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The Acid Test of Palestine

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Palestine is one of the critical acid tests for revolutionary Marxists.
I recently came across some material from the International Socialist League in Israel, and in particular the writing of Yossi Schwartz on Marxmail.
The first was a post from Yossi taking a position on the current situation in Lebanon.
Here he stated his military support for Hezbollah against imperialism, Israel and the Siniora national bourgeoisie. But at the same time he carefully spelled out his political oppostion to Hezbollah as a bourgeois party that could not defeat imperialism nor bring about a socialist revolution.
He was then attacked by a number of Marxmail regulars who see any criticism of ‘progressive’ anti-imperialist forces as sectarian. Not only that, as an Israeli revolutionary, he should be ashamed at having the gall to criticise a political party that was fighting Zionism.
It doesnt matter that Yossi explained his position on the defeat of the Zionist state and his support for one Palestine socilialist workers republic. His critics told him it was easy for an Israeli to make such ‘ultra-left’ pronouncements. Yossi then explained that it was not easy.

Yossi then posted a statement in the name of the ISL on the recent actions of the Palestinian bulldozer driver who smashed into cars and overturned buses in Jeruselem before being shot dead by an off duty Israel cop.

This aroused my curiosity in the ISL. I discovered that it was a split from the Grant/Wood tendency in mid 2007 resulting from an apparent disagreement on tactics towards Hamas. There is an account of it here.
The article written by Yehuda Stern, “The Victory of Hamas in Gaza and the questions facing Israeli and Palestinian workers” is still posted on the In Defence of Marxism website here.

The subject of the article was the victory of Hamas in an internal struggle with Fatah for control of Gaza. Stern argued that Hamas rode to victory on a wave of popularity as the Palestinian masses expressed their rejection of the open collaboration of Fatah with Israel and Imperialism. The Grant/Woods tendency however argued that the dispute between Hamas and Fatah was a fight between two equally reactionary forces incapable of advancing the Palestinian struggle.

As Stern says in the article:
“It is amazing to see how the imperialists have understood far better than most people on the left what lies at the heart of the present conflict – not a mere power struggle between two equally reactionary forces but a decisive battle between imperialism and the Palestinian people. The bourgeoisie in Israel is now hysterical, and for a good reason: although the victory of Hamas in Gaza does not solve any of the fundamental problems of the Palestinian masses, this was clearly a severe blow against imperialism. It is clear then that the question at hand is not the leadership of either side but the class forces supporting them.”

Indeed the ISL has no illusions in Hamas:
“Hamas is a populist, reactionary movement, whose leadership not long ago had announced its willingness to negotiate with the USA and Britain. They justified this with the argument that these two imperialist powers were different from Israel, as they are not “occupying states”. They said this long after the wars
in Afghanistan and Iraq where the USA and Britain are the main occupying forces and also ignoring the fact that behind Israeli imperialism stands US imperialism with all its might.”

Stern then goes on to explain how Hamas rose to power from the time of the formation of the Islamic Brotherhood in Gaza in 1948. Hamas opposed the Oslo agreement of 1993 and the sellout of the Palestinian Authority which created terrible conditions for Palestinians.

“That is why we cannot join the hue and cry of the sectarian and petit bourgeois left. They limit themselves to shouting that Hamas is a reactionary movement, that it is as pro-imperialist as Fatah, that it is a terrorist organization, and so on. These cries reflect bourgeois public opinion, and not by chance. We defend the right of the Palestinian people to determine their own destiny and to choose their own government without any outside interference. They clearly voted massively for Hamas giving this organisation a landslide victory in the last elections. It is an unfortunate fact that an Islamic fundamentalist force has come to lead the Palestinian masses, but rather than weep about all this what we should be doing is looking at the responsibility of the “left” in allowing such a situation to emerge.”

But while Hamas won popular support rejecting the treachery of Fatah, rose to power on the wave of anti-imperialist sentiment of the Palestinian masses, Hamas cannot bring about their liberation.

“The main problem facing the Palestinian masses now is that the de facto break up of the PA into two farcical states will not change the fundamental nightmare situation they are living in. Hamas does not have any real alternative to offer to capitalist exploitation, hardly compensated by Hamas’ Islamic charity institutions upon which a growing layer of the population of Gaza depends in order to survive. Even the temporary relief granted by the effect of the victory of Hamas upon the powerful rival clans and organisations cannot last for very long.”

Stern goes on to explain why revolutionaries can block with Hamas against imperialism but at the same time fight against their reactionary class politics:

“For these reasons we do not give the fundamentalists any political support. Hamas is a populist movement. It built its support on the one hand on the betrayal of the nationalists and on the other on the betrayal of the left and its sell-out to the PLO and Fatah. And we should always keep firmly in mind that Hamas does
not want to overthrow capitalism. They merely wish for banks and monopolies with Islamic names. If they follow the same path of making deals with the imperialist powers, which at a certain stage will be inevitable, its leadership will be exposed as just another group of bourgeois politicians, no better than Fatah, especially should they attempt to set up a regime in their image to assert their domination. This, in the long run, is the only possibility in Palestine, where the ruling class is extremely weak and lacks any popular base.”

The article goes on to explain how the Stalinists capitulate to the popular front of progressive national bourgeoisies like Hamas or Hezbollah.

More interesting however, is their critique of the ‘philosophical roots of sectarian political degeneration’.
Here we have the main difference between the ISL and the Grant/Woods tendency exposed.

“Their argument, as we have already said, is that since both Fatah and Hamas are reactionary bourgeois movements, there is no reason to differentiate between them. We have already demonstrated why the refusal to differentiate between the downtrodden masses that support and fight under the leadership of Hamas and the rotten Fatah leadership is nonsensical and irresponsible from a class perspective. Now we shall elaborate on the philosophical postulates underlying it.”

…”Thus, the sectarian usually substitutes Marxist philosophy with either vulgar materialism or with idealism. One of the main characteristics of idealist philosophy is that it analyses objects, movements, states and so forth through their form instead of their material basis (Trotsky explains this quite well in his 1938 essay, Their Morals and Ours). This is the reason for their inability to understand phenomena such as Proletarian Bonapartism, the Bolivarian Revolution, or the political situation in the Middle East and in Israel-Palestine in particular, alongside countless other questions. For the idealist, all that matters is that
Hamas is “Islamic” and Fatah is “nationalist”. The fact that at this moment in time one side is supported by the Palestinian masses, while the other is supported by imperialism, is at best secondary to these so-called
“Marxists” (here again we see how the sectarian considers “the incidental thing serious and the serious thing incidental.”)”

Stern then elaborates on how sectarians impose their petty bourgeois program on workers ignoring the actual struggles in which workers class consciousness develops. He could have mentioned that this is the point made by Trotsky that sectarians are frightened opportunists -afraid that they will capitulate to opportunism which in this case would be Islamic fundamentalism.

To avoid both sterile sectarianism and crass opportunism, it is important to understand why the mass support of Palestinians for Hamas is an important starting point in developing a class consciousness that can break with the reactionary politics of Hamas.

“Those who stand together with the masses in the struggle and support them have the credibility needed to present their criticism of the leadership. Those who stand aside and refuse to support the masses will never be taken seriously. Nor should they be. This, as we have already mentioned, is merely the ultimate fate
of sectarianism.”

…”Meanwhile, in Palestine, the inability of Hamas to advance the liberation struggle will become more and more evident. Just as we saw in Lebanon after last year’s war, the masses in Gaza after the defeat of Fatah – seen as agents of imperialism -will demand jobs, bread and higher wages. In Gaza the unemployment rate is just over 60%. The reactionary Hamas will not be able to give the masses anything. After any military setback of Israeli we would see the national liberation struggle grow, but this would expose Hamas and reveal all its limitations, and would serve as a lesson for the Palestinian workers. They will eventually come
to realise that the only way to liberate the Palestinian masses from imperialism is through the class struggle. The present state of affairs in Israel exposes more and more the fact that Israeli and Palestinian workers have a clear common goal – the social revolution.”

On the acid test of Palestine, I think the Israeli International Socialist League has passed with red flag flying.

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Written by raved

July 5, 2008 at 4:04 am

35 Responses

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  1. I wasn’t a full member of the IMT at the time, the issues with Yossi came around.

    His statement isn’t far from our position.

    No support to Islamists.

    Renegade Eye

    July 6, 2008 at 2:42 am

  2. What about no support for Christians?
    Don’t you mean no political support for the national bourgeoisie however they dress up their ideological appeals to the masses?
    Yossi and Co say that the mass support of Islamic people for Hamas was a defeat for imperialism. Militant doesnt agree with that. That’s quite a difference.

    raved

    July 6, 2008 at 12:25 pm

  3. On the difference between the ISL in Palestine and The Laborites IMT

    I just want to correct a small mistake namely that we had only one difference with Alan Woods’ tendency. And this is over tactical approach to Hamas. As a matter of fact a the time we left the meeting in Spain one year ago we had four points of disagreement with Woods.

