Forwarded from Nestor

Philip Ferguson PLF13 at
Thu Jul 3 16:45:48 MDT 2003

Nestor asked me to forward the following to the list:

Phil Ferguson, scathingly criticizing social democrats and reformists,
wrote on the Marxism mailing list:
"After all, dying valiantly is good and leading revolutions is bad."
Which is a thought far deeper than intended. Reformists glorify (other
people´s) martyrdom and hate actual revolutionary rulers because they
represent social classes that consider themselves doomed when the lowest
ranks in society are represented, either directly or indirectly, by the
powers that be.
The importance of such an observation in Latin America could hardly be
diminished. Permanent glorification of our martyrs and simultaneous
lambasting of our popular leaders constitute the basic stuff on which
"Leftists" thrive and feed.  The loves and hatreds of these people
qualify them as reformists at the core of their light hearted souls, no
matter how emphatic their recitations of class issues can be.
Thus, the luctuous saga of massacres and victims, which in Argentina
(shamelessly twisting history more often than not, BTW) usually begins
with the "aborigins of the Pampas in 1880", goes on with the "Anarchist
martyrs of the early 1900s", then follows the trend of the "workers of
Patagonia in the 1920s", makes a great leap to Evita Perón and Ernesto
Guevara, to finally anchor in an endless crying for the "30,000 martyrs
of The Dictatorship (as if there had been none before)" and now for the "victims
of repression against the piqueteros".  This saga is, of course, very
apt to deactivate any actual will for struggle and for state power.
Which is exactly what reformists of all kinds are after.
Yes, worshipping martyrdom is a Reformist watermark.

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