The SWP's stance on Cuba in 1974
lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Sep 13 07:59:55 MDT 2003
>approach to Venezuela, while there have been adjustments and some
>excellent news coverage, is the latest example of this.
I would suggest that part of the explanation for this is a certain lacuna,
as they put it in postmodernist circles, in Trotsky's writings on the
colonial world. Keep in mind that after Trotsky was done with the debate in
the Comintern about China, he never really devoted much attention to
national liberation struggles in the South. To an extent, this can be
understood by the need to pay attention to fascism and the struggle against
it. But, despite the fact that Trotsky was given sanctuary to one degree or
another in Kemal's Turkey and Cardenas's Mexico, two revolutionary
nationalist regimes, he never really theorized about the class character of
his host countries. If he had, I am sure it would have been interesting.
Keep in mind that even in the debate over China, Trotsky never questioned
the need for a CP alliance with the KMT, only liquidating the party and
newspaper in the process.
In general, the Trotskyist movement--as opposed to Trotsky himself--simply
applied the Popular Front analysis to countries like Chile without ever
analyzing the class nature of the national bourgeoisie, which is a big
mistake. As should be obvious, this is a class that has been historically
stunted by imperialism. This fact also goes a long way in explaining why
fascism has not appeared in the South. The Popular Front and fascism are
governmental forms that are rooted in the class reality of advanced
Although I have never really devoted a lot of thought to the question, it
would appear to me on first blush that the approach of the MIR in Chile
made sense in retrospect. While identifying generally with the process
unfolding in Chile, it tried to arm the masses both physically and
politically. Something of the same dynamic exists in Venezuela with the
Bolivar circles but less so with respect to arms.
Louis Proyect, Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org
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