The Permanent Revolution debate is a useless, phony debate
MLause at cinci.rr.com
Tue Jul 8 06:23:25 MDT 2003
I did not understand it when I encountered it in the SWP, but it is part
of the sociology of such groups that these theoretical and ideological
niceties represent secondary or even tertiary considerations. The SWP
never felt the need for more than an appearance (to itself only) of
consistency, which it saw as the earmark of a scientific understanding.
The same people who didn't understand beans about permanent revolution
or the national question regularly applied it to everything. I remember
hearing YSA speakers talk about Cajun nationalism in Louisiana (a bit
like Puritan nationalism in Massachusetts) and even feminist separatism.
The "ideas" were mere advertising jingles intended to do the same
thing--lull and comfort the consumer with the wisdom of the party
leadership. Whatever would be said or done--or debated--was about
homage to the hierarchy.
It reflected a concept of change more akin to sympathetic magic. You'd
find the turn of phrase that was politically correct (first heard the
phrase in the SWP) and that would resonate (also heard that expression
first in the SWP)..."abbracaddabra"...mass movements to whom the rest of
the workers would look at, puppy-eyed for leadership. And those
movements would look puppy-eyed for leadership to the party.
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