[Marxism] Luizianne Lins of Brazil
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Oct 5 13:57:50 MDT 2005
Andy Pollack wrote:
>This is just name-calling. You don't say what Gerry and SA's
>program is, nor why it is inadequate.
I suppose it is "adequate", if by this you mean formally correct. So is the
program of most Trotskyist groups. The real issue, however, is not their
formal stands on a myriad of questions but how they relate to the broader
movement. I think that Hal Draper got that right:
The sect establishes itself on a HIGH level (far above that of the working
class) and on a thin base which is ideologically selective (usually
necessarily outside working class). Its working-class character is claimed
on the basis of its aspiration and orientation, not its composition or its
life. It then sets out to haul the working class up to its level, or calls
on the working class to climb up the grade. From behind its organizational
walls, it sends out scouting parties to contact the working class, and
missionaries to convert two here and three there. It sees itself becoming,
one day, a mass revolutionary party by a process of accretion; or by
eventual unity with two or three other sects; or perhaps by some process of
Marx, on the other, saw the vanguard elements as avoiding above all the
creation of organizational walls between themselves and the
class-in-motion. The task was not to lift up two workers here and three
there to the level of the Full Program (let alone two students here and
three intellectuals there!) but to go after the levers that could get the
class, or sections or the class, moving as a mass onto higher levels of
action and politics.
The sect mentality sees its sanctification only in its Full Program, that
is, in what separates it from the working class. If, god forbid, some
slogan it puts forth bids fair to become to popular, it gets scared.
"Something must be the matter! We must have capitulated to somebody." (This
is not a caricature: it is drawn from life.) Marx's approach was exactly
the opposite. The job of the vanguard was to work out slogans that would be
popular in the given state of the class struggle, in the sense of being
able to get broadest possible masses of workers moving. That means: moving
on an issue, in a direction, in a way that would bring them into conflict
with the capitalist class and its state, and the agents of capitalists and
state, including the "labor lieutenants of capitalism" (its own leaders).
The sect is a miniaturized version of the revolutionary party-to-be, a
"small mass party," a microscopic edition or model of the mass party that
does not yet exist. Rather, it thinks of itself this way, or tries to be
such a miniature.
>Having just come back from
>SA's convention, and hearing Gerry on this firsthand, as well
>as comrades who've been to Venezuela and are applying the good
>old Joe Hansen method to that revolution and to Cuba's (i.e.
>supporting those revolutions wholeheartedly whatever our differences),
>I'd say we (in SA) know precisely what went wrong in Brazil and
>have good advice on what a revolutionary organization should do.
>And that advice mirrors what you end up with, Louis: a closer
>emulation of Cuba and Venezuela.
If Fidel Castro started off on the basis of emulating SA (or the SWP during
its glory days for that matter), Batista's grandson would probably be
running Cuba today.
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