    1. Their attitude to the Irish national question. We had a beginning of a debate over Woods’ opposition to the 1923 nationalist uprising in Ireland that we support. We also found that he was not saying the truth when he claimed that his position was in line with the Communist International at that time.
    2. Our opposition to the popular front politics they have in Pakistan supporting the PPP leadership ( a Populist party) claiming that it is the expression of the workers and peasants.
    3. We began to develop our criticism of their end tailing of Chavez in Venezuela claiming that a populist can transfer society for the benefit of the working class rather than a working class revolution that will overthrow the capitalist state Chavez is running for 10 years.
    4. The difference between a military block and political support for Hamas for the reasons you found out.

    Unfortunately we were expelled very fast without being allowed to develop a political International tendency in the IMT. So much for their pretence to run a democratic centralist tendnency.

    I am attaching some of the letters that we exchanged at this period that can throw some light on this development..

    In any case following our expulsion we have deepening our study of various essential questions and most importantly we have gained a better understanding of the reasons for the degeneration of the Fourth International following Trotsky’s death.

    Already after WWII the leadership of the FI was looking for other forces than the working class to change the world and for counter revolutionary Stalinist leadership to tail rather than fighting for the FI to become a world party of the revolutionary working class. They became an expression of the new petty bourgeois class that appeared after the imperialists with the help of the Stalinists and the Social Democrats smashed the working class revolutionary struggle following WWII. Hence their failure to understand that the Soviet Union as a workers state was destroyed between 1936-9 and thus the USSR entered the war as an imperialist state with imperialist aims. That the revolutions that took place in places like Yugoslavia ,China and Cuba were carried out on the basis of the Peasants in China and the guerrilla in Cuba were bourgeois democratic revolutions. Revolutions that accomplished partly the tasks of the democratic revolution. Achievements that have been under attack in Chaina for many years and are under attack now in Cuba.
    This theory that other class than the working class led by its own revolutionary party of the most advanced workers , can replaced the working class and build a workers state is a truly revisionism of the ABC of Marxism from the Communist Manifesto and on.

    The full transition from centrists to reformism the FI made in Bolivia in the early 1950s when it supported the popular front government of the MNR and later on in Sera Lanka and later on in Chile.

    The Woods tendency went as far as calling Syria, Burma, Aden, Ethiopia workers states. In simple word any capitalist state that nationalized the main forces of production became in their mouth a workers state.

    Thus the conclusions we have reached out of the political struggle even it was short are very relevant to Latin America in particular to Cuba , Venezuela and Bolivia .

    As of Cuba. If the Pabloities including Woods were serious about their own theory that Cuba is a deformed workers state they would have been struggling to build independent trade unions and a revolutionary party in Cuba leading a political revolution. However the fact that they are end tailing Castro and the Cuban capitalist state just shows that they consider their theory simply as a mask hiding simple reformism.

    Lately they are hailing Ernesto Guevara de la Serna known in history as the Che as a great working class revolutionary comparing him to Rosa Luxemburg. Ernesto Guevara was a petite bourgeois radical pro Stalinist of the Maoist version Rosa was a great working class revolutionary in spite of mistakes she did.

    To avoid any misunderstanding we are not with sympathy with the British SWP or the ISO we do not like them for their opportunism and for lack of Internationalism. Nor do we agree with their analysis of the former Soviet Union or the deflated Permanent Revolution Theory.
    Yossi Schwartz for the ISL

    yossiisl

    July 11, 2008 at 6:14 am

  4. In response to : Israel’s Truce With Hamas Is a Victory for Iran
    By MICHAEL B. OREN
    June 19, 2008; Page A13

    But of course it is true that the fact that the Israeli state was forced to have a cease fire with Hamas is indication of the fact that Israeli power as the major force maintaining the imperialist order in the Middle East is in decline.
    But where is Mr. Oren of “Salm”( in reality a state sponsored center) reflecting the views of the Zionist ruling class is upset, for the anti imperialist forces and for the international working class it is a reason to be happy as Israel is an imperialist state and the oppressor of the Palestinian nation. As Lenin said in order that humanity will survive the imperialist order must die. The situation today is of weakening the imperialist order.

    That does not mean that Marxists should support politically Iran or Hams. Hamas is now begin to act as a policeman for Israel, and the imperialist order by arresting militants. Iran’s government is offering a similar service to the US in Iraq. Hamas however is not an imperialist state and much weaker than Israel backed by the Western imperialism. Neither is Iran an Imperialist state and the fact thart Israel was ordered by the US not to attack Iran just shows the weakening of the US and Israel in the region which is a good thing.

    At the same time we must mention that Israel is forced to have truce with Hamas in Gaza it is attacking the Palestinians in the West –Bank. Similarly the Israeli government may be insane enough to begin a war against Iran in order to show the US that only Israel can be the policeman in the region.

    The conclusion is that only the Arab working class revolution can solve the democratic national question of the Palestinian nation by forming one state, a Palestinian in its national characteristic, but proletarian in its essence from the river to the sea. It is the only class that can unite the region divided by the imperialists by a socialist Federation of the Middle East. It is the only class that can free the economy of the region from the imperialist companies and develop it for the benefit of the workers and the poor peasant. It is the only class that can complete the agrarian revolution than tone aspect of it is the returning of the Palestinian refugees to the stolen lands.
    The Jews who live in Israel will have the right to cultural autonomy that will include the right to use Hebrew and pray while the Jewish-Israeli workers who will support the Arab working class revolution will be part of the new ruling class in a workers state. A state whose workers democracy will have the form of a regime of workers councils whose central committee of the highest elected council will be the government. The workers will be organized as force to defend the new revolutionary state.

    yossiisl

    July 11, 2008 at 6:50 am

  5. Yossi, thanks for clarifying your political differences with the IMT.

    We see the urgent task as that of creating a new international, so that we should focus on the agreements that might allow us to start along that road. There are plenty of differences among those who make up the FLT as our origins are as different as Moreno, Lora and a critique of Spartacism in 1972. But we all agree that Cuba is still a degenerate workers state, though well down the path to restoration.

    It appears that at the moment the only one important difference that separates the FLT’s 23 points http://redrave.blogspot.com/2008/06/appeal-of-leninist-trotskyist-fraction.html
    from the ISL is your view of the counter-revolution in the USSR between 1936-39. However, this is something that can be debated publicly usefully as it is fundamental to our method, and meanwhile we can certainly bloc against the sellout reformist fake Trotskyists that form the left leg of the World Social Forum and presents the Bolivarian revolution as the road to 21st century socialism.

    Briefly we think that in 1940 Trotsky was correct to still argue for unconditional defence of the SU as a DWS, and that his arguments about the defence of Poland allow us to see how the post-war post-capitalist states relied on the surviving gains of the Bolshevik revolution in the form of workers property. To that extend, the working class that made the revolution in 1917 enabled all these revolutions to survive. We don’t see the end of workers property until the capitalist restoration of 1989-1992 in SU and EE, followed by China and Vietnam and well underway in Cuba today.

    raved

    July 11, 2008 at 10:13 am

  6. Thank you comrade Raved

    I am sure were your group and our group in the same country we could have common actions against the oppression of the Palestinians and other common struggle against the imperialists and their local servants.
    However we do not support the idea of a propaganda block and it seems to us that the issue of the former USSR and Cuba are very fundamental questions we should discuss and debate openly.
    So let me begin with the question of the working class as the only revolutionary class, the revolutionary party of the working class, the class nature of the Cuban state and the question of revolution v reformism. These in my opinion are the main points behind the “Russian question”.

    1/ Let me begin with a question, and the question is when and how a workers state came to be in the former USSR? The answer is easy and I am sure both of us will agree. It came to be because the working class at the head of the peasants led by a revolutionary workers party overthrew the capitalist state. It became a workers state before any nationalizations under workers control.

    So if we agree that a workers state was forms by a workers revolution, we should assume that for a workers state to be destroyed and be replaced by a capitalist state a social counter revolution in the form of a civil war where the capitalist class wins must take place.
    In the early 1990s no such a counter revolution took place the transition from state ownership to privatization was very peaceful. Is it possible than your theory is that a revolution and counter revolution can be made peacefully?

    If we examine the people who came to power following Gorbashov it was the same class who was in power for many years- the same bureaucracy . Did the same class made a counter revolution against itself? If a counter revolution against the working class took place where were the workers?

