RE: [OPE] One party state?

Date: Thu Jun 11 2009 - 08:02:05 EDT

. 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...
Hi Paul B:
I'm sure that some other Trotskyist groups in Britain would take exception to
your saying that the SWP is the one remaining Trotskyist group, but no matter:
they are all miniscule, irrelevant sects, imo. In any event, what is called
the SWP now, and which used to be called the International Socialists (from 1962
to 1977), believed in a theory of state capitalism. That perspective was
significantly different from Trotsky's and the majority of what became the
Fourth International - although there have been debates among Trotskyists
since the 30's over the question of the character of the USSR (especially
whether it was a 'degenerated workers' state' or state capitalist). I only
mention this now so as to put some of the above in context: e.g. they claim
that Cuba is state capitalist (see Bins and Gonzalez "Cuba, Castro, and
Socialism"). Their analysis of Castro and Castroism seems also to color their
perspective on Chavez and the PSUV. I would say that historically those who
have adopted a state capitalist theory have also tended towards
sectarianism and have isolated themselves from unfolding revolutionary
As for the other questions you mention, this seems to be largely a
consequence of their perspective on nationalism. They clearly, imo, take
a position on the relation of nationalism to imperialism which is different
from Lenin's, but I don't want to go into a critical analysis of each
perspective now other than to say that a miss-guided perspective on the
relation of different sorts of nationalism to imperialism can lead to
sectarian (or opportunistic) positions, imo. The SWP's position on these
matters is significantly different from the perspective of some other
Trotskyist groups internationally - but that is hardly surprising given
the fragmented character of international Trotskyism.

> the fact that organisations
> actually set them selves up as 'Trotskyist' in the West is the peculiarity..
> why???
Why is there Trotskyism today? Well, because there are still some who
identify with Trotsky's political perspectives (including support for
a world-wide revolution [the theory of permanent revolution], opposition
to Stalinism and social democracy, support for a Leninist-style revolutionary
party [vanguard party; democratic centralism, etc.). I don't identify
with Trotskyism (for a variety of reasons) but I don't find it at all
surprising that there are some who identify with this tradition. I'm
surprised that you do. If you oppose Stalinism and identify with the 'Old
Left (and the history of the first three Internationals), it has some
appeal. Like Maoism, though, I think that ultimately it is part of a
tradition of the authoritarian Left. Whether Marx, or Lenin, or Stalin,
or Trotsky, or Mao, or Dunayevskaya, or Guevara, et al, most socialists
today identify with and appeal to _some_ authority - it's just that the
authorities chosen and the political perspectives they represent are different.
In solidarity, Jerry_______________________________________________
ope mailing list
Received on Thu Jun 11 08:08:59 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Jun 30 2009 - 00:00:03 EDT