[Marxism] Re: From Marxmail home (Clancy Sigal and Frida)

Carlos A. Rivera cerejota at optonline.net
Wed May 4 16:04:46 MDT 2005

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "rrubinelli" <rrubinelli at earthlink.net>

[Ad hominems snipped]

> Historical fact:  Prior to the Soviet Union forced 
> collectivization/industrialization policies,
> Stalin and his faction were allied and generally supportive of Bukharin's 
> "socialism at
> a snail's pace" argument, and against the managed expropriation of the 
> countryside to
> support industialization that the Trotsky LO advocated.  Much of this 
> debate took place
> along the lines of "theoretical," "economic" considerations centered 
> around the publication
> of Preobrazhenskii's <New Economics>.  That was a debate about direction, 
> not pace.

This is true, but I wasn't "debating" these facts, and you establish I was 
correct in what I did say:

> In criticisms of Stalin's turnaround and movement toward rapid 
> industrialization, [and later collectivisation I might add -sks] Trotsky
> asserted the issue of pace was due to the mis-direction previously taken 
> by the Soviet
> government.

I said as much.

He didn't go into moral arguments until the period of the Moscow Trials, 
when the LO/FI became Public Enemy Number One.

> As for popular fronts....Trotsky never supported a popular front.

Not subjectively, althought the French Turn was a form of PF, however evil 
that sounds to your ears.

Trotskyism had a need to create difference with the Comintern, and sometimes 
these were differences on principle (ie independent unions), sometimes in 
tactics (anti-fascism) and sometimes, quite frankly, it was plain old 
sectarianism (UF v PF).

I have not always held this view. At one point I was also an unrepentant 
sectarian and I attacked all unity, regardless if it crossed the class or 
rrrrrevolutionary line, then defended the Popular Front, then reneged it for 
the United front, and then came into the current views I have.

Except for the big words (such as "proletarian" or "popular"), I fail, to 
this day, to see a convincing explanation of how objectively different are 
the UF and the PF.

They both are tactical attempts at widening the influence of the respective 
sect, both require sacrificing previously held orthodoxy and even 
"principle", both are point at by sectarians and dogmatists on both sides as 
key differences.

I do see subjective differences, but thats another matter altogether.

Since, unlike yourself, I am not a dogmatist, I am open to reasoned 
arguments on the contrary, but have yet, after hours and hours of much more 
friendly discussions, and yet more hours of reading time and again Trotsky 
(I have actually read more Trotsky than Mao!!!), I still can shake this 
realization off.

> His military defense of
> a colonized country vs. the colonizer required, and centered upon, 
> independent working
> class actions-- embargoing cargo, strikes... and such a military defense 
> position was
> critical to Trotsky's attempts to form the "proletarian military 
> policy..."

C'mon!!! When Bolivian (and other lat am, in particular pre-1959 Posadistas 
in Cuba) Trots tried to carry out such policies, they ended up in, ta-da, 
Popular Fronts! Granted, they created splits from the "main line" Trots, 
some of which ended up doing the same things. During Trotsky's life 
conditions for moving beyond the small sect never existed anywhere (and 
where they did splits, such as London Bureau, happened). Later, cases such 
as Sri Lanka and Lat Am emerged.

I mean, "movimentism" is Popular Front by other means, as orthotrots are all 
too keen to point out...


More information about the Marxism mailing list