[Marxism] John Holloway-Alex Callinicos debate

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Thu Aug 18 09:12:24 MDT 2005

Calvin Broadbent wrote:
> Well, I think the Soviet state certainly became the "agency to administer
> the impulse to capitalist restoration". I don't think Stalin was entirely
> behind that though. What I certainly disagree with was Shane's saying that
> Stalin was never anything more than a 'parasite' on the October revolution
> in which he played 'no role'. In fact, Stalin was an active and valued (by
> Lenin and many others) revolutionary from early on. He was not 'produced' by
> a parasitic bureaucracy, as Shane suggests.

During the debate on 9/24 the call was all for unity -- very nearly
unity at any price. Frankly, at this point in the creation of an
anti-war movement, I don't think unity 9/24 makes a fucking bit of
difference. But in the months and years to come it is necessary that a
(more or less) unified or coherent left emerge from the various isolated
struggles, including the anti-war movement, now in process. The 9/24
demo is merely one step, and not that large a one, in the direction of
such unity.

Now unity itself is a process, not a static entity, and the general
description of that process is unity (on very broad and even sloppy
principles)- struggle (within that unity) - unity (on a higher level. We
might crudely describe the process as A-B-A', A'-B-A''. . . .

Now it is with A (not A prime or A double prime and not B either) that
we are now concerned. What is the basis for that provisional unity? I'm
not entirely sure. But I know certain elements that will NOT, CAN NOT,
be part of that first stage unity, and those Anti-Stalinism or
Pro-Stalinism, Anti-Trotskyism or Pro-Trotskyism. I'm not much of an
admirer of Stalin; I am even less an admirer of anti-stalinists. Some
people need to make up their minds: Are they primarily socialists, or
are they primarily anti-stalinists, and only socialist on that narrowed


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