Re: [OPE] Marta Harnecker's Ideas

From: <>
Date: Mon Dec 07 2009 - 17:02:27 EST


You are wrong about Marx and Engels on Ireland. Their work in the First
International on the Irish question was an important influence on Lenin's
writing on national liberation, on the issue of the peasantry in the
Russian revolution and Lenin's understanding of the essence of imperialism
viz the division of the world between oppressor and oppressed nations, and
the question of opportunism in the labour movement. For an assessment of
the importance of Marx and Engel's and Lenin's writings for
understanding the Irish revolution see Ireland the key to the British
revolution by David Reed. This is also a detailed account of the struggle
of the Irish people for self-determination in the 20th century. This was
published by Larkin Publications in 1984. It is out of print but there are
copies to be had through Amazon.

David Yaffe

At 23:41 06/12/2009 +0100, you wrote:
>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 Irelandís 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
>>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
>>>- 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
>ope mailing list

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Received on Mon Dec 7 17:05:15 2009

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