[Marxism] Nicaraguan Contradictions

Richard Fidler rfidler at ncf.ca
Wed Sep 5 12:44:39 MDT 2018


You are right about the Trotskyist parties' dogmatic adherence to a literal understanding of the Russian revolution experience. 

An exception: the US Socialist Workers Party in the late 1970s and early 1980s began to rethink these questions around their analysis of what they considered a transitional phase of "workers and peasants/farmers government." They were influenced in this by a re-examination of the Cuban experience and of course what they were following in Nicaragua, to which they gave close attention. 

However, they still saw the transition from the intermediary w and p government to a proletarian dictatorship (workers state) as occurring quite rapidly, which led them in the latter years of the Sandinista revolution to impose an analysis on Nicaragua that bore a curious resemblance to the permanent revolution template they claimed to have rejected. See their Central Committee's balance sheet of the Nicaraguan experience, which in my opinion is based on a set of hypothetical possibilities for deepening the revolution after the peace accord with the Contras that was quite unrealistic -- based in part on my own observations during an extended stay in Nicaragua in 1987. (The Militant, September 7, 1990 - it's online at http://themilitant.com/, Click on Search and follow the leads.) But by 1990 the SWP as a whole was a mess and incapable of serious theoretical debate and understanding, for reasons that have been amply explored on this list in the past.

For a more balanced assessment, see the final chapter (epilogue) in Matilde Zimmermann's excellent book, Sandinista: Carlos Fonseca and the Nicaraguan Revolution, published in 2000. Zimmermann, a former vice-presidential candidate of the SWP in the 1970s, worked in the Managua bureau of The Militant during the 1980s. She long ago left the SWP and now pursues an academic career, I believe.

Richard

-----Original Message-----
From: Louis Proyect [mailto:lnp3 at panix.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2018 1:25 PM
To: Richard Fidler; 'Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition'
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Nicaraguan Contradictions

On 9/5/18 1:07 PM, Richard Fidler wrote:
> Actually, Trotsky did generalize his theory in the late 1920s in the book
> Permanent Revolution.

Trotsky wrote: "Does this at least mean that every country, including 
the most backward colonial country, is ripe, if not for socialism, then 
for the dictatorship of the proletariat ? No, this is not what it means."

My statement is based on what Trotsky wrote: "Does this at least mean 
that every country, including the most backward colonial country, is 
ripe, if not for socialism, then for the dictatorship of the proletariat 
? No, this is not what it means." My experience is that just about every 
Trotskyist party did not grasp what Trotsky wrote here and particularly 
when it comes to Nicaragua.





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