marxism-digest V1 #4593

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Apr 12 15:18:00 MDT 2002

On Fri, 12 Apr 2002 15:18:17 -0700, Alternative wrote:
>Lenin never thought that Russia was doomed, he
>just stated the fact that because the centrality
>of Germany (proletariat, more advanced means of
>production, etc), he was willing to sacrifice
>Russia in exchange for a victory in Germany. The
>German revolution was defeated and Russia was
>not doomed.

Okay, I overspoke. I should have said that the USSR would have
survived but in a very deformed fashion. But without help, Nicaragua
certainly would have not survived.

>Not to rehash old discussions, let's summarize:

But you did rehash them nonetheless.

>If there is nothing revolutionaries can do in
>underdeveloped countries in the course of a
>revolution - if they are opposed and blockaded
>by imperialism - other than trying to
>outmaneuver imperialism, maybe they should
>change careers, move to the US or Europe and
>become college professors.

Carlos, as I have pointed out repeatedly, my interest in the FSLN
(and FMLN) is less in how they governed, but more in how they won the
allegiance of the masses. Trying to "draw the lessons" of socialist
government from the decade or so of Sandinista rule is like learning
how to deliver a baby from watching doctors at work in a maternity
ward during an earthquake.

If there are going to be successful socialist revolutions, they will
require genuine vanguards. Marxist-Leninist parties have been
horrible failures, leaving a detritus of cult figures, splits over
obscure issues, isolation from the mass movement and fetishization of
the "program". So, while you persist in criticizing the FSLN for all
sorts of errors they made in power, you might make an effort to be a
little bit more reflective and figure out why schematically conceived
"Leninist" parties never took power anywhere in the world.

>  Hope you can see the
>contradiction between your support for the
>Permanent Revolution theory and your pessimistic
>view that nothing can be done when you're

I don't support the "Permanent Revolution theory". I support the
concrete analysis of concrete class relations.

Louis Proyect, lnp3 at on 04/12/2002

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