[Marxism] On my "rejection" of Permanent Revolution

Joaquín Bustelo jbustelo at bellsouth.net
Sun Jan 8 01:14:28 MST 2006

Robert Montgomery slams what he calls the "nationalist bloc" because "on
the one hand they reject the theory of the permanent revolution, they
refuse on the other to embrace the alternative orientations that
dominate the new social movements such as autonomism."

Perhaps if comrade RM would leave explaining the positions of those he
disagrees with to those comrades themselves, less confusion will result.

First, there is no "nationalist bloc." The positions of those of us who
have been generally speaking on one side in this discussion are
distinct. Walter has his own take on things, as do Nestor, Fred and the

Second, he is under the impression that people like me "reject the
theory of permanent revolution." I'm sorry to have to disappoint him, at
least in my own case.

I think in recent years few people have written MORE in defense of the
theory of Permanent Revolution than I have, and mostly on this list. You
may disagree with my understanding of it in general, or with my
application of it in a particular case, but claiming I "reject" the
theory of Permanent Revolution isn't going to be very convincing because
people who have been following the discussions on this list know the
assertion is simply false. 

You can consult the list archives to satisfy yourself both that what I
say there is true and that what I've been saying about the dynamics of
revolutionary movements in Latin America has not changed.

Try these:








Some of the earlier posts are under a different name but they're all me.
You will see I've discussed and defended the relevance of the theory in
relation to Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Germany in the 1840's; the USSR;
and various other places.

Or if you just want to stick to this Bolivia discussion, go to my post
on "National Struggle, Class Struggle and Permanent Revolution," from a
week and a half ago which is here:

Again, you're free to argue that I've got a completely wrong
understanding of Permanent Revolution or that I apply it incorrectly in
one or more cases; but stating that I "reject" that which I've defended
consistently over a period of many years with an ample and documented
record is not a serious way to discuss matters.

On "Trotskyism," yes, I'm one of those people who is "post Trotskyist."
The time when a specifically Trotskyist movement made sense --and there
was such a time-- has long receded into the past. Which doesn't mean I'm
going to stop trying to rescue the Old Man's legacy from the
Trotskyists. Ditto for Lenin vis a vis not just the Leninists of the
Trotskyist variety, but of all varieties.


More information about the Marxism mailing list