[Marxism] Cuba, Militant, American Marxists

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sun Apr 4 10:50:09 MDT 2004

Dear Stan - 

Louis doesn't like it when I write too
many messages, so I'll not respond to 
you on the list. I write about the SWP
because I know it better than others
on the left, and am interested also in
sharing my ongoing studies with others
who follow it through Marxmail. On its
own, the SWP is of little significance
except to present and former members
such as myself. I am clear about that.

Mumia is a model of how to communicate
with a genuine mass audience, I think.


Dear Walter,

However lacking in seriousness the Militant is, we let
other actual and so-called leftist, Marxist, communist or
working class papers off the hook by focusing just on the
Militant. The attitude towards the Cuban revolution is a
measure of the seriousness, or lack of it, of American
Marxist organizations. Actually of Marxists, period.

Possibly a majority of Americans who call themselves
Marxist revolutionaries find themselves incapable of seeing
a socialist revolution in actual life, in front of their
eyes. They can read about socialist revolutions in books,
and discuss it at length, but to be able to recognize one
in the real world, no that is demanding too much clear,
honest thinking on their part.

And how can those who call themselves Marxist
revolutionaries lead a socialist revolution when they
cannot even recognize it when it has taken place? The
Socialist Worker even thinks Cuba is still capitalist, a
Marxist version of the Flat Earth Society. The CP
recognizes Cuba as socialist, but is incapable of
understanding how to get from where we are to where Cuba
is, and in fact has decided it can't be done. The
Spartacist League can go to Cuba and reach the remarkable
conclusion that a Stalinist bureaucracy rules there. The
RCP, it seems, finds itself incapable of even bringing up
the subject of Cuba. In These Times seems about the same as
the others, except it doesn't use a lot of pseudo-Marxist
fluff to criticize Cuba.

It seems only Workers World can state what should be ABC to
any Marxist.

For a while the Militant transcended this infantile
ultra-leftism/Kautskyism of American Marxist groups. But
that seems to have been a blip on the screen, and now they
have sunk back into the low level of what passes for
Marxist culture in the US.

The Militant, however, only illustrates the general trend
of American Marxist groups. It is but one instance of a
general rule. For that reason it is misleading to focus
attention on that newspaper. We should direct our attention
to the general case: why many, too many American Marxists
find themselves incapable of recognizing the significance
of the Cuban revolution, the irreplaceable importance it
plays in the world. And we should live up to our
responsibility as Marxists in explaining to the public what
that actual socialist revolution has accomplished, and how
we can apply that here in the US. Stan Smith

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