[Marxism] The Prophet Misarmed: Trotsky, Ecology and Sustainability

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Fri Mar 13 14:48:05 MDT 2009

In a message dated 3/13/2009 11:52:02 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
lnp3 at panix.com writes:

> Fortunately for all concerned...it was just that, a once sentence  
> 'musing'. In 1933 Trotsky thought that maybe American Blacks spoke  their 
> own language. A perfect example of too little knowledge being  worse than 
> no knowledge.
> David

Oddly enough,  this idea made a fresh appearance through Ebonics, didn't it?
Actually, I believe this 1933 observation was accurate. If I remember the  
context correctly what was being discussed was the characteristic of the Negro  
peoples in 1933 and Trotsky stated to the effect that amongst themselves the  
blacks probably speak a different language.  Different language in that  
context meant a different form of English than say, standard American English of  
the Northern states, which is a different language than standard England  
English, or Southern standard American English. 
Trotsky was quite correct in scolding his comrades for not being detailed  in 
their analysis, and merely reacting to  ************.. 
There is something profoundly dishonest in an author comparing something  
written in 1933 with a reality that exists today, 76 years later, rather  than 
comparing all the literature of 1933, dealing with Southern English  and 
Northern English and then English spoken by blacks amongst themselves in  1933. 
This particular attack through Trotsky is an attempt to discredit and  
chastise Marxism. 
Sandy Irvine writes: 
"His ecological blind spot was not some personal failing but the product of  
a whole political tradition that, in this respect at least, was gravely 
flawed.  Unless corrected, this ecological blinkeredness will make it as irrelevant 
as  more conventional politics, no matter what sensible things socialist 
activists  might say about specific matters such as the better funding of public 
services,  job security, protection of citizen rights, militarism and the 
closing of the  wealth-poverty gap." 
Further . . .
"Actually, back in the 19th century, Karl Marx had spotted some danger  signs 
of human abuse of the environment. He particularly highlighted the threat  
from soil erosion. Marx also criticised the Gotha Programme of the German Social 
 Democrats for treating human labour as the only source of wealth. Marx was 
not  alone. Trotsky’s contemporary the Polish-born revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg 
was a  keen student of botany and ornithology. She spotlighted the utterly 
ruinous  effects of imperialism in particular. The German Marxist Karl Kautsky 
had noted  the destructive impacts of agrochemical-intensive farming in his 
Agrarian  Question (1899). Leaders of the British Socialist League (1885-1901) 
were  particularly vocal in condemning not just human exploitation but also the  
environmental costs of the Industrial Revolution. 
Yet these were exceptions to the dominant socialist tradition. Most alarm  
about the effects of environmental abuse as well as understanding of its causes  
has come from outside the ranks of socialism, reformist or revolutionary."
The above is not only stupid but dishonest. 
The dominant tradition of the entire Marxists movement is to fight along a  
path that is victory to the workers in their current struggle. That is the  
dominant tradition. In 1933 the dominant feature of the social struggle was over  
the industrial form of unionism. Damn, communists cannot be everywhere all 
the  time doing everything on every single front of struggle. That is why our 
tactic  is to recruit the leaders in say, the ecology movement to the cause of  
Communists do not combine as anything other than communists, whose desire  is 
the formation of the proletariat into a political party or combat force, at  
whatever stage the social movement will sustain such organization. One may as  
well criticize communists - Marxists, for not inventing the steam engine or 
the  next advance in biology. The question is always "what was the relationship 
of  the communists - Marxists to the social movement, in all its aspects in 
say  1848, 1890, 1917, 1930, 1950, 1980 and year 2009." 
What a disappointing article.  
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