[Marxism] A specter is haunting...

Thomas thomasfbarton at earthlink.net
Wed Aug 10 19:43:38 MDT 2016

Information most welcome.

In Solidarity,


-----Original Message-----
>From: Gary MacLennan via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
>Sent: Aug 10, 2016 9:22 PM
>To: Thomas F Barton <thomasfbarton at earthlink.net>
>Subject: [Marxism] A specter is haunting...
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>My trawl through Twitter last night has established that the latest on the
>Corbyn campaign, is the allegation by Tom Watson, the Deputy Leader, that
>Trotskyists have entered the Labour Party and are twisting the arms of the
>young people to get them to support Corbyn. In response the #TrotksiteTwist
>sprang up and made great fun of the allegations.  This is a sample
>@*Antonineone1* <https://twitter.com/Antonineone1> 'Well, I was lookin'
>everywhere for them gol-darned Reds I got up in the mornin' 'n' looked
>under my bed Couldn't find 'em'
>*Pauline Lane* ‏@*Antonineone1* <https://twitter.com/Antonineone1>
>Pauline Lane Retweeted Heard they've all gone out dancing doing #
>*TrotskyiteTwist* <https://twitter.com/hashtag/TrotskyiteTwist?src=hash>
>On a more serious level, Bastani   <https://twitter.com/novaramedia> was
>clinical in his approach to demolishing Watson’s case while the *ARTIST
>TAXI DRIVER* ‏@*chunkymark* <https://twitter.com/chunkymark> went off the
>deep end in almost inarticulate rage at the palpable ludicrousness of the
>claims. All hugely enjoyable and come highly recommended.
>I myself was forcibly reminded of three things.  First and most obviously
>the great opening of the Communist Manifesto
>A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. All the powers of
>old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope
>and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.
>Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as communistic
>by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition that has not hurled back
>the branding reproach of communism, against the more advanced opposition
>parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?
>In a tweet I substituted ‘Trotskyism’ for Communism and you get the idea.
>The second thought that came to mind was the scene in Petersen’s film Air
>Force One, where General Radek is being released and the prisoners begin to
>sing the Internationale. We cut to the Pentagon where there is total dismay
>and then to the Kremlin where the terrified leader is drinking.  Back on
>board Air Force One the sound is turned up and the President is forced to
>listen to the voice of revolution. The film is of course standard Hollywood
>fare, but just for a few minutes Petersen allows the specter of revolution
>to come on the stage and it is a great moment.
>My third (& final!) thought was of the passage in Deutscher’s *The Prophet
>Outcast* where he tells of the French Ambassador’s attempt to dissuade
>Hitler from aggression because he might end up benefiting Trotsky. Hitler
>it seems ended up screaming at the very prospect. Trotsky’s own response is
>very interesting, he said ‘They are haunted by the specter of revolution
>and they give it a man’s name’ (Deutscher, p. 515).
>All of which brings me back to Watson and his stupidities.  Beneath the
>silly allegations is the fear of change, the fear of losing control and in
>a way that represents a fear of revolution. There are no Trotskyists and
>Watson knows it.  But instinctively he has grasped the truths of
>ontological depth.  The surface is at times no guide at all to what the Old
>Mole of revolutionary change is doing underneath.
>As things were in Watson’s world they will never be again. And his
>desperate efforts to preserve the, already vanished, status quo are
>transparently ridiculous and pathetic, but in his nightmare there lurks the
>question ‘What rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards
>Bethlehem to be born?’

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