    If we examine the composition of the state apparatus there was no difference before and after the collapse of the Stalinist regime. How than a counter revolution was possible when the same state has not changed? I am sure you are familiar with Marx and Lenin theory of the state.

    2. I am very familiar with this trap I held to the same theory of the DWS for many years and I knew that something was really wrong with it long before I could formulate the real questions. It goes to the form – the nationalized state property, but this is exactly the problem with this theory it confuses form – ownership, with the essence-mode of production and the relationship of production. The form did not change in the former USSR until the 1990s but the capitalist mode of production- the exploitation of the working class by a bureaucratic class was in place already on the eve of the WWII. Following the civil war that destroyed the workers state and the Bolshevik party between 1936-9 the workers state was destroyed.

    3.Cuba and the other DWS
    Clearly not the working class made the 1959 revolution but the petit bourgeois guerrilla movement while the working class was paralyzed by the Stalinists who opposed the revolution. How can another class than the working class establish a workers state? The ABC of Marxism is that only the working class is the consistent revolutionary class. Castro at the time of the revolution was a left wing democrat and not a Marxist. He did not even claimed to be one. How can a workers state come into being without the revolutionary working class and a working class revolutionary party?.

    yossiisl

    July 11, 2008 at 12:56 pm

  7. Comrade Yossi,

    Thanks for your reply. We have debated this question before, most recently against the LRP in 2000. Here it is in our archive
    http://communistworker.blogspot.com/2007/08/lrp-on-state-capitalism.html

    We speak about the buffer states of EE but not of China or Cuba. But here I think the importance of the gains of the revolutions that survive the inroads of capitalism show that they originated in post-capitalist revolutions that were made possible by workers property won in 1917. We do not agree that workers property in this sense is reducable to nationalised property. It is the legacy of 1917, it forced the bureaucracy to live off it for decades before they could privatise it. And they could only do that because WE failed to defend it unconditionally, or in our defence of it fell far short of what was required. The last vestiges are still surviving providing a basis for political resistance. That is why we say that the Cuban revolution survives because the Latin American revolution has not been historically defeated, but that this is under threat from the populists who are strangling this revolution as an extension of the Castroist counter-revolution.

    So to 1,2 and 3 above.
    1. Trotsky anticipated the possibility of a ‘cold’ counter-revolution in the USSR given his 1930s analysis of the Stalinist superstructure as ‘fascist’ in form.

    2. The form of workers property in the USSR was consistent with its essence until privatisation in the 1990s. That is, the bureaucracy was forced to be parasitic on it and extract their privileges by unequal exchange as opposed to privatising those social relations. The form appears to be state capitalism, but unlike the Cliffites who argued that this was the highest stage of capitalism, it proved to be a degenerate form of workers property which workers did not control or administer.

    3. As stated above, Cuba survived as a post-capitalist degenerate workers state only because of the existence of the USSR, which did not demand imperialist superprofits from its sugar but only support for its ‘socialism in one country’.

    We think that Trotsky was able to argue convincingly against state capitalist theories in the 1930s by showing how they were adaptations to the trade union consciousness of sections of the labor aristocracy that refused to defend the SU for fear of being accused of being Stalinist.

    He addressed this question most clearly in his writings on Poland as we point out in the article on the LRP cited above.

    Fraternally
    Raved

    raved

    July 12, 2008 at 2:16 am

  8. Thank you for referring me to the article of your debate with the LRP .Needless to say I am familiar with the Book the death agony of Stalinism and I agree with the LRP analysis as it is a straight forward Marxist analysis. To put the LRP in the same place as the Cliffites whose theory is a left version of Shactman does not serve you well. It is the old system of creating a straw puppet and knock it down instead of real debate with the actual theory .and practice.

    Lenin thought and correctly so that the heart of scientific Marxism is Dialectical Materialism and I am afraid that some of the statements in your article are reflection of pure idealist method detached from concrete reality, and I will point out to a few glaring cases.

    Trotsky was of the opinion on the eve of the WIII that the question of the class nature of the USSR would be determine in the period of the war and that the Soviet union will not remain a degenerated workers state but either the working class would over throw the bureaucracy or the bureaucracy would become a new capitalist state. Your position implies that Trotsky was wrong and the fact that the USSR survived the war proves that it remains a workers state and the expansion of it was a great victory for the working class.
    Thus While Trotsky offered a concrete analysis of relationship of class forces and thus concrete time with a clear understating that if the USSR will survive the war it will be at the expense and the defeat of the working class, not in the far away future but at the time. For you all of this disappear and reality became an abstraction.
    It does not seems to me you have any analysis of the motion the USSR’s economy went through between 1939-1990s a period of 50 years that end with a 0 growth and thus I do not see a theoretical analysis of the system but statements of a believer hanging his hat on a label.

    It is amazing that when you speak of the working class vanguard, that at the time you refer to –the end of the WWII was still the FI , you actually denies it and justifies the liquidation of the FI by turning the Stalinist armies that smash the revolutionary working class movement that sprang after the WWII into the vanguard of the working class .Are we speaking of the same armies that returned King Peter to power in Romania? That raped East German women workers?

    This” theory” was examined in practice by the politics of the Spartacists in Poland and in Afghanistan. In Poland the SL theory was that the Army will defend what they called the DWS and in Afghanistan that it will turn Afghanistan into DWS and we know that history proved them wrong.
    I have reasons to believe that poor Jan Norden who was the editor of the WV was accused for this line and paid for Robertson’s politics in this case.

    A workers state is a transition to socialist society, it is a motion to accumulate and concentrate all the private capitals under workers control with an increasing planning of the economy. The reason to defend a degenerated workers states is because they are more advance than capitalist state. Was this the case in Poland or East Germany or were they less developed than the capitalist states in Western Europe? Was there any planning in reality in these states? Was not the working class exploited badly by the ruling bureaucratic capitalist class? Did the Stalinist Army liberate or repress Afghanistan? And please do not take in Afghanistan the same position the IMT is taking on Hams and Hezbollah.

    Your article stated that the Stalinists were allies of the working class. However we saw in the Middle East in 1947-8 that they were allies of the Zionist helping them to smash the working class revolutionary movement of 1946 and on to form a bastion of imperialism in the region-Israel. It is the same class in power in the USSR who did it.

    It is of interest that you limit yourself to certain states in East Europe as you can not claim that it was the Soviet Stalinist army that made the revolution in Yugoslavia or in China. Do you claim that Tito army was the working class vanguard and the same for Mao peasants based army? It seems to me that your logic is leading you there but afraid of your own logic you simply do not deal with this questions.
    And what about Cuba? You can not argue that the Stalinist army of the USSR made the revolution. It was a petite bourgeois guerilla army. Castor at the time of his visit to the US in 1960 called the Stalinist and the USSR totalitarian dictatorships that he opposes in his country.
    I think I can trace the same roots as the early Spartcists. Am I right that you evolved from Greg split in Australia-New- Zeeland from the SL?

    Yossi Schwartz

    July 12, 2008 at 5:09 am

  9. Two Israeli policeman part of an armed group were wounded in a shooting attack Friday at an entrance to occupied Jerusalem’s Old City..

    According to Israel Radio, one of the Israeli policeman was seriously wounded and the other one moderately so.

    The Palestinian opened fire with a handgun toward an armed group of policeman , possibly in civilian cloths, at the Lion’s Gate of the walled Old City from a Muslim cemetery. Armed people in the Israeli policemen group and other Israeli police officers shot back.
    It seems that the Palestinian guerrilla fighter escaped. This is the third attack on Israelis coming from Palestinians who were occupied not in 1948 but in 1967 in the last few weeks. It may indicate a new phase in the Palestinian resistance to their repression. A possible new popular uprising Taking into account that the Israelis were armed and part of the state itself this action can not be classified as a terrorist act against unarmed and directly uninvolved Israelis.

    There is no such thing as an occupation and daily oppression without a counter motion of resistance. Even these days when Israel and Hamas have truce in Gaza Israel is continuing its attacks in the West Bank. Once again we point to the Israeli government and state and the imperialist states that are backing it as those who are responsible for the injury of the two Israelis. Palestine was rubbed from the river to the sea and must become a Palestinian workers Republic. Only than the Israelis who would like to live in a Palestinian workers state will be safe.

