[Marxism] Re: Jon Hilson - revolutionaries have contractions

Lueko Willms l.willms at jpberlin.de
Wed Mar 3 05:19:33 MST 2004

     Am  02.03.04
schrieb  stansmith44 at ameritech.net (stansmith44)
     in  000801c400df$1ac14fc0$6401a8c0 at ameritech.net
  ueber  [Marxism] Jon Hilson - revolutionaries have contractions

s>     However, both have taken positions on issues, like the one below,
s> like on the anti-war movement and the struggle in Iraq, that are
s> sometimes diametrically opposed to the positions of Cuba (and any
s> sensible, thinking political activist).

s>      That is their contradiction, and is to their detriment. And it is
s> only sensible to assume that they have quite fundamental, unspoken,
s> disagreements with the Cuban CP, which is probably why the Militant no
s> longer prints speeches of Fidel and other Cuban leaders.

  The stance taken by "The Militant" and the SWP on the INS raid which  
took Elian out of the hands of the Gusanos did not keep the Cubans  
from inviting Mary-Alice Waters to one of the round-tables on TV and  
radio on the Elian Case, only a few weeks later (via phone from New  
York). The Cubans are wiser than many leftists outside Cuba; they  
speak and work with everyone, and do not break relations because of  
some error.

JH>> Superb editorial

  wrote Jon Hillson

JH>> I had waiting for me on an e-group's site a letter Karen Wald
JH>> sent from Cuba denouncing the Militant's article on the erroneous
JH>> call for "federal troops to Miami." In case you hadn't also seen
JH>> the forwarded message, in which Wald offers encouragement and
JH>> advice to Attorney General Reno on how to conduct a raid, I'm
JH>> attaching it for your information. [See next letter.]

  I disagree with this, although certainly it is true that the raid  
was a practical exercise in the worst procedings by the INS, but it  
was more or less forced upon the US government by the mobilization of  
the US people in favor of Elian returning to his father, first  
expressed in that day where millions of phone calls poured into that  
ministry (of Justice? under Janet Reno? Can't remember), and  
especially after Elian's father announced that he would go personally  
to the house where his son was held, and that he would call on the US- 
american people to accompany him in large numbers. The prospect of  
such a mass mobilization prompted the US government to act.

  The problem is that many socialist activists have unlearned, or  
never lerned in the first place, to think in contradictions, and to  
explain the contradictionary nature of social phenomena; dialectics,  
as it is called.

  I think, especially since Walter Lippmann took up the issue in his  
reply to Stan's message, to add my letter to the editor of "The  
Militant" of May 1st, 2000:

--------- schnipp -----------------------------------------

Dear comrades,

    I was really dismayed when I saw yesterday the thrust of your
coverage of the latest developments in the Elián case in the May 8
issue of "The Militant".

    While I agree with almost all your points -- I will come to the
exceptions later -- I completeley disagree with the relative weight
given to the different aspects.

    Lets start with the editorial. At the end you cite as a
historical analogy the Brest-Litowsk peace deal. You want to explain
that the revolutionists in the imperialist country have to take a
different stance than the leadership of the revolution in the weaker
country. The editorialist writes:

    "When the victorious October Revolution was obliged by the
unfavorable world relationship of forces in 1918 to sign the
rapacious Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with German imperialism in order to
buy time to save the state power of the workers and peasants" and so

    But please tell me, what is the important concession that the
Cuban revolution made in the Elián case, obliged or not? Where did
they give in to the US government? Is their army collapsing, as the
Russian army was at the end of the WW1, so that they had to cede
territory to the imperialist aggressors?

    On the contrary, the mobilizations of the Cuban people over five
months have put the US imperialists in a corner and have forced at
least one step forward. The Cuban people has forced the US government
to recognize the fathership rights of Juan Miguel and the Cuban
people over Elián Gonzales, and it has forced a rift between the US
government and the anticuban mafia claiming to represent the Cuban
community in the US, even to the point that conservative polititians
accuse Clinton and Reno to act as puppets for Fidel Castro. The
editorial correctly noted this as "the end of an era".

   This is the main point in the Elián seizure and should be
explained in all force. You do it in the middle part of your
editorial, but it should be in the front.

   But another point should also have been explained, i.e. that the
Cuban people have just won one battle, but not yet the full campaign,
other than the "The people of Cuba have won" statement of the
editorial. The US government still does not allow Elián to leave the
country with his family. They restrict their movements. The restrict
the Cuban "Support group" for Elián to four kids, limit their stay to
two weeks. They prohibit the Cuban doctors to work with Elian. They
bar the Cuban diplomats in Washington to visit the Gonzalez family in
Wye Plantation, because it is beyond the 25 mile limit. You should
press on the campaign for the right of Elián Gonzalez and his family
to chose their place of living themselves, without any interference
by the US government and the imperial interests it represents.

    As Fidel Castro explained at the farewell at the airport for the
first part of the Cuban support group, the US government is caught in
a dilemma -- they can't force Elián to stay in the US, and they can't
let him leave freely. And in that dilemma, a lot of bad things can
happen. One of those has been the way that the INS took Elián away
from that house in Miami. There is certainly no reason to send
flowers to Janet Reno and to hail predawn house searches without a
warrant, but there is ample ground to explain that the US government
did not act out of a position of force, but of weekness.

     You rightly explain that the US govenment should have handed the
custory of the Cuban boy rigfht at the beginning to his father. But
they didn't, because they misjudged the situation and they misjudged
the power of the Cuban people. Fidel Castro had warned them, but they
didn't hear.

    But now they acted on the changed relationship of forces, and
they acted in the only way they know, i.e. with brutal force.

    But is this seizure really a "Blow to the working class" as the
big headline of our good old paper The Militant in this issue
explains? Does it advance the pretense of the US immigration police,
that they are the only ones who can decide where each human being may
live on this planet? I think the contrary is true. This campaign is
about the freedom of movement, and the INS has lost one battle in
that campaign, not won it.

    The campaign of the Cuban people under Fidel Castros leadership
does advance the freedom of movement, not restrict it. It denies that
it is the sole right of the US government to assign people their
place.  The Cubans want to send more kids to the US to support Elian
-- go ahead and campaign for their right to come and stay with their
friend, and to leave the country when they want. Repeal of the "Cuban
Adjustment Act" and open the door for everybody, that should be in
the center of the campaign.

    The editorial claims in its first sentence, "Since the day last
November when then five-year-old Elian Gonzalez was rescued from the
water off the coast of Florida, the Militant has campaigned against
the Clinton administration's refusal to immediately return him to

    The Militant surely has spoken out for this, but really
campaigning was it not, at best lukewarm. But it is now time to
really start campaigning as we all expect from that revolutionary
proletarian paper "The Militant".

Comradely yours,
Lüko Willms

------------------ schnapp --------------------------------

Lüko Willms                                     http://www.mlwerke.de
/--------- L.WILLMS at jpberlin.de -- Alle Rechte vorbehalten --

"Die Interessen der Nation lassen sich nicht anders formulieren als unter
dem Gesichtspunkt der herrschenden Klasse oder der Klasse, die die
Herrschaft anstrebt."            - Leo Trotzki         (27. Januar 1932)

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