[CrashList] Re: Reforms and falling short
ab11 at erols.net
Sun Sep 10 20:51:14 MDT 2000
Ironically, Trotsky& Stalin were not that far apart theoretically. Both still had the imprint of 19th c European social democracy. Trotsky belittled the democratic struggle hence did not understand that the Dictatorship of the Proletariat was a Strategic Alliance , firstly of the Working Class and the Peasantry.
His idea of "Permanent Revolution" was not new, it was a distortion of Marx, who first put forward that concept. But Trotsky did not understand the fundamental concept of Dialectical and Historical Materialism, i.e., Uneven Development. So in pushing his interpretation of Permanent Revolution, he put it in Antagonistic Contradiction to the real political process whereby there can be socialism in one country, as a term of revolutionary development. Hence either there was to be World Revolution or there could be none.
Stalin, on the other hand, took the dialectical fact of uneven relationship and apotheosized the National characteristic of the Russian Revolution, and so the elimination of the Communist International and the privileging of State to State relations over Party to Party Relations.
Trotsky's "Left" errors compliment Stalin's right errors. Remember Trotsky was not expelled from the party by Lenin. It was only after Lenin's death that Stalin, in what was a crass power struggle, ousted Trotsky ( and whoever seemed to challenge Stalin for a dominant political or ideological line, e.g., the purges.)
` But Trotsky's belittling of the National Question and the Worker Peasant Alliance, and Democratic Struggle in general....( he actually wanted The Unions under an authoritarian military structure) is a continuum of his dismissal of the achievement of socialism in one country.
Trotsky thought , as well, that there could be no Proletarian Culture. That Culture was essentially Bourgeois, not understanding that as the revolution unfolds we move from a Revolutionary Democratic i.e. Anti Imperialist Culture toward the creation of a Proletarian Culture as the Productive Forces and the Relations of Production mature. So neither he nor Stalin understood Mao's profound confirmation of Leninism , The Cultural Revolution (See Lenin, "Better Fewer.."
Neither understood it is The Class that must take the mantle of power not the Party! The Cultural Revolution is the only method of educating the revolutionary masses to the fundamental understating of revolution, classes, class struggle and the difference between United Front Government (Dictatorship of Workers and Peasants) and Dictatorship of the Proletariat.
Likewise neither understood Lenin's New Economic Program (nor Mao's The Economics of New Democracy. They thought "War Communism", with its authoritarian strict Party domination of post revolutionary society was correct. In the USSR this led to the creation of a new bureaucratic bourgeoisie of technicians and party officials and revisionism Stalin's declaration in the 16th Congress re the elimination of Hostile Classes is an actual declaration of Revisionism.
What is so important is that as consistently incorrect as Trotsky was, Lenin saw that it was better to struggle, wage polemics, than try to destroy him. Stalin, who although he wrote a brilliant paper on the national question .... went to Georgia and actually slapped a minority nationality comrade and opposed self determination for the autonomous republics in USSR, opposed Lenin's last great theoretical works re the necessary elimination of War Communism as a "Left" error , which in Stalin's regime became a Rightist trend which led us all the way to Putin,
Trotskyism, now< is in the main a petty bourgeois trend diseasing the universities and urban intellectual circles.
From: John Woodford [SMTP:johnwood at umich.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2000 4:56 PM
To: crashlist at lists.wwpublish.com
Subject: Re: [CrashList] Re: Reforms and falling short
Yeah, fine. . But Lenin was interested in dealing with the question: How do we
get therer from here?
And put another way, as far as Trotsky's case goes, "Everybody talkin' 'bout
Heaven ain't going there."
Macdonald Stainsby wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "TAHIR WOOD" <twood at uwc.ac.za>
> > The best solution is the one that can base itself most
> > firmly on this principle and on this principle only: Each
> > according to his or her work.
> > When we have developed a better type of human being we can
> > take it further from there.
> > Tahir
> While I'm not a Trotskyist by any means, I provide this and a link for
> further speculation:
> Trotsky, "The Revolution Betrayed":
> The first section, entitled "Social Structure", concludes with these words:
> "In the Soviet Union, the principle of socialism is realized: From each
> according to his abilities to each according to his work." This inwardly
> contradictory, not to say nonsensical, formula has entered, believe it or
> not, from speeches and journalistic articles into the carefully deliberated
> text of the fundamental state law. It bears witness not only to a complete
> lowering of theoretical level in the lawgivers, but also to the lie with
> which, as a mirror of the ruling stratum, the new constitution is imbued. It
> is not difficult to guess the origin of the new "principle." To characterize
> the Communist society, Marx employed the famous formula: "From each
> according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." The two parts
> of this formula are inseparable. "From each according to his abilities," in
> the Communist, not the capitalist, sense, means: Work has now ceased to be
> an obligation, and has become an individual need; society has no further use
> for any compulsion. Only sick and abnormal persons will refuse to work.
> Working "according to their ability" -- that is, in accord with their
> physical and psychic powers, without any violence to themselves -- the
> members of the commune will, thanks to a high technique, sufficiently fill
> up the stores of society so that society can generously endow each and all
> "according to their needs," without humiliating control. This two-sided but
> indivisible formula of communism thus assumes abundance, equality, an
> all-sided development of personality, and a high cultural discipline.
> [full portion of the article available at:]
> Macdonald Stainsby.
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