[Marxism] No solution to XXX's economic problems within XXX itself

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Sat Jun 19 10:54:08 MDT 2004

Respuesta a: Re: [Marxism] Re: Nicaragua FSLN, Cuba and "Kreml
Remitido por: Louis Proyect
Fecha: Viernes 18 de Junio de 2004 
Hora: 22:53


What follows should not be considered in any sense a rebuttal, but an 
essential addition to Louis Pr.'s analysis on "what went wrong in 
Nicaragua".  I have the idea that this addition may somehow modify 
the general mood of his vision, which somehow strikes me as 
pessimistic fatalism:  "Nicaragua was doomed" is at first blush the 
final conclusion of Louis's approach. 

In my own view, it was _not_ "doomed". There was a way out, a very 
hard way out but not an impossible one.  Perhaps the Sandinista 
leadership could not adopt it from the very beginning and thus this 
proved the origin of the tragedy.  Perhaps there was too "socialist" 
a framework to cope with the basic problem which Louis Pr. so neatly 
sums up below.  

And to this problem, the only way out is Latin American Unity -not 
"socialism"- as a core policy of the revolution.  This may prove less 
attractive for socialists abroad, but the obviously national 
bourgeois revolution of Chávez (or the obviously national bourgeois 
regimes of Perón, Vargas, even Cárdenas or Arbenz) have better 
chances to ground revolution on solid rock than "socialist" attempts 
such as those in Chile or Nicaragua.  And thus, pave the way for 
socialists to act in L.A. through the dialectic development of 
successful revolutionary movements.


Louis Pr. says:

> The simple reality was that the Sandinistas could not find a solution to
> Nicaragua's economic problems within Nicaragua itself.

And this is the kernel of the problem in Latin America.  Not even the 
largest Latin American countries can, nor will be able to.  It is 
very hard to see how, save under exceptional conditions such as 
prevailed in the Cuban case, any Latin American country can "find a 
solution to XXX's economic problems within XXX itself".  

It is as absurd as if we postulated that "Utah will find a solution 
to Utah's economic problems within Utah itself".

This immediately brings Latin American revolutionary governments to 
either (a) cave in, or (b) establish a carefully crafted programme 
for union with the rest of Latin America.  The third alternative, 
which is to lean on the help of the "competitor superpower", served 
Cuba relatively well, but this was an exception, and a costly one by 
the way.

Fact is, the Sandinistas tended to choose to lean on Soviet (not even 
Cuban) support, not on progressive confederation with Latin American 
states, particularly Central American and Caribbean.  This second 
alternative was of course a more difficult, less "socialist" one, but 
it might have proved far more fruitful for the Revolution.  It could 
have made the Sandinista revolution less palatable for Marxists, but 
it ccould have also turned American intervention impossible.

It is my impression that under these directions, the existence of the 
USSR would have acted as a deterrent for direct aggression from the 
US (_this_ "negative cathalytic" role was the only role I think 
should have been assigned to SU support), so that the regime would 
have had time to establish itself on better ground, and this might 
have been a way out.  But in order to follow this "non-socialist 
Latin Americanim", a reformist path from an ossified "Markssist" 
view, a different frame of mind was required, a cast of mind that the 
Sandinistas (in a way tragicly resembling what happenned in Chile, 
1972) don't seem to have had.  It is only after Chávez that 
Bolivarianism reappears in Central America. 

Perhaps this was an important part of the Nicaraguan tragedy, a part 
that it is very hard to assume, particularly for those who pushed the 
revolution further and further on the way towards socialism only to 
discover that there was no "solution to Nicaragua's economic problems 
within Nicaragua itself."

[OTOH, Bolívar was not so important for the history of Central 
America, whose link with unified Latin America passes more through 
the aborted (and conservative) Empire of Iturbide, and the actions of 
(revolutionary) River Plate privateers (which can be seen, for 
instance, on the colors of the Nicaraguan flag and other flags in 
Central America).]

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
"Sí, una sola debe ser la patria de los sudamericanos".
Simón Bolívar al gobierno secesionista y disgregador de 
Buenos Aires, 1822
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