[Marxism] Re: Nicaragua 25 years later

Lueko Willms l.willms at jpberlin.de
Sat Jul 24 00:02:43 MDT 2004

.     Am  23.07.04
 schrieb  loupaulsen at sbcglobal.net (Lou Paulsen)
      in  20040723180624.46326.qmail at web80804.mail.yahoo.com
   ueber  Re: [Marxism] Re: Nicaragua 25 years later

LP> I think it is a very big mistake to think that any time any little
LP> country engages in an anti-imperialist struggle against the
LP> imperialist colossus, there must somehow be a "strategy of
LP> victory" hidden in the mix of possibilities, as if you were on
LP> level 10 of a video game and had to figure out what the secret
LP> weapon against the boss monster is. Video games are programmed so
LP> that there is a way you can win, but wars against imperialism are
LP> not.

  Advancing, defending and leading a revolutionary struggle is  
certainly much more an _art_ than playing a video game, but I just  
humbly follow Fidel Castro's opinion that a people which has taken its  
fate in its own hands cannot be defeated.

LP> Therefore I don't think that you can talk -at all- about "failures"
LP> of strategies, or that the election of February, 1990, "proved" some
LP> failure,

   in this case, sure one can. When someone says "we did this or  
avoided that, in order to avoid defeat", and then the defeat happens  
nevertheless, one can with all certainty say, that this course did  
_not_ avoid defeat, i.e. that it failed in this regard.

   It does not prove, and maybe that is what you are concerned about,  
that this tactical or strategic decisions are wrong as a general truth  
and in all and every circumstances. But I didn't say that.

LP> unless you first rigorously *prove* that your own favorite
LP> strategy would have beaten the United States.

   The proof of the pudding is in eating it, isn't it? No I would not  
dare to present "my own favorite strategy" for the Nicaraguan  
revolution of the 1980'ies.

   This is different from e.g. the fight against fascism in Germany,  
where alternatives to the course of the KPD where clearly presented in  
a public debate, and where one can assert with certainty that this  
alternative to the sectarian ultimatism of the KPD leadership would  
not only have avoided the destruction of the largest and mightiest  
working class movement outside of the USSR at that time, and even  
might have opened the way to taking power out of the hands of the  
propertied classes.

   If in Nicaragua there would have been such a debate, I might say  
that the course proposed by this or that current would have proved  
more successful, but I prefer to limit myself at this moment to simply  
pointing out, that this "we avoided attacking the plantation owners in  
order to defend the revolution" has not yielded the intended result.

LP> The election of 1990 was about as fair under the circumstances
LP> as Milosevic's trial,

  That is quite a strange statement -- the election took place with  
the FSLN in power. What resemblence did this have with Mr. Milosevic  
being imprisoned?

LP> so it's not clear to me what it proved at all.

  well, it proved that the revolution did not have a majority at the  
polls, didn't it?

LP> Actually, I would be a lot more interested in reading your opinions
LP> about the "failure" of our own strategies that we pursued in the U.S.
LP> and the rest of the imperialist world with the unsuccessful end of
LP> rolling back U.S. intervention in Nicaragua.

   That is "ein weites Feld", I dare to say in German, i.e. there is  
not one single reason to point at, and it is far too complex to  
discuss it in this contribution.

LP> If we had succeeded in this in the early 1980's, then the
LP> Nicaraguans would have had a lot more choices and a lot better
LP> chance.

   Sure, even the Cuban revolution would be in a bad shape if for  
several decades there are not socialist revolutions in other  

   On the other hand, a successful advance of the Nicaraguan  
revolution could have played an important role in the upheavals in  
East and Central Europa which brought down the stalinist burocracies;  
in East Germany e.g. there had been a Third World solidarity movement  
and especially Nicaragua solidarity within the political opposition.  
But the defeat of the Sandinistas in the election was seen as another  
proof that socialism is not viable, and so played against the  
socialist currents in the mass movement.

Lüko Willms
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