    We can expect now right wing settlers attacks on Palestinians while the Israeli and Palestinian police stand aside and let it happen. The interest of the International working class is to oppose these pogroms if indeed they will take place

    Yossi Schwartz

    July 12, 2008 at 5:52 am

  10. Comrade Yossi,
    We were never early Spartacists, never having joined them since we saw them as Cannonites and US chauvinist. They combined this US chauvinism with Stalinophilia. However, your position looks like Stalinophobia to me. Its true we should not lump the LRP in with the Cliffites. The Cliffites basically followed the petty bourgeois opposition into Stalinophobia (Stalinism is reactionary root and branch) after the war. The material linterest underlying such politics was an adaptation to the weakest layers of the vanguard who rejected the USSR because of its Stalinist regime.

    I don’t remember when the LRP developed their version of state capitalism, its a while since I read their book. But from memory it was also a response to the reactionary role of Stalinism from 1939. This I respectfully suggest results from adapting to the same wave of revulsion from Stalinism among workers in the imperialist states as well as the general anti-communism promoted by the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeois intellectuals.

    But why reject the SU as a workers state only from 1939? If, as you say, support for a workers state depends on it developing the force of production ahead of capitalism, why even support the 1917 revolution? This was after all the position of the right and centre of the 2nd International.

    Since you do not say that, it cannot be that the failure to develop the forces of production ahead of capitalism is the reason for finding fault with the workers states.

    Similarly it cannot be the reactionary character of the bureaucracy which Trotsky had recognised much earlier and in 1933 judged its counter-revolutionary role as an historic betrayal. Yet despite this ‘fascist’ form of the Stalinist regime Trotsky persisted in refusing to allow the caste character of the bureaucracy to determine the class character of the SU.

    Therefore, it must be the social relations of production that decide if a workers state exists or not. As I already pointed out, this was Trotsky’s view at the time of his death. The social relations of the USSR must be unconditionally defended, despite what he termed the ‘fascism’ of the Stalinist regime.

    Far from a schema, we apply his method to the class character of the SU, not Trotsky’s ‘opinion’ that the SU would become socialist or capitalist as the result of WW2. We judge that on Trotsky’s own criteria, a political revolution did not occur, and nor was workers property overthrown by the bureaucracy. Had he lived either he would have had to repudiate the only basis on which he had consistently characterised the SU – its social relations, or reject his own prediction.

    So far from acting on a general prediction, and invoking a Menshevik argument about the forces of production, or introducing an openly bourgeois method that resorts to superstructural determination of the character of the SU, we rely upon Trotsky’s method. Trotsky’s method in the defence of the USSR is best developed in his writings on Poland as I mentioned in In Defense of Marxism. That is, despite everything the counter-revolutionary bureaucracy does including trampling on the national rights of Poland and usurping the historic role of the working class, so long as workers property remains and is being defended in the USSR we bloc militarily with the bureaucracy against imperialism.

    THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE GIVE THE BUREAUCRACY ANY POLITICAL SUPPORT. The only sense in which the bureaucracy is an ally of the working class was in its defence of workers property. By definition, unconditional defence of the SU means not putting any conditions on who we block with in this task.

    In terms of the LRP politics, from 1939, they would have refused to defend the SU against imperialism since it was already imperialist. This is worse that the Cliffites who at least did not regard the SU as imperialist at this time. How do we explain this difference? I would say that the Cliffites were representing a more class conscious vanguard (because of British imperialsm’s decline) and could not come out as totally Stalinophobic. Whereas in the US, the rise of US imperialism and the cold war created a US chauvinist and anti-communist consciousness and that the LRP adapted to this backward consciousness by removing the defence of the SU from its program.

    To summarise, neither the backwardness of the forces of production, nor the counter-revolutionary role of the bureaucracy, are grounds for abandoning the defence of workers property in the SU before 1992. Only a counter-revolution in 1929 or 1939 can justify that. And to claim that you have to show how Trotsky’s method in defence of the SU was wrong in In Defence of Marxism, and should be junked as ‘dogmatic’ and substituted for his ‘dialectical’ prediction that WW2 would make the SU socialist or capitalist.

    Fraternally
    Raved

    raved

    July 12, 2008 at 11:31 am

  11. Dear comrade
    I do not like the use the weak points or mistakes of the other person with whom I debate as a proof against his main argument, and thus I would not use the fact you are mistaken about the political orientation of the Spartacist to the USSR as a proof against your main argument that a state should be judged according to relationship of production.
    The Sportscasts are indeed American chauvinists but they were not as you say Stalin phobic if at all they are still Philo Stalinists. Lock a their position on China even today –They characterize it as a DWS They made themselves a name as a Philo Stalinists in Poland and in Afghanistan.

    Your argument about the Cliffites is mistaken as well. Their position is that the USSR became a capitalist state in 1928 because at that time the working class lost the democratic control over the economy.

    Yet I do not appreciate not replying to one of my main points. I raised the issues of the class nature of the Yugoslavian Chinese and Cuban revolution. Revolutions that were based on other classes than the working class and led by non Marxist and even counter revolutionary leadership like Maoism and Titoism. You simply ignored it and I ask you to relate to it.

    Now to your main argument. It seems to me that you confuse a workers state with socialism. What do you think was exactly the mode of production of the USSR?
    Capitalism is a mode of production based on the exploitation of the working class and the central law of this system is the law of value.

    Lenin defined a workers state as a capitalist state without the bourgeois The USSR was based on the exploitation of the working class. The main law in operation was the law of value . If before the social counter revolution when it was a workers state the working class was self exploited for the socialist future. under the Stalinist counter revolution the working class was exploited by the bureaucratic capitalist class to accumulate national capital.. If during the time of a workers state the law of value was deformed in favor of the working class the deformations than after were in favor of accumulation of state capital abused by the Stalinist bureaucracy. I fail to understand why do you think that these relationship of productions were other than capitalists. The Stalinist industrialization was a night mare for the working class and it included a fascistic regime including slave labor camps.

    Was Trotsky alive he would decided as he wrote that the working class los the struggle in the USSR and the capitalist counter revolution won. We know it from Natalie letter of resignation from the FI in 1953 as result of the leadership tailing counter revolutionary forces.

    Your attempt to hint that the reason we hold our position is related to bourgeois public opinion in 1939 has nothing to do with the analysis of the relation of production of the former USSR especially post- mortem today when the USSR does not exists.

    Further more in your argument that we have a similar argument to Social democracy you are proving once again that you are confusing state and regime. Not only this but you are making up an argument foreign to Marxism. Workers states are more progressive than capitalism but not for you. The tasks of workers state is to complete the accumulation and centralization of capital that the capitalists in this epoch of decay can not do any more and this is what makes them a reactionary class.
    For you a workers state is an abstract moralist question. As I wrote to you already I do not see Dialectical materialism in your arguments.

    Yossi Schwartz

    July 12, 2008 at 1:28 pm

  12. Comrade Yossi

    I said the Spartacists were Stalinophiles, not Stalinophobes. I said the Stalinophobe Cliffites saw the counter-revolution as complete in 1929, and the LRP and yourself, 1939.
    I already spoke of Cuba. By extension all the other national revolutions that were forced to go further than the petty bougeois leaders intended and expropriate the bourgeoisie did so because of the refusal of imperialism and the national bourgeoisie to form popular front governments with them in the post-war bipolar world. In every case, I don’t know about Tito, these petty bourgeois leaders sought to make peace with imperialism, but imperialism refused.
    We have to ask why imperialism refused. The answer is Yalta and the imperialists fear of the power of workers property in the SU. When imperialism refused, these national revolutions were thrown into the arms of the USSR. Nowhere do we say that these regimes are healthy workers states, rather they were deformed at birth because their reliance on the SU meant that the workers in these countries did not control the economy.
    I also said that we defend these countries as post-capitalist DWSs because they are gains dependent on 1917, and to treat them as mere semi-colonies of the USSR we would have to have your analysis of the USSR as imperialist. I already explained how we see the defence of these countries as part of the ongoing world revolution, and how specifically the defence of workers property in Cuba is the litmus test for the defence the Bolshevik revolution. The fact that the Cliffites and LRP would not have defended workers property in the SU and by extension any of the DWSs that emerged in the post WW2 period is exactly what Trotsky meant when he said that if you can’t defend this, what can you defend?

    So the main issue remains: was the SU still a workers state in the postwar period? As Trotskiy argued on Poland in 1939 (fundamental!) we have to see the possibility of new DWSs as extensions of the SU and the defence of workers property. Would he have held to that view after the war? That depended on whether he continued to use the same method which he used to characterise the SU as a DWS at the time of his death.

