[Marxism] Re: Nicaragua 25 years later

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Sat Jul 24 18:42:54 MDT 2004

I wrote: " But if you think workers as a class held power under the
FSLN, perhaps  you could explain the mechanisms."

Lou replied: " I am not exactly sure what you mean by holding power. Do
you mean like the Paris Commune or Russian Soviets before the civil war
forced war communism into existence? In either case, you are dealing
with a very brief phenomenon and one that was imperfect by your own
yardstick. Keep in mind that the Commune's economic measures were very,
very modest by the standards of 20th century revolutions. Frankly, I am
not interested that much in characterizing Sandinista rule. I will leave
that to others who dole out terms like "state capitalist", "workers and
farmers government", "workers state", or "socialist" like they were
honorary degrees."

I mean the dictatorship of the proletariat. [ Is that really a
doctrinaire irrelevancy? We'd better tell that Marx bloke :) ] No doubt
it can take many forms, ALL of them imperfect, but surely a revolution's
trajectory is shaped by whether the workers hold power in some
identifiable fashion. I don't think they did in Nicaragua, and I don't
think the FSLN really thought they did either.

BTW I don't understand what the Paris Commune's economic measures have
to do with any of this.

Lou continued: "If you are not satisfied with my own answer, write your

I have; I wrote up my impressions after I went there, but it's not in
digital form. I will dig it out and post some of it here when I get a

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