Re: [OPE] One party state?

From: Paul Bullock <>
Date: Thu Jun 11 2009 - 06:53:26 EDT

Hi Jerry,

First in general I have an admiration for those on the active left (no such
general view for the academic left unfortunately) in the USA, given the
socially reactionary climate that has been stoked up by the ruling class
since the very beginning. I don't think that European 'socialists' quite
understand the profound difference in the ideological make up of the two
continents arising from the different historical development, and the real
difficulties that faces workers in the USA fighting against an openly
violent ruling class.

I am aware of the differences between 'trotskyists' in the USA... especially
when they end their careers advising the last President!

I am not at all sectarian...... In Britain however the one remaining
Trotskyist group the SWP has always given a platform to really disgraceful
attacks on the Cuban revolution, published pamphlets attacking Chavez,
called black youth 'lumpen', never really supported Irish republicanism,
(Troops Out was similar in tone and reasoning to the annual 'Daily Mirror'
national newspaper calls) was always been stridently anti-Soviet (and of
course has been absolutely silent about the disastrous consequences of the
collapse of the USSR) and so on.... .It finds itself in a really dificult
position now since its beloved labour party really can't be its object of
reconciliation for youth...

all this is entirely different from what Chavez may choose to say from time
to time, all sorts of quotes can be useful, or deliberately provocative,
after all he has been supported by some 'Trotskyist' groups in and out of
Venezuela......and trotsky was a good member of the bolshevik party for some
time... but all this is a 'nominal' exercise... the fact that organisations
actually set them selves up as 'Trotskyist' in the West is the peculiarity..


paul b

----- Original Message -----
From: "GERALD LEVY" <>
To: "Outline on Political Economy mailing list" <>
Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 2:20 PM
Subject: RE: [OPE] One party state?

>> the modern Trotskyists [...]
>> In general they
>> are radical petty bourgeoise socialists who draw the line at actually
>> confronting their domestic imperialism (its ok to attack other
>> imperialisms,
>> indeed the further away from home the more radical they will sound -
> Hi Paul B:
> I suppose this might be the case for some isolated and miniscule
> Trotskyist
> sect given the highly fragmented character of Trotskyist organizations
> (although I can think of no actual example), but I can think of no
> significant
> Trotskyist group - or, for that matter, Trotskyist - that it holds true
> for.
> Whatever other criticism I might make of them (which would be as pretty
> long
> list), for instance, none of the Trotskyist groups in the US supported the
> invasion of Iraq. None of the Trotskyist groups in the UK supported a
> British
> military presence in Iraq, did they? What _concrete recent_ examples can
> you
> give for the claim that Trotskyists refuse to confront domestic
> imperialism?
>> although their attacks on Chavez or Cuba are solid instances of this
>> role.)
>> as such.
> There has historically been a lot of division among Trotskyists (e.g.
> between
> groups affiliated with the United Secretariat vs. the International
> Committee)
> over Cuba - indeed, there was a split in international Trotskyism over
> Cuba.
> As for Chavez, many Trotskyist groups have been supportive - often
> uncritically
> so. Indeed, some (non-Venezuelan) Trotskyists have been influential on
> Chavez.
> How do you think it came to pass that Chavez was quoted as saying:
> "What is the problem? I am also a Trotskyist. I follow Trotsky's line,
> that of
> permanent revolution"?
> Now ... I don't actually believe for a moment that he is a Trotskyist (or
> a Leninist or that he really understands Trotskyism), but it certainly
> shows
> that some Trotskyists - precisely because they supported the Bolivarian
> revolution in Venezuela - have a certain influence on Chavez.
> You can be sure that Chavez gave no similar endorsements to Stalinism -
> since,
> had he done so, Alejandro A would have been quick to tell us all about it.
> I think that Chavez's political perspective is in flux - although he does
> seem
> to have the ability to tell different groups on the Left what they want to
> hear.
> In solidarity, Jerry
> _______________________________________________
> ope mailing list

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Received on Thu Jun 11 06:58:29 2009

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