Trotskyism and the Cuban revolution/ratfinks

dms dmschanoes at
Sun Jul 6 12:27:03 MDT 2003

----- Original Message -----
From: "Walter Lippmann" <walterlx at>
To: <marxism at>
> > Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution, as I said in
> the last episode, was better as a description of the
> logic of a process, but wrong as s PRESCRIPTION
> or as a program for what should be done. It was due

Not to put too find a point on it,  but comrade Lippmann's remarks betray a
deeply mechanistic, and "stageist" approach in the analysis both of the
theory and actions of permament revolution.

How could permanent revolution be a valid description of a logic in process,
and yet be anti-revolutionary for developing a program for that revolution
when the point of the logic is to anticipate, accelerate, match the events
by creating such a program?

Does anyone think that program is divorced from analysis of the driving
forces of revolution?  Does anyone think the analysis of permanent
revolution somehow ends with the seizure of power and then needs to be
retired in favor of what?  Socialism in one country?

The point about the theory and practice of permanent revolution is that it
is of  a whole, requiring an international completion in program and power.
You don't get to select parts and discard the rest, just like you don't get
to select parts of Marx, say the analysis of the commodity, and then get to
discard the exploration of overproduction.

I'd like to know how the analysis of permanent revolution, where the seizure
of power by the workers in any one locale of capital, requires concurrent,
consecutive seizures of power throughout the universe of capital to be
successful, no longer applies.

We might look at the results of "socialism" in one or two or many countries
to see the result of the lack of permanent revolution.

Or we could just say, as Saint-Just did years before the theory of permanent
revolution, but as part of the practice of  revolution in general, "Those
who make revolutions half way only dig their own graves."  And it's the
shovels I hear at work in the Guangdong, Sakhalin Island, etc.

More information about the Marxism mailing list