[Marxism] "iffy" again

Brian Shannon brian_shannon at verizon.net
Thu Jan 5 20:20:28 MST 2006

> i[f] Morales turns out to be "another Lula" then those of us who hoped
> for or expected better will have to recognize the fact, keeping in  
> minf
> that there is also a debate about what a Lula (or a Kirchner or
> whatever) isa, and what our stance should be toward such should
> If Morales turns out as I would like, well, then those revolutionists
> who try to deny the reality will pay a heavy price/ — Feldman

What is going on here? For years, Fred Feldman gathered together and  
wrote perceptive comments in the Education for Socialists bulletin  
series for the Socialist Workers Party. Now everything is based on  
the "turning out" of this or that individual.

Based on this kind of analysis, perhaps we should wonder how Chiang  
Kai-Shek would have "turned out" if he hadn't been "turned out"  by  
the Chinese masses and the Chinese Communist Party. He might have  
"turned out" o.k., after all.

This is followed up by an attack on Jim Petras for positions that  
Feldman says he took 45 years ago as a member of the Robertson/ 
Wohlforth tendency in the SWP.* Louis Proyect's contribution to the  
debate repeats the same. I recently argued that this was the same  
style of the arguments against Trotsky who had been against Lenin  
before the Russian Revolution. I pointed out that Lenin could have  
been attacked not only for a political line that led to the paralysis  
of the Bolshevik party during the early stages of the Russian  
Revolution, but for his failure to criticize Kautsky (which Rosa  
Luxembourg pointed out).

This type of personal attack reflects a truly bad legacy of the SWP's  
James P. Cannon, who at key points in political debate would often  
slide off the main point to link up his opponent with "mistakes" of  
the past. Once he even claimed that a political difference may have  
come about because Albert Goldman and two others rejected Cannon's  
advice that they stay together in Sandstone Prison in Minnesota and  
chose to be near family and friends in Danbury, Connecticut.

Brian Shannon

* Petras has written thousands of pages on the revolutionary  
processes in Latin America. I am sure that he would acknowledge that  
he made more than a few mistakes, probably none equivalent to  
Trotsky's circa 1920s prediction that the U.S. and England might come  
to a military conflict (We "trots" silently pass over this). But at  
least he lays it out here in detail for all to read. He did the same  
earlier for Venezuela, which except for snide remarks remains  

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