    You say the SU was always a CMP based on the law of value. Yes Lenin did say that the SU was a bourgeois state without the bourgeoisie. But that is not the same thing as saying it was a CMP. He also said it was state capitalist, but that the workers controlled the state. It’s correct to define the CMP in terms of the law of value. But the law of value can only operate with a market. The SU at this time had neither a capitalist market, nor did it have crises of overproduction that would be necessary to define it as imperialist. Whatever the inequality that existed under the workers state, especially the NEP, counter-revolution could not take place without a new bourgeoisie arising. The inequalities and oppression that existed under the bureaucracy was not class exploitation or oppression. Insofar as the bureaucracy remained a caste this exacerbated the unequal distribution. The market and the law of value did not return until the period 1989-1992. Natalie’s letter does not bear on that point.

    I say explicitly that Stalinophobes are responding to anti-stalinism in the ranks of the working class. I believe such a materialist interest is the only explanation for arriving at the conclusion that the SU became capitalist in 1929 or 1939. Both revisions arose out of the intense anti-stalinism of the immediate post WW2 period, they happened however to find different criteria to arrive at their conclusions.

    You last point is idealist. You say that workers states cannot exist unless they are more progressive than capitalism, which you here define as completing ‘the accumulation and centralisation of capital’. Well as I said before, that would disqualify the SU in 1917. Lenin always said that socialism could be built in the SU only with a revolution in Europe where the forces of production were more advanced. Of course, on a world scale your point is correct, and that is why the defence of workers property internationally is so important against the destructive forces of global capitalism.

    raved

    July 13, 2008 at 6:01 am

  13. Dear comrade Raved

    Yes you are right you wrote the SL are suffering from Stalinophilia not Staliniphobia I read it incorrectly .Thank you for correcting me.

    But you wrote :” In terms of the LRP politics, from 1939, they would have refused to defend the SU against imperialism since it was already imperialist. This is worse that the Cliffites who at least did not regard the SU as imperialist at this time.”
    This is very differently than what you write now: “. I said the Stalinophobe Cliffites saw the counter-revolution as complete in 1929, and the LRP and yourself, 1939.”

    But even when this is not the main issue never the less I will appreciate if you will show me where did you write before now in our debate that ” Stalinophobe Cliffites saw the counter-revolution as complete in 1929, and the LRP and yourself, 1939.” And not This is worse that the Cliffites who at least did not regard the SU as imperialist at this time.”

    I am sorry but I still do not see any scientific theory that explains how China or Yugoslavia or Cuba became workers states even if deformed. How from the fact the petit bourgeois leaders “were forced to go further than they intended ” you can conclude that they were able to replace the working class and the revolutionary party and form workers states .

    The petty bourgeois can not replace the working class! Counter revolutionaries can not replace revolutionary leadership. If they were or are now able to why do we need to build a working class international? Lenin struggled to build the third International in order to destroy not reformed the traitors in the working class. Trotsky struggled for the FI to destroy the traitors in the working class not to reforms the CI after 1933!

    It is the ABC of Marxism that only the working class is the class able to form workers states. Once you move away from this elementary class position what will stop you in another situation to develop as happen to other tendencies like the IMT the positions that bourgeois nationalists, army officers in Burma , populists like Chaves, the PPP in Pakistan, can all under pressure replace the working class and its Marxist leadership.?

    Since the Cuban revolution was not made by the working class nor led by a Bolshevik type leadership of the class, it could not form a workers state but a capitalist state.

    In other words the Castroists carried out some of the revolutionary democratic tasks that the capitalist class was not able to carry out . This is a step forward comparing to the previous situation. However this new state is not a workers state. Castro was not even claiming at the time that he is a Marxist or that the revolution he stood a the head of it was forming a workers state. Castro and his movement were able to make this revolution because the Cuban Stalinist party supporting Batista paralyzed the working class. Was the working class led by a revolutionary party the workers would make a revolution and split the petit bourgeois those for and those against the workers revolution. Trotsky referred to such situation in his wring on China and the relationship between the working class revolution and the armed peasants bands The Bolshevik revolution faced a similar problem with Machno’s armed bands..

    So why to argue that a different class can replace the working class and a petty bourgeois leadership can replace the revolutionary working class party? What this theory has to do with Marxism? Already Marx in the Communist manifesto the most basic document of the Communists answer this question that only the working class is the revolutionary class and only the revolutionary working class can liberate itself and not the petite bourgeois.

    The liquidation of the FI by the Pabloites in 1947 is the origin of this line that the Stalinists can lead working class revolution. They referred to Tito claiming that he simply unconscious of the fact that he is a Trotskyism.. The same line was pushed by them about Mao and the Chinese revolution.

    I did not say that your argument is that these states were Healthy workers states. Of course you say that these are Deformed Workers States. However a deformed workers state is still a workers state-The dictatorship of the Proletariat.

    In the real world these states were born from the very beginning the dictatorship of the capitalist class !
    The most important conditions for these counter revolutionaries like Mao to stand at the head of a peasant based revolution was the defeat of the working class revolutionary wave following WWII. The counter revolutionary Stalinists were actively responsible for the defeat of our class, in many countries around the world. You however turn them into some form of unconscious revolutionaries while they were consciousness counter revolutionaries..

    Yes they made revolutions in underdeveloped countries that did not go through the bourgeois democratic revolutions. But these were bourgeois revolutions that first had to defeat the working class.

    In Cuba Castro did not claim his revolution was a working class revolution nor that Cuba is a workers state at the time of the revolution. In China Mao was speaking not about a workers state but a capitalist state” The New democracy”-The alliance of the four classes. How strange is for those who see themselves as Trotskyists to argue for them things they did not Claim. To make them some kind of working class revolutionaries acting for the good of the working class when Trotsky saw them as counter revolutionaries..

    Yes, Mao went under imperialist threat further “left” and nationalized the economy but within the framework of a capitalist not a workers state.
    Yes Castro nationalized the economy but to do this he joined forces with the counter revolutionary Communist Party in order to control and subjected the working class.

    History does not agree with you that before 1945-1948 the imperialists refused to form Popular front government with the Stalinists. They did it not only in East Europe but in Italy and France as the way to kill the revolutionary movement of the working class following WWII.

    It does not seems to me you are aware of this revolutionary movement of our class as you do not mention it even once and it does not appear as a factor in your theory..

    It is interesting that you mention Yalta and forget to mention that Yalta was an imperialist conference for the partition of spheres of influences among the imperialists “You Churchill take this part of the world and I Stalin will give you this part of the world”. Stalin participate in it and by all accounts he behaves like a typical imperialist

    When you are saying you defend these DWS , the question is against whom did you defend them? If it was during the war of Korea against the Imperialists it was necessary to defend North Korea which the Cliffites failed to do. But I have a feeling you mean that you defend the Stalinists murderers against workers uprising in 1953 East Germany, 1956 in Hungary in the 1980s in Poland. Am I wrong?
    Please tell what was your substantial difference with the Spartacists on these questions?

    In addition where do you take the line that we do not defend the nationalization of properties even under a capitalist state? We defend them against the same Stalinists counter revolutionaries who privative them. Of course we do not only defend then but demand to put them under workers control. To organize independent trade Unions, a Marxist revolutionary party to over throw the capitalist state.

    No the litmus paper is not simply whether you defend the nationalized forms of property but whether you struggle for a socialist revolution as part of the world revolution and I do not see it in your analysis.

    Even if you define these states as DWS and you mean that they were born deformed and the Stalinist are obstacle on the road to socialism as Trotsky put it , the conclusion is not to defend the Stalinists against the working class but to struggle to lead these struggles that took place in East Germany, Hungry and Poland and remove the Stalinists by a working class political revolution.

    The same is true for Cuba. But it does not seems to me that you agree with Trotsky theory of a degenerated workers state. His conclusion was that the counter revolutionary Stalinists must be removed by force by the working class not defended against the working class.

    Please correct me if I am wrong but I do not see it in your analysis.
    It is true that Trotsky was unable to recognize before he was murdered by a Stalinist agent that in the civil war in 1936-9 the Stalinist social counter revolution won. However for him even than the difference between a “healthy” and “not healthy” workers state was the difference of political revolution against the Stalinists and this is not reflected in your replies.
    As I said already was Trotsky to stay alive after the War he would concluded that the Stalinist social counter revolution won and the Stalinists are a ruling class not simply a cast.

    But let me ask you a simple question why did you not raise the need for a building of a revolutionary party in Cuba aiming at overthrowing the regime by a working class political revolution? Why did you not mention Independent Trade Unions from the state? Nor workers control of the economy?

    Yes you mention the need to defend Cuba from imperialism and indeed it is very important, but what about the struggle for the working class in Cuba to take power as part of the world revolution?

    So let us deal with the SU was it a workers state in the post war period when the Stalinist as part of Yalta helped to defeat the revolutionary movements in so many parts of the world, including the ME and helped to form the Zionist state?

