[Marxism] Re: Nicaragua: The Revolution in 1985

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Thu Aug 5 11:17:49 MDT 2004


Thanks for commenting. Some replies:

1. I wrote "Nevertheless, the growth of a small-holding peasantry, even
where it is organised into co-operatives, cannot promote a socialist
dynamic in agriculture or a socialist consciousness among the
peasants."  You replied with a 1923 quote from Lenin - in the context of
NEP - about how they do lead to socialism. But the trouble is they
didn't, because the NEP (which did indeed have some similarities with
Nicaragua in 1985) was not a move towards, but a retreat from socialism.
More importantly - and oddly for someone who talks so much about being
concrete and who thinks that "all comparisons with the Soviet Union must
be extremely  guarded" - you ignore what  El Nuevo Diario said about the
*actual* Nicaraguan situation: "[Agrarian reform] is creating, not a
collectivist consciousness of real socialism, but a middle class
consciousness among the peasants".  Old quotes from Lenin don't answer

2. You say: "Nicaragua's population was equal to Brooklyn's. It lacked
manufacturing and the raw materials that could be used to make capital
goods. There was one elevator in the entire country
 With the Soviet
Union cutting deals with the USA in the late 1980s to abandon Nicaragua,
how could one expect this country devasted by civil war, earthquake and
low-intensity warfare to "build socialism?"  I didn't. But there were
those who thought it was in fact happening, and I was trying to convince
them otherwise. That is the point.

3. You say it's "a bad mistake, to hold up the USSR in 1917 as a kind
of  yardstick for judging whether socialism is being constructed. This
is  especially true for Nicaragua where only 73 thousand people could be
described as working-class". I take your word  on the facts. They help
us understand why the working class was not in power. QED.

You continue: "It is highly likely that workers councils in Nicaragua
did not arise because the main engines of struggle were in the informal
sector, small ranchers"
"If so, yet another reason the workers weren't
in power and Nicaragua wasn't on the road to socialism.

3. With regard to certain facts reported by the "Morenoite" current, you
write:  "I would not look at their intervention in Nicaragua as their
best work. Neither should you." I don't know what your experience of
them in Nicaragua was, Lou; they seemed sensible enough to me. But as to
the facts they reported, I went out to the factory precisely because I
wanted to hear from the workers, who did in fact tell me there had been

Facts are stubborn things, even if they come from the dreaded

(The article is here:

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