism, is
>simply the election to bypass the revolutionary process.

I suspect that the only way that the Sandinistas might have had a chance is
if they invaded the United States and overthrew Reagan. I myself would have
supported that, but I am afraid I was in a minority. Of course, the
Bolsheviks considered similar measures in the early 1920s, but they were
much better armed than the Nicaraguan army which lacked a navy or air force.

Louis Proyect
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