    You are trying to turn Trotsky into a Pabloist whose perspective was that the Soviet Union will be expended during and after the WWIII instead of what he actually wrote that the Stalinist bureaucracy would not be able to survive WWII!

    You presents it as Trotsky general perspective was seeing Stalinism as a revolutionary force that will change many states and turn them into workers states.

    Let us deal with another element and this is your denial that the Law of value operates in a workers state. Clearly you think that this was not the case in the SU before 1989-1992. In other world that the SU economy was not a workers state but socialism!!!. The tasks of a workers state as a transition to socialism are to accumulate and centralized all the capitals into one capital under workers control. Only than we will be able to plan the economy in a scientific manner. Only than we will have socialism.

    To deny that the Law of Value operated in the former SU is to claim that workers were not paid salaries, that goods whether for consumption or production were not sold or bought . Was this case? Was the economy democratically and scientifically planned? I do not see how empirical data even of the former Soviet economist confirm your claim. After all they themselves said it openly that the Law of value operated in the SU.

    It is strange that Tito, Mao, Castro did not claim that they transform the former states to workers states, yet you say it for them. That the Soviet economists after Stalin admitted that the law of Value existed in the former SU but you chose to ignore them and take the position of Stalin who claimed that the Soviet Union was a socialist society and even a communist society and not a workers state and of course that the Law of Value did not work in the SU. Trotsky however as an Internationalist Marxists has never claimed that the Soviet Union was a socialist society and his struggle began against the Stalinist revisionists who claimed that it was possible to build socialism in one country. Ironically enough under the banner of Trotskyism you argued the same old Stalinist argument about the SU.

    yossi schwartz

    July 13, 2008 at 10:14 am

  14. Comrade Yossi,

    We seem to be covering the same ground. I have a bad hand so will only write a short reply.

    I have never said that my position is different from Trotsky’s. You however have, since you do not accept Trotsky’s analysis of Poland in 1939.

    Trotsky already dealt with the state capitalists who seized upon the Soviet invasion of Poland to prove that the SU was capitalist if not imperialist. That there could be no overturn of social relations without Polish workers leading the revolution etc etc.
    He argued that despite everything the counter-revolutionary bureaucracy did, the invasion of Poland did overturn social relations and this overturn shouid be defended as part of the unconditional defence of workers property in the SU while always organising for the political revolution and the world social revolution. It is for you to say why we should reject this position and instead condemn the invasion of Poland as an imperialist act of the SU.

    Everything else we are discussing hinges on this point. It is a waste of time throwing accusations such as that I am a Stalinist because Stalin rejected the law of value in the SU etc. This only muddies the waters and turns this debate into a charade.

    comradely
    Raved

    raved

    July 14, 2008 at 12:59 am

  15. Dear Comrade Raved
    I will be short as we are indeed going in circles.

    The fact that you accept Trotsky’s position on Poland but at the same time rejects Trotsky perspective and methodology and claim that the Law of Value did not work in the SU which Trotsky never argue but attacked. prove many things among them that you are using exactly the same argument of the Spartacists to justify their support for Russian imperialism in Afghanistan or in Poland in the 1980s. I did not accuse you of being a Stalinist, nor do I accuse the Spartacists of being a Stalinists, but I pointed out to you that you are repeating the same ideas of Stalin on the Law of Value and Socialism in one country. As a matter of fact it was N. Bucharin behind this argument that Stalin borrowed.
    As far as I can understand from our debate:
    Trotsky 1. saw the Stalinists as counter revolutionary force –you see them as a revolutionary force that could make half humanity live under workers states.

    2. Trotsky saw the 1936-9 as a civil war where the working class was winning and in this context he saw the polish question. However he was wrong and the Stalinist won and destroyed the Bolshevik party and the Workers state. You never deal with this question.

    3. Trotsky said that the war will determine the class nature of the SU and if it will win under the Stalinists it will prove they are a new ruling class-you simply ignore it.

    4. Trotsky saw only the working class under a working class revolutionary leadership creates workers states-you argue that other class-the peasantry under counter revolutionary leadership the Stalinists was able to replace the working class.
    At the same time you ignore the fact that for the Stalinists to lead a revolution like in Yugoslavia and China first they had to defeat the working class revolutionary struggle that broke out at the end of WWII. You avoid both issues.

    5. I asked you about your perspective for Cuba- even if it was like you argue a DWS and you avoid the question. Trotsky as you know was for a political revolution to remove the Stalinist bureaucracy- this does not seems your program.

    6. Trotsky began his fight against the revisionist idea of socialism in one country- your position is that the Law of Value did not operate in the SU, thus that it was a socialist society.

    7. For you the SU became a capitalist state without a civil war that destroy the workers state-this is absolutely reformist position.

    Of course you can stick to your belief that and total slander that our position is the position of Shactman at company.

    I think with this for now we can end this debate and we better return to the struggle against the Zionist state and against Chavez and all of those forces that tail him without forming a common block but at the same time “shooting” in the same direction.

    yossi schwartz

    July 14, 2008 at 5:28 am

  16. To do a balance sheet for now:

    Yossi:
    Trotsky 1. saw the Stalinists as counter revolutionary force –you see them as a revolutionary force that could make half humanity live under workers states.

    Raved:
    Trotsky as late as 1940 saw the Stalinists as a Bonapartist bureaucracy parasitic on the working class. There were not counter-revolutionary ‘through and through’ and in defence of workers property we must bloc militarily with them against imperialism.

    Yossi:
    2. Trotsky saw the 1936-9 as a civil war where the working class was winning and in this context he saw the Polish question. However he was wrong and the Stalinist won and destroyed the Bolshevik party and the Workers state. You never deal with this question.

    Raved:
    I do deal with this question. I asked Yossi to state what was changed in the SU even while Trotsky lived that he failed to understand the Stalinists had already won. And why is it that his position is now the same as those who Trotsky polemicised against for calling the SU imperialist in 1939? How was Trotsky wrong and Yossi right?

    Yossi:
    3. Trotsky said that the war will determine the class nature of the SU and if it will win under the Stalinists it will prove they are a new ruling class-you simply ignore it.

    Raved:
    I asked Yossi to show why this prediction which Trotsky called “theoretical” took precedence over the method he used until his death. In other words what changed in the SU that makes Yossi think the Stalinists became a ruling class in 1939?

    Yossi:
    4. Trotsky saw only the working class under a working class revolutionary leadership creates workers states-you argue that other class-the peasantry under counter revolutionary leadership the Stalinists was able to replace the working class.
    At the same time you ignore the fact that for the Stalinists to lead a revolution like in Yugoslavia and China first they had to defeat the working class revolutionary struggle that broke out at the end of WWII. You avoid both issues.

    Raved:
    No I don’t. I pointed Yossi to Trotsky’s method on Poland etc. Here the Stalinists overturned bourgeois property. The Red Army was the military arm of the bureaucracy. Yet Trotsky did not condemn this invasion as ‘imperialist’. He also explains that this invasion was a defeat for the workers in that country, and the world. Thus in no way were the Stalinists, or petty bourgeois leaders of the peasantry, replacing the revolutionary leadership of the workers. That leadership was the Fourth International, and its program was Trotsky’s program of ‘unconditional defence’ of workers property, political revolution and world socialist revolution. In relation to the defense of workers property in the DWS’s Trotsky subordinated this to the world revolution. In other words, socialist revolution always remained the main task of the world workers, of which the defence of workers property was only a part in relation to the whole.

    Yossi:
    5. I asked you about your perspective for Cuba- even if it was like you argue a DWS and you avoid the question. Trotsky as you know was for a political revolution to remove the Stalinist bureaucracy- this does not seems your program.

    Raved:
    I replied several times. This and the other post-war national revolutions that ended with the expropriation of the bourgeosie were only possible given the existence of the SU as a DWS. The petty bourgeois/Stalinist leaders were also Bonapartists balanced between the workers property (dependent on the SU) and imperialism. The same program applies in these countries (even Tito ‘balanced’ between the SU and imperialism), unconditional defence of workers property, political revolution and social revolution.

    Yossi:
    6. Trotsky began his fight against the revisionist idea of socialism in one country- your position is that the Law of Value did not operate in the SU, thus that it was a socialist society.

    Raved:
    This is a very confused statement that arises out of Yossi’s retreat to the position that the SU began as a capitalist economy with a bourgeois state initially under the control of workers but overthrown by a bourgeoisie counter-revolution 1936-39. Trotsky’s opposition to Stalin was nothing to do with the absence of the LOV =’socialism’. For Trotsky neither existed in the SU. It was always a question of: “either a workers state or capitalist state”. I repeat, what did Trotsky get so wrong that he failed to see that the SU was a capitalist state at the time of his death?

