Trotskyism and the Cuban revolution

David Walters dwalters at lanset.com
Sun Jul 6 14:18:07 MDT 2003


Walter wrote:

"Requires" is the decisive word here.

It's a distortion of Trotsky's theory to
insist that this is "required" but those
who label themselves as Trotskyist
faulted the Cubans who led their
Revolution for not having put forth an
explicitly socialist program.

THIS is the key "requirement" where
Trotsky's analysis of the Russian
Revolution of 1905 have been frozen
into a "demand" that revolutionary
movements explicitly adopt an anti-
capitalist political program. That is
the reason why I have left the idea
of "Trotskyism" as a distinct current
in Marxism. Please feel free to call
this "stagism" if you think such a
label is helpful, however.

Let my add my view on this...I think John Paramo is "essentially" correct,
but everyone usually misses the parameters, including John.

Where John is correct, in humble opinion, is that  PR is a PROGRAM, not just
an analytical tool looking backward that says "see...they had to go forward
to the Dictatorship of the Proletariat or they'd be dead...". Part of the
problem here is that often people use Peter Cameo's introduction to the
Pathfinder version as their interpreter-guide on PR, and this was, again,
IMHO, a mistake.

One can certainly prove, and Trotskyists have, by looking at the Chinese,
Cuban and other revolutions and do what I used above as a sort 'proof' as
toe validity of the program of PR. We could debate that back and forth,
obviously. But it still misses the point.

PR states that in order to achieve the success of the Democratic
revolution...or, it's 'tasks' as Lenin and Trotsky were fond of saying, then
the revolution that STARTS as a democratic one can only truly be completed
by carrying out the socialist tasks, and that only the working class
exercising it's dictatorship, in alliance with the rural masses, can carry
it out.

I wanted to emphasise "STARTS" precisely because ultra-left Trotskyoids (my
own personal derogatory term for want-to-be sectarian Trots :) think it's
"all about socialist revolution". Not!  "The Revolution" does NOT start as a
socialist one...it finishes as one. This runs throughout Results and
Prospects and Permanent Revolution. ERGO, the slogan of "democratic
revolution" in and of itself is completely congruent with PR...but it's the
role of the revolutionary party to educate and organize the working class
and peasantry/rural proletariat that only by NOT STOPPING and carrying
through to the dictatorship of the proletariat, or as the Comintern put it
"A Workers Gov't" can we succeed with THE revolution...which usually
revolves around national independence, imperialist war, democratic rights
and land reform plus what ever else is pissing the masses off at any one
time.

This is why Lenin's "Democratic Dictatorship" and Trotsky's "Permanent
Revolution" are not 180 degrees out from each other, more like 10 to 20
degrees but both pointing west, so to speak.

If there is a fight against imperialism and colonialism, Trotsky always
attacked those that would abstain from this fight. Left
Oppositionists/Fourth Internationalists were to support UNCONDITIONALLY
every fight against imperialism and colonialism: every fight FOR the
Democratic Revolution. But within that context..with in that fight...help
push the revolution toward a socialist conclusion so that such a fight could
be victorious.

David Walters





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