[Marxism] Re: Lenin, Trotsky and Permanent Revolution

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Mon Jan 9 17:12:13 MST 2006

>>The DSP's Doug Lorimer debates Permanent Revolution with British
Trotskyist Phil Hearse at  http://www.dsp.org.au/dspdocs.htm

I also recommend the Hearse-Lorimer debate. I think Hearse argues rather
well – but of course I have my own biases.

The last time I was involved in a sustained argument about this issue was
about five years ago, in the Indonesian context. You can read about my
debates with Indonesian activists about it here:

The main far left group, the PRD, adhered to a two-stages approach, for
which the formal theoretical backing supposedly came from Doug Lorimer. In
practice, “democratic revolution” came to mean all sorts of incompatible
things. What I found interesting, and it’s relevant to this thread, is that
the first significant split from the PRD involved one leading comrade who
raised (on this question) arguments quite close to my own [he had been
furiously denouncing me only a few months earlier of course :-) ] .

He still spoke of “democratic revolution” but put this in terms of Lenin’s
position of 1917, not 1905. My attitude to this was: I think Trotsky’s
theory provides a better theoretical basis, but if Trotsky and Lenin could
work together on the basis of their respective theories, then you and I can
do it today.

A much-awaited debate between me and Doug at the 2001 Jakarta conference
was unfortunately interrupted by the repressive forces of the state.
Instead I had the curious privilege of translating Doug’s interrogation by
the police. Yes, believe it or not I am on the police file as official
interpretor. Life takes curious turns.

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