    Yossi:
    7. For you the SU became a capitalist state without a civil war that destroy the workers state-this is absolutely reformist position.

    Raved:
    I referred Yossi to Trotsky’s view that the counter-revolution could be ‘cold’ i.e. resulting from a long series of defeats that did not erupt into open civil war. In any case the counter-revolution did not finally succeed until the period 1989-1992 when the last resistance to the restoration of capitalism via the law of value was defeated in the SU and Eastern Europe.

    Dave

    July 15, 2008 at 2:12 am

  17. Ho yes the balance sheet :
    According to Marx the Law of Value is the most essential law of capitalism. Trotsky like Lenin understood that a workers state even under workers rule is not a socialist society but a transitional society to socialism. A society where the law of value operates there. That it is as Lenin said a bourgeois state without the bourgeoisie. For this reason Lenin said That state capitalism( under workers rule) would be a better situation that the situation in 1920.

    Only in socialism this law will be disappear and be replaced with scientific planning because all the single capitals will become one under workers rule. To deny that this law operated in the SU is to deny that the workers were paid salaries, Is to claim that a scientific planning was in place.

    It was Stalin who declared that the Law of value did not work in the SU and that the SU is a socialist and even a communist society. Trotsky denied that the SU is a socialist society or that socialism can be build in one country. You are 100 percent with Stalin against Trotsky on this question. No matter how many times you will say this is a confusion.

    For you the destruction of the Bolshevik party and the left opposiiton was simply another event not a qaltative one. The same with the destruction of the entire oficer body in the Army and in the other sbranches of the tate appartus

    You call capitalist states , states where the working class is exploited by the bureaucratic ruling class , workers states and defend them against the working class. I asked you a few times what about the repression of the working class in 1953 in East Germany, 1956 in Hungary, Poland in the 1980s the oppression of the Afghanis you prefer not to reply.

    For you and you claim without any proof that for Trotsky the transition from a workers state to capitalist state can take place in a cold manner which means that the opposite is the case that a workers state can come to exist without a workers revolution in a cold manner. ( This was Kautsky posiitonnot Lenin or Trotsky) You can call it any way you want but this position of your is purely reformism. It is not true that Trotsky thought so and do not make him a reformist. He is dead but we are still around.

    Please bring one quotation showing that Trotsky said that a cold counter revolution can take place. In reality he spoke on the reformists who think that such trnasformations can take place in cold manner. He spoke of the movie in backward motion.( In defense of Marxism).

    In addition I am very glad that you call for a political and social revolution in Cuba. By this statement if I understood you correctly you admit it is a capitalist state. I assume you wanted to say you are for political revolution only. Since you avoided the Chineese question will you please inform us what is your posiiton on China:
    1. WHen did i t become a workers state?
    2. Is it still one?
    3. If not how and when did it happen that it stopped being a workers state.
    4. If it is still a defprmed worker state is a social revolution necessary or a political revolution is enough to make it a state where the LAW of VALUE does not operates.

    Of course in your mind you have proven that you are a Marxist.

    yossi schwartz

    July 15, 2008 at 6:21 am

  18. Comrade Yossi:

    You say the LOV existed in the SU. Do you mean the market? That is after all how the LOV operates in the process of exchange where value is determined, yes. Well a limited market persisted in the SU but under the control of the workers state and plan. In no way did that mean that the LOV regulated the economy. Even the bourgeois norms of distribution that operated were according to work done, not the value of commodity labour power. Workers property is not capitalist property and the LOV is subordinated to the plan. That is what Lenin meant by a bourgeois state without the bourgeosie.

    So to see what exists of the LOV we should judge how important the market was in relation to the plan. Take the strongest market in agriculture. Under the NEP peasants were taxed on their profits. They could not accumulate those profits and become capitalists. In other words the LOV was almost completely suppressed by the state. When the Kulaks got so rich that Stalin became threatened he collectivised them. The LOV was marginal and always dominated by the planning of workers property.

    So why do you say the LOV existed from the start? So you can claim that the SU was always capitalist. So that the only thing stopping the counter-revolution was workers controlling the state. And once the bureaucracy took control they could restore the bourgeois state to the bourgeoisie. Don’t you see that this reduces the workers state to the superstructure and that for you workers property relations are just power relations?

    You say this counter-revolution happened between 1936-39. So therefore the caste became a class before Trotsky’s eyes. The LOV did not get stronger after 1929 (an irony for the Cliffites, but then they don’t need it to define state capitalism) until 1980s under perestroika.

    The LRP and you think that the Stalinists became capitalists by 1939. How was this expressed? Not in the real social relations of workers property which did not change, but in the superstructure. As I have said before, the only reason you think that the Stalinists restored capitalism in 1939 is that it lets you off the hook of defending the SU during a time when there was widespread anti-Stalinist sentiment in the workers in the imperialist countries.

    So you can’t explain to me how capitalism was restored in the SU even before Trotsky’s eyes because the only people you have to convince are today no longer Trotskyists but those who think that the SU should not have been defended because of the Stalinists. Now the Stalinists are finished and it is easy to get away with the state capitalist position when nobody cares except the new layers of workers who will want to know how so many people betrayed in the past and will do so again today.

    Trotsky already dealt with these petty bourgeois people in “From a Scratch to Gangrene’. They were tolerated inside the SWP for a period while the debate went on, but when they refused to defend the SU unconditionally they crossed the class line. That class line was crossed in 1939.

    As for Hungary, Cuba, China etc etc. Why isnt it obvious to you that my position in all of these cases flows directly from Trotsky’s position on Poland, Finland, Ukraine etc.?
    I said that none of these revolutions could have expropriated capitalist property and survived without the existence of workers property in the SU. Trotsky did not say that in Poland we should abandon Marxism to Stalinism and petty bourgeois nationalists did he? No more in these other countries.

    No he said: while we don’t have the power to overthrow the bureaucracy yet we defend the bourgeois property expropriated by the Bonapartists, even though this is a defeat for workers, because in relation to that the defence of workers property it is a lesser defeat. But at the same time we must prepare for the political revolution, and in every case we subordinate this defence to the world revolution. Because without the socialist revolution in the imperialist countries, political revolution in the DWSs will hardlly succeed.

    That is why I said that ‘we” (the left in the imperialist and capitalist semi-colonies) are ultimately responsible for the restoration in the DWSs. Insofar as your program rejects the unconditional defence of these workers states, your tendency carries most responsibility for these defeats (see Trotsky on Burnham above). So in Hungary, China, Cuba we defend workers property against restoration, oppose the Red Army suppression of political revolution, and fight to smash the imperialists at home. The restoration in these countries occurred when the LOV was restored and the workers states became capitalist states.

    But of course none of that will mean anything to you if you don’t understand the LOV.

    Dave

    July 15, 2008 at 7:45 am

  19. Dear comrade Raved.
    Planned economy in the SU and under the Stalinists? This is a very good one. Even the Stalinists had to admit that the economy was extremely wasteful and not planned.
    The situation became so bad under Gorbashov that the growth rate was 0.
    This seems to you possible in a real workers state? Do you want to convince radical workers to fight and risk their lives for a state that its level of economic development is 0? Thus without any future what so ever?

    The so called five years and shorter period plans were never met and were changed all the time. The real state of the economy was a particular form of Anarchy of the capitalist mode of production not very different than the one that exists for example in the US.

    Of course the SU was not based on free market economy of the 19th century that exists today only in the bourgeois economist’s books and not in reality. Do you think such free economy exists in the economy based on monopoles? On the other hand don’t the monopoles plan coordinate the production among their sub units?
    What you are doing is confusing a worker state that is a transition to socialism and still part of the epoch of capitalism, in particular when it was one workers state and socialist society. I think you should study much deeper the method of dialectical materialism.
    Will you please open a new subject under the title Dialectical Materialism? I have a few articles for you.

    yossi schwartz

    July 15, 2008 at 9:37 am

  20. The last letter was addressed of course to Dave.
    WOul dyou be kind enough to introduce yourself politically?

    yossi schwartz

    July 15, 2008 at 10:00 am

  21. YATER, is a village in south Lebanon, still half ruined from the Israeli bombardment of the houses two years ago. The village has a long history of resistance against Israel, beginning in the late 1960s, when some of Yater’s youths joined Palestinian groups then establishing themselves in south Lebanon. A later generation joined the Amal Movement and fought Israeli occupation troops in the early 1980s. By the end of that decade, Hizbollah had arrived in the south and was winning new recruits like Maher Kourani, 32 years old a veteran Hizbollah fighter’
    who took up arms in 1992 when Israeli troops launched an incursion lasting several days north of their zone into Yater and the neighbouring village of Kafra. He fought until Israel’s troop withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000 and then continued his military activities with Hizbollah along the border.
    He was captured in the last days of the Israeli attack on Lebanon. Today the Israeli government decided to release him as part of the prisoner exchange with Israel.

