Nicaraguan Revolution, Peronism and Moreno

mmw kaliyuga at
Sat Feb 9 09:46:31 MST 2002

 > Our analysis and our tactical orientation would remain like a knife
> a blade if we do not follow through with the necessary conclusion. And
> conclusion is that in the present historical conditions, our cadres have
> take the whole body of Marxist theory and struggle, including Trotsky's
> contributions to it and translate them into the language of our lifetime,
> and into the language of the existing movements of the various countries
> which we are situated.

This is indeed the ultimate challenge!  First off, my apologies if my
comments seem naive or cover issues that have been discussed previously,  as
I am new to this list and only slightly less new to marxist thought.  Being
involved with a dedicated group of people who would consider themselves,
variously "peace," "environmentalist," and/or "anti-globalization"
activists, I am often involved in on-line and personal discussions on
ideological issues.

I've noticed that resistance to my commentary (whether specifically spelled
out as "marxist" or not) falls into one or more of the following categories,
and I would appreciate the benefit of others' experiences in addressing and
overcoming these issues.

    Lack of understanding of leftist history and/or disinterest in it.
    Resistance to anything "ideological" as too confining or too structured,
or not spontaneous enough.
    Absolute abhorence at the mention of certain words like "socialist" or

Where does one even begin?

> The worst error is to think this mainly a job of clearer language, or for
> our cadres to start masquerading as simple homespun mechanics who have
> too secure a mastery of grammar or syntax. What is involved if we are to
> integrate ourselves in the mass movement and to begin functioning
> effectively as its Marxist wing, is that we have to rid ourselves of all
> faction spirit and too narrow understanding of the Marxist's role in the
> centrist and reformist milieus of our time.

Again, being a newcomer, I was anxious to "belong" somewhere, but unable to
determine my place confronted as I was by a dizzying array or choices.
> Our purpose is to bring our ideas into the mass movement, and to gradually
> raise the consciousness of the ranks to the historic tasks. But the last
> thing in the world we should attempt is to inculcate the ranks with the
> necessity of adopting our specific tradition, and impressing upon them the
> truth of all the evaluations and proposals broached by Trotsky from 1923
> on.

Does this mean we must shy away from mention of historical figures?  If so,
would this not smack of deception, if not outright cowardice?  While I doubt
that you are suggesting a complete break from the tradition, how does one
encourage others to place value in the lessons of history without making a
fetish of it?

>The thought that in the coming period of our activity we have to go out
> of our way to mention the name and work of Leon Trotsky, and the name and
> the existence of the Fourth International, shows how far all of us have
> become infused with narrow group thinking, and organizational fetishism,
> how far we have traveled from the outlook of Frederick Engels, who warned
> the Socialists in America not to publish the Communist Manifesto, as it
> based on old-world experiences, and that the American labor movement,
> developing under different conditions, would not understand it, and would
> not know what Marx and Engels were talking about. Why isn't it possible
> us to take this simple thought of Engels and apply it to ourselves and our
> work? If Engels didn't think this was putting a question mark over his
> revolutionary integrity, why should we?
> Louis Proyect

So the question remains, what WOULD they understand?

Thank you.

(I would prefer not to use my real name.  Would it be appropriate to use my
pseudonym "Tamara Bunke"?)

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