[Marxism] Revolutionary states and workers states

Néstor Gorojovsky nmgoro at gmail.com
Mon Oct 29 09:05:56 MDT 2007


As to Perón:

In 1943, the Argentinean oligarchic regime, the one based on fraud and
the open declaration that Argentina was a constituent of the British
Empire (by the Vice President, none the less), was not as rotten as
that of Batista. But it was doomed by historical developments within
the country. Moreover, there was an ever growing tendency to send
Argentina to war against the Axis, fueled by the US and against the
British interests. Argentineans wanted, at least, neutrality ("to die
here", as a famous political slogan of those times said), due to many
different reasons which only in a tiny parcel had anything to do with
what was at stake in the interimperialist struggle in Europe, or with
the Soviet-Western confrontation.

Under those conditions, the whole political system was rotten to the
root. Even the "opposition" had been "Menemized", so to say, in the
form of what by those years was known as "Alvearization" of the
Radical Party, the one that had given the best expression to the
masses during the first third of the 20th Century.

A military regime appeared, to put an end to the age, which was known
as the "Década Infame" (no translation necessary, I guess).

This was a contradictory movement, but for Argentineans, who hitherto
had been subject to a pro-imperialist regime which had been depending
on the Armed Forces and their support ever since 1930, this meant that
the guns were, at least, not pointing at peoples´ chests any more.

What happened later is known. A nationalist, industrialist wing of the
Armed Forces, under the quite autocratic guidance of Juan Perón,
started to grab the main areas of government. When, on September 1945,
the imperialist bloc attempted, under the unenlightened lead of the
bullying USAmerican Ambassador Spruille Braden (whose name has become
an acronym for "diplomatic idiocy, rashness and lack of understanding"
both in Argentina and -Britain), a massive march was organized against
this wing, and it seemed to have been lost. Perón himself began to
consider retiring to some quite barren lands he owned in Patagonia.

But at the same time, Perón had been establishing strong links with
the working class leadership. So that in 16 and 17 October 1945, a
popular uprising all over the country, where the workers went to
strike and eventually took the streets of Buenos Aires, the alliance
took shape in action. The nationalist military and the workers on the
streets launched Peronism and created the historic Perón.

Not too different from what happened on April 2002 in Venezuela.

Similitude includes media silence. The Argentinean popular mass
movement that put a full stop and "period" to the Década Infame was
never, never, never, screened. But the October 17, 1945, mobilisation
was a spontaneous movement of the Arg working class, which in alliance
with some patriotic members of the State bureaucracy established what
imperialists at large considered, always, a revolutionary regime.

Shouldn´t it suffice with that great Tory Winston Churchill and what
he said in 1945, when Peronism was born or nearby, about not allowing
Argentina to get industrialized, because "all of Latin America would
follow suit", and in 1955, when Perón was overthrown, considering this
as the greatest victory in world politics since the fall of Hitler,
and comparable in scope?

Whenever I am in doubt as regards these issues, I try to see what does
my enemy really think. It works. At least, in Argentina, where BTW a
landslide of votes put Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in the future
presidential seat. This woman is very vaguely related with that origin
of Peronism, but this was enough. Something that lasts more than 60
years in the consciousness of the masses must have something to offer
to them. Not being a share in the loot of the rest of the world, what
can it be but some kind of struggle against being looted?

2007/10/28, Anthony Boynton <northbogota at yahoo.com>:
> A penny or two on this topic. Marxism emerged as the revolutionary doctrine of the European working classes at the end of the nineteenth century. As we all know it was, because of the limitations of the time and place, very Euro-centric. A funny thing happened.
>
> Imperialism.
>
> The European working classes failed at revolution, in large part because many, probably most, of the workers supported their own imperialist governments in WWI, and afterwards. Of course much of the blame for this lies on the shoulders of their leaders, as we all know.
>
> However, successful social revolutions did occur in the 20th century - and none of them fit the preconceptions of the European Marxists (or their followers outside of Europe) - even in cases like Russia where the founding fathers had admitted to the theoretical possibility of a socialist revolution.
>
> The first to happen was in Mexico. 1910. A pretty interesting revolution, definitely a social revolution, but not a working class revolution. (1906 in Russia was not successful, and as far as I can tell, neither was 1910 in China).
>
> The second and third were in 1917 in Russia. There were two successful revolutions: February and October.
>
> October established the first, and probably only successful workers state ever formed. In the city of St. Petersburg. It spread to the rest of Russia in a long civil war which destroyed the conscious working class, and left in its place institutions which had been formed by the working class - most importantly the Communist Party and the Red Army. Formed by the working class, led by the petty bourgeoisie, ruling the peasantry including the peasants now in the factories and Red Army.
>
> No other successful social revolution occurred until after World War II.
>
> China and Korea were the first, and Korea was met with a bloody invasion. Viet Nam took almost thirty years to win its revolution. These were all social revolutions, and they were all led by political leaderships which were descended from the Third International.
>
> But were they working class revolutions? and did they establish workers states?
>
> Eastern Europe is a different case. The states established there were extensions of the Soviet State, and were anti-national. They were not established by the revolutionary action of any class in society, despite some important mobilizations. The could never have come into existence without the presence and heavy hand of the Red Army and the Soviet party.
>
> Cuba is a different case entirely.
>
> The Cuban revolution, something like the Sandinista revolution, ocurred as a rotten regmie collapsed, and the vacuum was filled by whoever had taken the initiative to fight the regime. Castro in Cuba, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Castro did not lead the working class to power, even if they and most fo the rest of the population of Cuba were happy to see him there. Were the popular revolutionary mobilizations in Cuba working class mobilizations, and led by workers and working class parties? Or were they mass mobilizations of the Cuban people, lead by popular revolutions who were not tied to any one social class?
>
> I think there is a distinction between revolutionary states and workers states, it's just that I think 20th century Marxists really, really wanted to have more workers states than really existed.
>
> Also, my view is that the working class and popular revolutions of the 20th century, not because of anybodies intentions - turned out to be an unforessen chapter in the "primitve accumulation of capital" in the sesne that this term means creating masses of workers from the peasantry which has been separated from its tradtional links with the land - e.g. in Russia, Eastern Europe, and China. Also those revolutions inadvertently created the conditions for the partial solution of the inter-imperaist conflicts which led to WWI and WWII, by uniting the capitalist world politicallly in the cold war, which creatd the political and inistutiotnal framework which nurtured globalization during the cold war, and continues to do so in its aftermath.
>
> In other words, captialism was able to continue to develop the means of production on a global scale because social revolutions in some countries, and world wars, allowed it to partially solve some of the contradictions which had existed between base and superstructure.
>
> A last note. I do not know enough about Nasser and Peron to include the regimes they led as "revolutionary states", but I do not think that those regimes were formed as the result of popular revolutionary mobilizations, unlike the cases I mentioned above.
>
> More later, but maybe not too soon, Anthony
>
>
>
>
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-- 
Néstor


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