[Marxism] Vietnam won

mkaradjis at theplanet.net.au mkaradjis at theplanet.net.au
Mon Nov 13 03:43:00 MST 2006

Louis Proyect, responding to Walter Lippman's post entitled 'Vietnam Won', 

> What blather.  

> Pathetic.

Yet Walter had simply posted in response to a load of blather Proyect himself 
had sent, a piece of silly and superficial triumphalism from the capitalist 
media entitled 'South Vietnam won'. Yawn, heard that kind of nonsense before. 
Yes the entire Vietnam war and revolution that changed a generation was all a 
storm in a teacup.

Walter has some views I don't agree with, as does Proyect, but I fail to see 
why Proyect has to flame Walter every time he expresses an opinion. Proyect's 
knowledge about Vietnam is entirely superficial, yet he suffers from the 
moderator disease, that of pretending you know everything about all topics. 
Well, he doesn't, any more than anyone else does.

The question of the development of countries like China and Vietnam and where 
one draws the line, whether one or both have become capitalist states, or are 
still some kind of workers' states or whatever is a question that can be 
debated out calmly. Few people have a monopoly of knowledge on such issues. I 
see no immediate burning issue of class treachery if you happen to have 
the "wrong" line on this. For example, I disagree with Walter that China 
remains some kind of workers' state (which is not the say that the process in 
China is "complete"). Yet that has never prevented me from being able to have 
comradely discussions, on and off list, with Walter. If I think he is 
mistaken it does not mean I think he is "pathetic" or talking "blather".

The DSP in fact has a whole resolution on why we think China has crossed over 
to being a capitalist state, yet we do not think the same about Vietnam. But 
we hardly think everyone is likely to agree with us. While China has clearly 
gone significantly further than Vietnam along the capitalist path (despite 
the rather stupid assertion in the article sent by Louis), many will believe, 
like Proyect, that both are capitalist, or like Walter, that both are still 
workers' states. Let's discuss these things calmly and rationally, using 
arguments, not knock-out tactics and flaming.

Proyect has decided that Vietnam's course since the opening to the market 20 
years ago is a case of TINA. Well and good, but there is better evidence 
around than the bourgeois propaganda he sent without comment. Here is my take 
on the matter from last year's Green Left on the 30 year anniversary of the 
1975 victory that Louis has decided was of no consequence:

 VIETNAM: 30 years after victory: Towards capitalism or socialism?

While I hardly expect everyone to agree with the views in tat article, 
hopefully it is more than mere "blather"  


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