[Marxism] Re:Chavez and Trotsky

ameritech acoount stansmith44 at ameritech.net
Tue Dec 7 23:10:22 MST 2004

I realize there are a lot of Trotskyists or ex-Trotskyists on this list, though I guess I should be more accurate and say people who define(d) themselves as Trotskyists. However, I doubt Trotsky, as a Marxist, would ever counsel using such a term
to characterize his alleged denomination of Marxism. I doubt any of the important Marxist leaders would say there exists these denominations, like Trotskyism, Castroism, Guevarism, Sandinism. It rather implies there are "schools of Marxist thought", when in fact there are not. There have been many Marxist leaders, and some have left a deeper imprint on history and on the working class movement than others. Obviously the most important have been Marx and Lenin. But there are many lesser figures, some who have been forgotten, who shouldn't be, some who have been defamed. Trotsky was one of these -  first defamed by Stalin et al and more recently by the majority of people who call themselves Trotskyists. 
    To illustrate that last point, I have been to Cuba enough to know if someone says he adheres to Fidel's views, I know this person is going to work with a lot of people to build a broad anti-imperialist movement and keep it headed towards its goal. And we all know enough Trotskyists in this country to know that if someone in the movement defines him or herself as a Trotskyist that he or she  is going to have a laundry list of criticisms of the movement and will play a divisive role. Most of the defaming of Trotsty today is carried out by "Trotskyists" not "Stalinists."
    That said, I question the importance of Celia Hart or Chavez mentioning the name Trotsky. This seems to get seized upon and made into a sort of cult thing. What Chavez says about Trotsky that comrade Fred mentions is no more significant that if Chavez said it about Lenin or Engels or Castro. "there are no national solutions to global problems, referring to the need for a global effort to deal with today's challenges." All Marxists, and millions of non self-described Marxists would agree with that idea. I fail to see the great significance that Chavez said Trotsky also agreed with it. What is important is that a global effort is being built to combat imperialism. How often Trotsky's name comes up, well, how exactly does that matter?
   If Castro said in 1959, that they made their revolution under the banner or Marxism-Leninism, or even under the banner of Trotskyism, rather than under the banner of Jose Marti, would that somehow change the character of the Cuban revolution? 
   What role does the "Stalin-Trotsky" debate play today? The Cubans have had a living socialist revolution for 45 years. How often has the Stalin-Trotsky debate figured in their moving the revolution forward? Not once. 
   And so Celia Hart wrote something about Trotsky. I don't see why that would deserve more play that speeches by other a little more important  Cubans like Fidel Castro or Felipe Perez Roque. 


More information about the Marxism mailing list