[Marxism] It's those damn petty-bourgeois at it again!

Prem K Govindaswamy govi0006 at umn.edu
Tue Nov 29 16:04:48 MST 2005


On 29 Nov 2005, Callum McCormick wrote:
> >I am most intrigued by this "clear fact" since it is neither factual nor

> >clear. What does it mean to say the revolution was brought about by 
> >"petty-bourgeois?" This is the asinane Trotskyist formulation that is
the 
> >equivalent of an infant spitting out his peas in the Gerber food
formula. 
> >Anything you don't like for any reason is castigated as
"petty-bourgeois."
> 
> The leading figures in the movement were all from middle class
backgrounds, 
> but that's not the main issue. Che and Castro repeatedly restated the 
> essentially Maoist position that as long as you have a dedicated group of

> trained guerilla fighters, you can make the revolution in a country. That
is 
> a petty-bourgeois position because it arises from the view that you don't

> need the workers to make socialism. All you need is some highminded 
> revolutionary heroes to kill the bad guys and then make socialism. Now, 
> anyone who knows the first thing about Marxism knows the problems with
that 
> view. I mean, are you going to launch a serious defense of the revolution

> and show us how it was socialist, or are you just going to use ad hominem

> "dirty Trot" jibes?
> 
> "What fucking struggles? You would think Castro beat off a great
proletarian 
> revolutionary uprising with a broomstick to cease power all for himself
and 
> his little latte-sipping "middle-class" buddies."
> 
> That's not far from the truth. There were big Cuban Trade Union struggles

> against Batista, but Castro just wasn't interested. He tried to call a 
> couple of strikes when it was militarily and politically expedient to do
so, 
>   but most of the time he told the masses to stay in their homes and wait

> for his arrival - this is 'men making their own history'.
> 
> "What does it mean to say the regime maintains a "middle class
character?" 
> It drinks Starbucks instead of Dunkin Donuts? What classes is it in the 
> middle of, exactly? Does that statement even have any meeting at all? "
> 
> As I've explained, it's material basis is that of middle class fighters
with 
> middle class ideas. It's not possible from that basis to create a
workers' 
> state. It is possible to create what they have done, which is a form of 
> welfare state capitalism, with the Beard in charge, just like he was in
'59. 
> The fact that he's able to fool you by shouting 'socialism' when it suits

> him to do so is your own problem.
> 
> Callum.
> 
> 
> 
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Callum has written that there were "big Cuban Trade Union struggles against
Batista", but Peter Hampton in his own denial of Cuba as a workers' state
says that 

       "Batista was a despot who ruled with the aid of a mercenary army, a
corrupt civil service and -a labour movement tied hand and foot to the
state machine-." (emphasis added)
     
Further more, the already class-collarborationist and stalinized PSP had
it's fairly large membership in the Cuban Trade unions forcibly expelled by
the gov't, w/ leaders who were pliant. Either way, under the PSP and the
Batista oriented trade union leaders, it is highly doubtful that the unions
under their leadership would have been confronting the Batista regime. 

Also, remember that rural guerillaism and fighting are often times an
expression of the oppressed, working people in between great uprisings, and
an attempt to rise. Furthermore, there is no rule prohibiting guerilla
struggle, especially in future circumstances where conditions call for
forms of struggle not thought of before. Lenin Pointed this out of the
various robberies that occurred between the Rev. of 1905 and the REv. of
1917





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