[Marxism] Chavez, Trotsky and other interesting affairs...

dwalters at marxists.org dwalters at marxists.org
Wed Dec 8 03:10:32 MST 2004

I don't read into Chavez's comment anything too grandiose, just a sort of 
practical honesty by someone trying to change the fundemental way society in 
his country has treated the masses. Above all, Chavez is very objective about 
Trotsky, sees something in the internationalist aspects of Trotsky's Permanent 
Revolution that is worth raising in order to back up his own assertions, and 
understanding, of the international political economy that Venezuela finds 
itself in. I think it's good he's reading Trotsky and hope he can learn from it.

Chavez has worked closely with several international Trotskyist currents. He 
has a personal relationship with Alan Woods (this is the current that Celia 
Hart actually joined) and attended meetings internationally from his current. I 
think that's all good.

I'm not sure about Fred's rather flip comment about Chavez being a  "

revolutionist who needs no advice from Trotsky on the peasant question
". Let 
us let Chavez be the judge of that. Venezuela is not 1907 Russia or 1925 China. 
It is far more proletarianized than either so the relationship of forces is 
quite different. But if he picks up something from the polemic, as Fred states, 
between Trotsky and Stalin, then all the better, at least, for historical 

And this is something I think I agree with what Fred wrote, or implied, that 
Trotsky is "breaking out" intellectually, being viewed far more objectively 
than through the Bizarro-world  "History of the Communist Party of the Soviet 
Union (Short Course)" style of Stalinist historiography. If this is happening 
in the Cuban Communist Party as well, all the better.

Just on "Ameritechs" comment here: "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."

Ha! "
we all know
" huh? Evidently you were not around during the anti-war 
movement in the 1960s and 1970s or the Central American solidarity struggles of 
the 80s. But I grant you, some Trotskyists have been divisive, and so has 
anyone else adhering to any particular 'ism'
including those that hold high the 
banner of the Cuban Revolution (the SWP). So, go figure? I stated once before 
here  that relative to so many on this list (like Fred :) those that actually 
fought against the the Barnes leadership of the SWP and to preserve it's non-
sectarianism in the union movement, anti-war movement, etc were the 'anti-
Fidelista' Trotskyist opposition(s), and it was the very self-proclaimed "pro-
Fidelista" leadership that squashed both democracy in the SWP in order to make 
it more sectarian. I really try not to make TOO much of this but I couldn't 
help think of it in light of that comment about 'divisive'.

David Walters

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