[Marxism] Re: Bush November 2003 Visit To England--reply to Walter

lshan at bcn.net lshan at bcn.net
Fri Apr 2 17:44:29 MST 2004

Walter said:

(1) "Hard-working, though ossified revolutionaries
who have militantly abstained from the struggle
against imperialist war for decades, while
hardly "morally forbidden from commenting on
events in other countries" ought to get their
hands dirty by actually PARTICIPATING in the
struggle. Criticisms from the Socialist Labor
Party and the Spartacists are at least clearer
And better-written.

(2) "Making an analogy between Cuba and its ways of
relating to Spain and other capitalist states,
and the Soviet Union and its relationship with
Nazi Germany is not only inapt, it's bizarre.
Perhaps the author sees a similarity between
the Cuban leadership and Stalin's leadership
of the former Soviet Union? I fail to see it."

(1) I believe that the strategic line of taking the SWP as a whole into
basic industry was wrong. It would have been absolutely right to work with
comrades to get them into working class jobs and into unions or situations
where they could stay with the working class over the long haul. The
military type campaign to get into "basic" industry, which has been
accentuated over the past decades was a disaster.

However, to imply that members of the SWP are not "[getting] their hands
dirty" or "PARTICIPATING in the struggle" doesn't make sense to me at all.
What could be harder to do than what they are doing? No feedback (Christ,
the branches or locals rarely even have forums any more); leaving cities for
factory towns; small victories, many defeats. They have my greatest
sympathy. I genuinely hope that my former comrades in the later years of
their lives (and mine) will be able to say of themselves "well done."

You, Walter, can certainly say that. Your work in defending the Cuban
Revolution is a model. But it does not make you morally superior to those
who have followed a different path. More intelligent and more valuable, yes.
Morally superior? Only Gaiea can judge. [I hope that you see this as a

(2) Trotsky defended the Soviet Union in this action and emphasized that
Stalin in this case was acting in the interests of the USSR. Additional
examples were the trans-Siberian railroad issue (Trotsky defended the Soviet
Union's possession of against the assertion that it should be turned over to
China) and the war with Finland (Trotsky defended the Soviet Union against
Shachtman's claim that the war with Finland proved that the USSR was no
longer a workers state). I.e., what I wrote had nothing to do with
Stalinism. Nor did it imply anything negative about the leadership of the
Cuban revolution. 

My point was that just because the Cuban state is working for a positive
relationship with the social democratic government of Spain doesn't mean
that revolutionists in Spain shouldn't oppose Spanish imperialism. Doesn't
this summarize much of what the struggle was against Stalinism? [Sorry,
Louis, sometimes it can't be avoided.]

from Brian Shannon

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