Re: [OPE] Marta Harnecker's Ideas

From: Anders Ekeland <>
Date: Sun Dec 06 2009 - 17:41:08 EST

Hi Paul,

I think MH needs to refer to historical events,
to theories, so that we really - at least better
can understand what she means. To write about the
need for a party, for democratic centralism
without clear empirical and theoretical reference
points is to be consciously vague, open to all kind of interpretations.

When Connoly writes about Labour in Irish History
- as the intro on points out;
Connoly "based his argument on a detailed
historical account of Ireland’s struggle for
freedom – an account bettered by few, if any,
books since" - so why should he refer much to
Marx, since Marx had not been a major
theoretician on the Irish struggle for
independence, probably Connoly saw his book as an application of hits.mat.

But MH - has neither a detailed discussion of
concrete historical events, nor a discussion of
previous theories or organising for struggle.
Each and every paragraph raises more questions than it answers.

PB: "Isn't your view very 'academic' and
'professionally' introspective?" Nope, on the
contrary - MH writes in a typically ivory tower -
or desktop way - far away from realities -
probably since she has not to "offend" Castro
and/or Chavez - so the critique is mild, soft and
general, and consequently of little use.

Anders E

At 13:27 06.12.2009, you wrote:
>why do you think that 'theoreticians' need to be
>referred to when writing a book/article on
>contempoarry issues? If we look at eg Connolly's
>Labour in Irish History there is a single
>passing reference to Marx. Yet it is a book
>widely read after its publication, important for
>the Irish anti colonial/imperialist movement,
>and a valuable short text for any modern reader.
>If a work is written as a political polemic then
>there will be targets and allies, but for a
>wider audience should we really worry about geneology?
>Paul Bullock
>----- Original Message ----- From: "Anders Ekeland" <>
>To: "Outline on Political Economy mailing list" <>
>Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 1:54 PM
>Subject: SV: [OPE] Marta Harnecker's Ideas
>>Hi Jerry,
>>- MH probably have written extensively on Cuba,
>>Nicargua and Venezuela - but it does not show
>>in her principles, Cuba is just mentioned once,
>>Lenin, Trotsky, Martov, Dunajevskaja, Pannekoek
>>or Bahro, Uhl, Belocerkovski... I have still
>>not read it properly - but no theoretician of
>>marxist organisation that I know of seems to be
>>even mentioned. Strange - very strange.
>>- And as Alejandro points out - what she writes
>>and her postions on Cuba, Venezuela etc. are
>>"poles apart" (I do not know her position) but
>>it does not suprise me if that is the case.
>>- And why write about the SWPs, the FI? I agree
>>that these were small, but was there anything
>>concious, Marxist, cadre organisations thatt
>>were bigger? Is not the real difficulty that
>>rev. org. in the mature capitalist countries a)
>>are small b) easily split up? IMHO any kind of
>>"Ideas for the Struggle" must adress these challenges.
>>- ASFAICS - is the only organisation that MH
>>mentiones by name is Frente Amplio - but that
>>is a rather particular case focussed on "popular consultations"
>>- MH to me looks like a very soft critique of
>>the authoritarian aspects of certain Lat.Am
>>leaders/regimes. But since is is so soft, no
>>names mentioned, no concrete affair used as an
>>illustration - it is useless for me.
>>So the question that is interesting is - why do
>>Links promote these "truisms" (leaders should
>>listen to the masses etc. etc.) - why do Jerry forward it?
>>Can you throw any light on that issue Jerry?
>>>From: Gerald Levy []
>>>Sent: 2009-12-04 13:37:00 MET
>>>To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list []
>>>Subject: Re: [OPE] Marta Harnecker's Ideas
>>> > If MH had been an OPE member I would have
>>> challenged her on that > point -
>>> > what is your analysis of Lenin, of Trotsky
>>> of the organisational praxis > of
>>> > SWP (US), SWP (UK), The FI (United. Secr) -
>>> the > Sandinistas, the > Cuban
>>> > Communist Party, Chavez etc. etc.
>>>Hi Anders:
>>>I believe she has written about the last three - all subjects worthy of
>>>discussion because of
>>>their historical importance. Why do you think that a critical evaluation of
>>>organizational praxis of the first three are of great significance? The
>>>SWPs in both nations
>>>were never mass political formations [at its high watermark in the early
>>>1970s, the SWP (US) had
>>>close to 2,000 members]; most of the parties affiliated with the FI (USec)
>>>are *extremely*
>>>small and relatively insignificant in the political life of their nations.
>>>(It sometimes amuses me to
>>>see all of the discussion about the SWP-US, primarily by former members.
>>>They even have
>>>a yahoo group - made up of _former_ members and for years the US-centric
>>>list -- ruled over Stalin-like by former SWP membder, Louis N. Proyect --
>>>was obsessed with a
>>>discussion of that group. It reminds me of former members of Scientology or
>>>some other cult
>>>getting together to discuss their cult: the difference is that many of the
>>>former SWPers haven't
>>>really broken with the praxis of that group and look whimsically back on
>>>better days - often
>>>meaning the time just before they were purged.)
>>>In solidarity, Jerry
>>>ope mailing list
>ope mailing list

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Received on Sun Dec 6 17:48:30 2009

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