Louis and Trotskyist tautology

Alternative alternative at sbcglobal.net
Tue Apr 30 13:33:13 MDT 2002


"Basically, we are offered a tautology by our Trotskyist comrades with
their "theory" of Permanent Revolution. It states that unless a
revolution is socialist, it cannot succeed. This is tantamount to saying
that unless the sun comes up, it will remain dark outside. Or that
unless a cancer patient is treated successfully, he will die. It adds
nothing to Marxism to offer such simplistic advice."


Neither Trotsky nor any Trotskyist denied the existence of non-socialist
revolutions. Trotsky and his followers understood clearly the question
of democratic, political and other revolutions which are not social
revolutions.  Invoking such ghosts - which belongs to the darkest times
of Marxism - clarifies nothing and muddles the debate.  No one on this
list had ever taken that position.

The Theory of the Permanent revolution does not deny the existence of
revolutions others than socialist ones. What it was argued was whether
non-socialist revolutions can carry out the democratic tasks to its full
realization or whether non-socialist movements could lead society
"moving forward socialism."  Furthermore, the debate is also whether
some of the so-called "socialist revolutions" completed those democratic
tasks and advanced towards the realization of socialist tasks or not.

An empirical inspection of the present situation of a divided Ireland, a
semi colonial India, a Nicaragua governed by a bi-partisan deal between
neo-Somozistas and Sandinistas, a Cuba re-introducing capitalism, a
Peronism incapable of even being bourgeois nationalists, Putin at the
head of Russia, and the Chinese Communist Party INC., a South Africa
where economic apartheid is alive and well, etcetera will give you a
more sober reality check than the fixation on criticizing "vanguard"
parties or Trotsky's theories for "having told you so."

It is ironic that these same comrades raising these false "criticisms"
of Trotskyists, are repeating the lists of "successful" revolutions some
Trotskyist used to revise Trotsky's theories.  The SWP today, the
organization Lou so much (and rightfully so) despises, holds his
positions on Trotskyism. That should be enough to give everyone a reason
to pause and re-think whether they are pushing a new strategic thinking
in the Marxist movement, or just cooking with old recipes.


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