[Marxism] A sectarian approach

Jorge Martin jorge at marxist.com
Wed Nov 9 21:10:42 MST 2005

Somehow I am not surprised that Louis had nothing to say on the reports we
have published on the two excellent gatherings of workers from occupied
factories in Venezuela, in which comrades from the CMR have played a modest
role together with many others in other revolutionary organisations, and
then a big fuss was made of an article which was meant as impressions on a
congress of a youth organisation.

As the article explains there are plenty of organisations amongst the
Venezuelan youth, in fact there has been an explosion of organisation,
particularly since the December 2002 bosses lock out (before that the
university youth had been mainly passive). This has increased since Chavez
opened the debate on socialism. Many of these are local, university-based,
or regional organisations, very few are national in scope. Someone has
compared this to the period of "small circles" in the development of Russian
Marxism. Earlier this year a number of such organisations started a process
of discussion which led to their fussion into the Revolutionary Socialist
Youth. Amongst the organisations which participated in the founding congress
in July were: the Rebel America Front (FAR) which is based mainly the
Pedagogic Institute in Barquisimeto (Lara) where it has won the students'
elections, the F Engels Philosophy Centre at the Politechnic Uni (also in
Barquisimeto) which had also won the students' election, young comrades from
the CMR from Mérida and the Central University in Caracas, the Opcion89
group from the Táchira ULA University, the youth community group Resistencia
from Barquisimeto, and the Movimiento Revolucionario Yacambú also from Lara.

The founding congress was the culmination of a process of discussion in
which a set of common ideas and principles were worked out, mainly about the
type of organisation that was needed and the way forward for the Bolivarian
Revolution. It was then agreed that a Second Congress would take place in
October, to finalise these process, try to get more groups involved in it
and elect a national leadership. For a number of reasons, mainly that the
JSR comrades in Barquisimeto were involved in a mass struggle over the issue
of students not being granted access to university (in which they won a
partial victory), the dates were postponed and this affected attendance.
Finally comrades from a group in Bolivar (which have just decided to join
the JSR), and the comrades from Táchira and Mérida were unable to attend.
Since the founding congress also groups or individuals from Portuguesa,
Falcon, and the Bolivarian University have started to work with the JSR,
with groups in other parts of the country expressing an interest.

There are many other similar processes of discussion and unity taking place.
One of those took place in July in Merida where a meeting of "revolutionary
students for the building of socialism" was held with hundreds of young
people taking part. This was a meeting which had official backing and was
mainly organised by people around the Bolivarian Marxist Current. No
concrete agreements were reached at the end of it.

Just two weeks ago there was a meeting of "Bolivarian rebel youth" in
Valencia with about 300, mainly organised by the M28 movement. Again no
concrete agreements were reached at the end. The JSR participated in both
meetings and also at the World Festival of Youth and Students.

I am not sure how trying to clarify ideas and perspectives and getting
groups which broadly share the same approach and orientation to work
together under a common organisation is sectarian. There are a few sectarian
groups in Venezuela and I can tell you that they look nothing like the CMR
or the JSR.

Finally, since a big deal has been made of Trotsky´s picture (!!) in the
front page of a "paper" let's at least get the facts right. The FAR
publishes a small duplicated bulleting at the Pedagogic University called
Alba Estudiantil (Students' Dawn). On the front page of issue IX there is an
editorial article which starts with a quote from Trotsky ("the main
characteristic feature of revolutions is the direct intervention of the
masses in historical events", I think is from the Copenhagen speech) which
is used to combat the ideas of ultraleft sectarians that think there is no
revolution in Venezuela. Because of this, on the bottom right hand corner
there is a small picture of Trotsky. Trotsky has become quite popular in
Venezuela since Chavez started mentioning him and quoting from him, and
there is a lot of interest in his ideas (but maybe Louis thinks Chavez
better kept his mouth shut about Trotsky).

There is much of interest to Marxists in the Venezuelan revolution. Here I
paste again the URLs of four very interesting recent articles that deserve
attention (in my opinion):

Venezuela's path (Michael Albert)

Constructing Co-Management in Venezuela: Contradictions along the Path (Mike
Lebowitz) <http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=1587>

and my two articles on the meeting of workers from occupied factories:



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