On a method of discussion that leaves ALL the questions unanswered

David Walters dwalters at lanset.com
Sun Sep 28 11:30:09 MDT 2003

I want to dove-tail the point Fred made, especially in light of Mel's
recent flood of comments of his personal Hero: Stalin and Soviet

Fred made a very important point to all those "tankies" out there: Not
a one, not a two, not anyone lifted a finger to defend these Stalinist
regimes that Mel calls "socialist". By the way, "tankies" is a term for
anyone who defended the to the last day the maintaining of the
bureaucratic regimes that crumbled under their own weight as some sort
of socialism...and it includes Stalinists as well as many who call
themselves Trotskyists.

One of the highest most extensive Marxist works ever are Trotsky's
collection of writings published in 1944 called "In Defense of Marxism"
and his earlier, 1935 work, "The Revolution Betrayed". Both present a
Marxist-Leninist defense of both the class nature of the USSR and the
need to rid the state of the bureaucratic caste that was going to doom
it, one way or another. Most of you on this list are familiar with both
works. A running theme in both works is Trotsky's contention that
workers will defend to the last the USSR against an onslaught by
imperialism to role back the gains of October that still existed there
in-spite of Stalinism and it's depredations and disenfranchisement of
the working class.

What LT did not count on is the survival of another 50 years (2 or 3
generations) of Stalinism. The sociology of this means that as the
workers states crumbled, the atomization of the working class
politically under "socialism" worked against any sector of the class
defending regimes that they viewed so far removed from their own
interests. [Mel: Khruschev notwithstanding, not *one* workers
rebellion, Berlin 1953 through Sezchin, Poland 1956 to the late 1980s
ever raised the banner of Stalin or Stalinism.]

This atomization of the class that began VERY early, probably with the
Russian Civil War, had it's consequences, and that is the overturning
of non-capitalist regimes...and States, in Eastern Europe and Russia.

In this sense, Trotsky's prediction begat an ugly truth (albeit 50
years later than he predicted): that the seeds of capitalist
restoration lay inside the petty-bourgeois bureaucracy itself...and
THAT is the mother of all questions.

David Walters

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