[Marxism] Re: The Pom-Pom Treatment

Brian Shannon Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Wed Aug 10 09:44:43 MDT 2005

 >I think there is a lot that is legitimate in the analysis suggested by
the articles from the Cuban press that Walter reprints here (and are
taken here as sad signs of growing elements of Stalinism, if not worse,
in the Cuban government and society). -Feldman

There is so much to read--and so little time--that I, like many others 
I assume, often jump in on only the narrowest of issues.

I can't speak for others, but for me Walter's reproductions here of 
those articles that he deems most appropriate are valuable. I don't 
read them all, but do look at the headlines and some of the text.

It is Walter's interpretations of them that disturb me. I see the 
pronouncements of the Cuban leadership as the necessary pronouncements 
of a "State." Any state, whether, capitalist, communist, socialist, 
utopian, or whatever, has state interests that it must pursue. State 
interests are state interests! And no one can condemn the small Cuban 
state, or the greater Soviet one, during both its Leninist and 
Stalinist periods for defending itself by diplomacy, arms and trade 
deals, etc.

However, what Walter does is take these state pronouncements and 
refigure them as political guides to action for Marxist forces. This is 
not a trend towards Stalinism by the Cuban leadership. However, so far 
as Walter himself is concerned, it is reminiscent of some of the 
political psychology of members of communist parties during the Stalin 

This was also an unfortunate characteristic of the Lenin era as well. 
The political pronouncements of that period were 99% correct (very 
little is 100% pure), but what we should now see was that it was 100% 
wrong to impose them on fledgling communist parties and for the 
aspiring leaders of these parties to advance themselves based on how 
quickly they could assimilate Lenin's and Trotsky's thoughts. Today, 
those of us who were in the SWP might call it Barnesism, based on the 
individual who convinced such disparate people as Feingold, Cannon, and 
Dobbs and Kerry that he was their man for the future.

Brian Shannon

More information about the Marxism mailing list