Subject: Re: (fwd from David McDonald) Re: Trotskyism and the Cuban revolution/ratfinks

David McDonald dbmcdonald at
Sun Jul 6 17:57:39 MDT 2003

dms writes:

>At one and the same time David McDonald has reservations about someone
surmising that Susan Sontag might have been receiving CIA money, and has
absolutely no reservations about applying the term "ratfink" to those, all
those  but especially Trotskyists, who take some exception to particular
actions and or policies of the Cuban government, even if they articulate
that exception in the course of discussions restricted to other Marxists.

David McDonald responds:

What I agreed with was Melvin P's tone, which I took to be one of
impatience. I don't think I agreed to or suggested that anyone be imprisoned
or shot for their views about Cuba, which is what normally happens at the
end of show trials

I do expect people who come from a Marxist tradition, or think they do or
wish they did, to try to operate in the real world and in particular to
attempt to understand the problems of actually leading a government of the
people, as happens in Cuba.

I stand by the charge of ahistoricism. Whether it's excoriating Lenin for
urging a peace with Germany that gave up huge chunks of Russia, or being
goggle-eyed that Cuba would have new and extra police to deal with the
influx of what looks to be 2,000,000 tourists this year, or being amazed
that Cuba would attempt to find some way to deal with the inevitable ensuing
prostitution problem (they're not just coming to Cuba to tour the sugar
factories, folks), petty-bourgeois moralism is always the same and
ultimately boring, because it is based on a moral stance that comes from
outside space and time. Where from then? Marx, Poverty of Philosophy: "These
ideas themselves have been slumbering in the heart of God the Father since
the beginning of time."

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