Reply to Louis re: Miscellanea

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Apr 30 07:00:37 MDT 2002


Carlos:
>As far as I know, Cuba is still a hostage of the world market, is
>re-introducing capitalism and people still do not enjoy the fruits of
>the socialist revolution, only the gains of the democratic revolution of
>1959-63 (preemptive answer: I do believe that Cuba is still a workers
>state).

?????

>Actually, this will sound funny, but he did.  Re-read his speeches when
>he tied the Cuban economy to Russia and the Comecom in the early 60s and
>how he explains or re-explains the revolutionary process in Cuba tying
>it to the continuity of the revolutionary past and present of the Soviet
>Union.

You know what I mean, Carlos. It is groups splitting over when and if the
USSR became state capitalist, or Stalinist, or a degenerated workers state,
etc. Castro took no interest in such questions except for believing that it
was a "socialist country" that could be of some help to a revolution in
Cuba. This perspective was a step forward from the standpoint of making a
revolution in Cuba. Looking at the flotsam and jetsam of Trotskyist splits
throughout Latin America over such questions in Alexander's book leaves one
with the conclusion that they were doing something wrong by elevating such
questions into a principle.

>
>Most likely you're right on this one.  But we will never know, is it?
>The theory of the "if" applied to history makes an interesting
>conversation tool, but contributes little to understand historical
>phenomena.

This is not the same sort of question as "what would have happened if
Hitler won WWII". It is not a question of contingency. There is a BASIC
FLAW in the Trotskyist party-building model that prevents it from achieving
any sort of breakthrough. Until the Marxist left comes to grips with this
problem, it will fail to move forward.

>In the book (Permanent Revolution) Trotsky digs into the theory to try
>to demonstrate why is applicable everywhere by generalizing the Russian
>experiences. Maybe you're referring to earlier works, possibly about the
>1905 revolution.  In any case, I got your point.  You think he was right
>in Russia and wrong elsewhere. Agree to disagree on this one.

The only thing Trotsky was wrong about was how to build a revolutionary
party. (Plus, he really did not grasp the ecological dimension of Marxism).

Louis Proyect
Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org



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