Ferguson and Danny

Armand Diego causebellum at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 1 19:57:24 MDT 2002


Dear Ferguson: your information is distorted maybe
because your sources came from the American SWP.

All sectors were in the US(FI): Moreno's tendency
(most of the Latin American sections), the SWP's
tendency (mainly English-speaking groups in Britain,
US, Canada and Australia), etc. They formed the TLF
and after that the TLF until 1975-76 - being the
original reason of forming the tendency and then the
faction the fight against the guerrillareism of the
Mandel's and Maitan's wing -  in which it broke apart
by the decision of the SWP to have its own course
after the Portuguese revolution.

The Latin American sections formed then the Bolshevik
Faction of the US(FI) and they left the US(FI) to form
the LIT in 1979 because the incidents in Nicaragua,
the Simon Bolivar Brigade and the support of Mandel's
wing to support the repression of Trotskyism there.

Hugo Blanco joined the Morenist tendency in Argentina
in the early 60s, before he even knew of the existence
of the SWP.  He remained a member of the Morenist
tendency and a member of its coordinating body and as
a member of its Peruvian section until 1976 or around
that time.  Then he left with a minority the Peruvian
PST and founded the Peruvian PRT.

He then supported briefly the SWP and shifted to the
Mandel wing and then left the PRT and every organized
tendency of the US(FI) to join the PUM (the Unified
Mariateguista Party) to which he still belonged to few
years back when I last saw him in Chiapas at the
"Intergalactic" Conference organized by the
Zapatistas.

I have to say that during our conversation, he already
showed a great degree of physical decay.  Blanco
learnt all the ropes of political agitation and
propaganda from Moreno and he did so recognize in an
article he wrote a number of years back and in its
resignation letter from Moreno's tendency.  Give to
the Caesar what belongs to the Caesar.

On the other hand, Blanco reflected the best and the
"worse" of the Morenoist tendency.  A great mass
leaders, a courageous fighter and leader who will
always march in the first row, a great speaker,
agitator and propagandist ... a terrible theoretician.

Danny:  what we can learn, I think, from the
experience of the Morenists is the following:

a. the development of tactics and strategies to
penetrate the working class, lead mass struggles
(which they did in great numbers), the tactical
flexibility, the audacity of their actions, the risks
they took to advance the mass movement as a whole,
their programatic formulations that allowed them to
bridge present day consciousness with strategic
objectives, etc (the best I know in the Marxist
movement in this regards)  Their ability to work very
effectively in united fronts, unity in action and
proposing different forms of united struggle in each
stage of the class struggle.  But more importantly,
they developed a method to WIN struggles when they
were elected to positions of responsability in the
union movement.  On the other hand they never made a
fetishm of the unions and created, developed and
proposed ad-hoc formations such as coordianting
bodies, etc when the development of the class struggle
demanded it.

b. They developed some theoretical elements about
Latin American politics which, even though are not
earth shatering, they were new at the time.  They did
clearly understand how to work among peasants and
indigeneous people and were the first ones in the
trotskyist movement in Latin America to do this
effectively.

c. They were eager and able to polemicize with other
tendencies, particularly other trotskyists and they
always looked for decades for regroupments and
alliances based on programatic agreements.

d. Moreno's tendency was the first one to unmask the
euro-centrist methods of the Marxist movement and
actually offered an strategy to counter them on the
ground. All variances of the Marxist movement dealt
more or less - with probably the partial exception of
Maoism - with semicolonial revolutionaries in a very
paternalistic, Zinovievist way, even though they were
not that when dealing with European or American
sections of the their movements (the latter not sure,
though)

e. On the other hand, the theoretical development was
very crude.  They were isolated from he "intelectuals"
of the international movement who always despised or
patronized the revolutionary tendencies in the
semicolonial world. MOreno used to call this kind of
development of his own current as "Barbarian
Trotskyism."  This is part was due to the cultural
level of workers in many countries and the difficult
objective conditions to function in many periods.  But
it also reflected, if you wish, the pressure of a
highly demanding, activist set of parties very
involved in the class struggle that, to certain
degree, undermined the theoretical preparation of some
layers of their rank and file.

f. Moreno's tendency could not overcome the
bureacratic degeneration of a number of its upper
cadre.  But this responded more to the need to
maintain a disciplined party in times of underground
activity - at least initially those were the roots -
rather that the typical bureacratization that flows
from material gains.

But, again, you can also learn some similar lessons
from the Lanka Sama Samaja Party of Ceylon in the
1940s, 50s and 60s.  But as opposed to many Morenists
that tilted towards sectarianism, the LSSP went int he
direction of opportunism when they joined the
Bandaranaike (was she the one they joined? I'm not
sure) government.

Hope this is some kind of answer. Limited as it is.

DA



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