[Marxism] Re Shachtman and "Third Camp"

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Sun Nov 6 14:45:17 MST 2005


Robert Montgomery:
>>So much wiggle room remains when we
equate the "regime", a political concept referring  to the Stalinist
bureaucracy, with the property relations upon which the state is based, and
deny that the  masses might have a stake in defending those property
relations, no matter how rotten the ruling regime.<<

We are in danger of getting caught in one of those recycled arguments that
Lou asks us to avoid, but I can't resist saying at least this much:

The argument that the masses had a stake in the "property relations" in the
USSR and Eastern Europe may have sounded plausible to some before 1989. All
manner of orthodox Trotskyists insisted the workers would "defend their
workers' state". But the fact is, the masses showed little interest in
defending those property relations when the time came. As some one with a
bit of experience of "actually existing socialism", that didn't surprise me
one bit. My friends in East Berlin loathed these "property relations".

On the other hand I think the Cuban masses *would* fight against a US
invasion, and it's clear the Castro government has a great deal of
legitimacy. This is why Cuba is not at all "the same" as Iraq. But whether
it has to do with "property relations" is another matter.

Tom




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