    “”I am very happy that he will be returning, of course, and that life will return to normal,” said Izzat Kourani, 25, Maher’s wife. “.”

    She met the journalist who interviewed her wearing a full-length black chador. On one wall of the sitting room were pictures of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbollah’s secretary general, and Imad Mughniyah, Hizbollah’s military chief who was assassinated in February in Damascus, most likely by Israel. On another wall is a poster of Maher.

    “When he knew that there was going to be an aggression by Israel against Lebanon, he automatically went out to defend his country,” said Hassan Kourani, 54, Maher’s father. The family had no news of Maher throughout the war and only learnt of his fate afterwards on television. Maher had been fighting near the village of Shemaa, 11km west of Yater, when he was captured by Israeli troops.

    “He fought for 29 days and was captured four days before the end of the war

    .

    The prisoner swap deal reached between Hizbollah and Israel will see Maher, his two Hizbollah comrades and two other Lebanese exchanged for the two Israeli soldiers captured on July 12 2006 Goldwasser and Eldad Regev .It is not clear whether any of them is still alive. One of them almost for sure died on the day he was captured from his wounds..

    .
    The director of the Rosh Hanikra compound where Israel is to receive Goldwasser and Regev said that military and other preparations for the exchange had begun at the site early on Tuesday. Last time such exchange took place Elhanan Tennenbaum, a high officer a drug dealer and a personal friend of Sharon the butcher and the former P.M of Israel was exchanged. .

    So we know that Israel is forced to release Kuntar’s and two other Lebanese fighters but who are the other two Lebanese?

    Last year In a Letter to Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, on the occasion of his visit to Lebanon he received a letter we discover:

    To his Excellency the Secretary-General of the
    United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon

    Names of the Detainees and the Missing Lebanese During the Israeli Occupation of Parts of Lebanese territories
    Memorandum relevant to the Detention of Lebanese Citizens as Hostages during the war of July 2006
    DETAINEES:
    1- Samir kontar, detained in Israel since April 22, 1979 and sentenced for 542 year prison term.Israel refused to release him during last detainees’ swap which took Place on January 29, 2004.

    2- Naseem Niser, born in Bazorya in south Lebanon in 1967.He has been detained since June 4, 2002 in Tel mond prison in Israel, after he sentenced for 6 years.

    MISSING:
    1- Mooussa El Sheikh Selman, from Maarka village. He was arrested by the Israeli forces on June 8, 1982, wounded when transported by a ICRC staffer from the rest house of Tyre (South Lebanon) to the field Hospital of the Israeli occupation army near Mealliya. Since then his fate remains unknown. The ICRC confirmed his condition when he was transferred.

    2- Bilal Samadi, was kidnapped on June 4, 1982 with five other persons on the bridge of the Awali River following an Israeli ambush.

    3- Yahia Skaff, from Menya, North Lebanon. He was detained by the Israelis on March 11, 1978. The Occupying Israeli forces are still denying his existence.

    4- Ibrahim Zein El Din, a teacher in Baaklin secondary School. He was kidnapped by the Israeli Army from his fiancée’s house on Oct.8, 1982 and transferred to the Israeli Intelligence center located then in Ras El Jabal in Aley(Mount Lebanon).His two friends, Nazih Abou Ajram and Mounir Chami, who were arrested later on, confirmed having seen him chained and naked with torture marks on his body.

    5- Mohamad Said Al Jarrar , from Chebaa village. He was kidnapped in 1979 by the occupying forces imprisoned in Tal Nahas camp, then transferred to the Israeli Intelligence in Metlli.Toufic Fakhouri, one of the released detainees recognized Mohamad El Jarrar, in 1987, in one of the Israeli detention centers Located in Ramlah.

    6-Jamil Amhaz, was kidnapped by the Israeli forces in 1984. According to his family, he is imprisoned in the Chateh jail in Israel.

    7-Mohamad Ali Hawa, was arrested by the Israeli forces in 1984 on Bater crossing in Jezzine (Lebanon) and taken to the Aber center. His mother saw him wounded and his leg was bleeding.

    8-Mohamad Ali Gharib was kidnapped on Aug.12, 1984 by the Israeli Intelligence on the Bater crossing in Jezzine. He was transferred to the Homsieh hill then to Israel. His family reported that the freed detainee Ali Noura has seen him in Atlit prison in 1985. The letter informed the ICRC about his meeting with Gharib.

    9-Hassan Ramez Ballout was arrested in 1984, in his hometown Kfarmelky by the Israeli Intelligence. Ballout stayed in the Jezzine Barraks for eight months. He was wounded and suffered infections in his leg.

    10-Maher Kassir from Deir Kanoun el Naher Village. He was kidnapped by the Israeli Intelligence on June 17, 1984 in the area of the Sciences University Located in Chweifat (Southern Beirut).His fate is unknown.

    11-Mohamad El Abouchi from Mina in North Lebanon. He was kidnapped in 1990.His family asserts that he is detained in Israel.

    12-Jammal Habba from Sidon, South Lebanon was kidnapped at the Barbarra checkpoint on 1982. His family asserts that he is in Israel.

    13-Samir El Khorfan , a soldier in the Lebanese army was kidnapped in Majdalyoun area on Oct.30, 1983.

    Furthermore, there are mamy other missing persons due to the Israeli occupation among them:
    1-Hassan Sami Taha.
    2-Hussein Zeid.
    3- Ibrahim Nour el Din.
    4- Mohamad Moallem
    5-Nizard Ali Merhi.
    6-Souheil Rammal
    7- Khaled Kachmor
    8-Khaled Chahine
    9-Ali Kachmor
    10-Said Bleibel
    11-Taleb Abo Raya
    12-Ahmed Harbawi

    As well as the remains of dozens of Lebanese kept by Israel in secret graves among whom those of:
    1-Yahya El Khaled
    2-Ayad Kassir
    3-Hussein Daher
    4-Elias Harb
    5-Farjallah Fouaani

    July War 2006

    On July 12th, 2006, Israel launched a dire war against Lebanon and consequently reoccupied some Lebanese territories. During its barbarian assault, it committed many violations and kidnapped innocent civilians, which brought back the memories of the 22 years of war forgotten on May 2000. Notwithstanding the cease-fire of August 14th, Israeli forces did not suspend their kidnapping operations in bordering villages. It justified these operations alleging that those detained were Hezbollah activists or members, yet soon hours or days after it released them lacking to prove their affiliation to the Hezbollah. Few soldiers were captured during the military operations against Hezbollah combatants. Israel is still detaining those persons inside its prisons. They are subject to trial and are convicted of terrorism and affiliation to a hostile movement.

    Herein a list of the detained persons from the Lebanese territories during the war and after its end:

    1- July 20th, 2006: Moiin and Ali FARES, two builders were detained in Maroun El Ras. They were hiding in the school of the village with 11 siblings mostly children and women in order to flee the massive bombing towards Yaroun. On the road, Israeli commandos attacked them. They were locked in a house in Maroun El Ras where they served as human shields starving and without water. On July 25, Israeli troops took AIi and Moiin FARES; they blind folded their eyes and handcuffed them. They drove them into the occupied territories and incarcerated them in Salha prison. They were subject to interrogations and torture and were released one day after. The 2 men were took in a military car to the UNIFIL HQ in Naqoura where the Lebanese army took them.

    2- August 1st, 2006: Israeli carried out an operation in Oyon El Siman – North Lebanon. Mohamad SLIM was shepherding his herd. The soldiers handcuffed and blindfolded him. A helicopter took him into the occupied territories. He was incarcerated in an individual cell and interrogated several times. He was accused of collaboration with Hezbollah and tortured. Mohamad tells that he was afraid from eating since they gave him an injection that caused dizziness and nausea. 5 days later he was taken took in a military car to the UNIFIL HQ in Naqoura.
    There the Lebanese army took him. Mohamad said that they released him once they were certified that he is not affiliated to the Hezbollah.

    3- August 2nd, 2006: Israeli commandos carried out a military operation in Jmalieh with a defined target: to detain the SG of Hezbollah Sayed Hassan Nassrallah from El Hekmeh medical center, a hospital affiliated to Hezbollah. The commandos invaded the hospital, killed 17 civilians and detained 5 others alleging that they were executives in Hezbollah. Later on, it appeared that a civilian called Hassan NASSRALLAH was amongst those detained. The truth is that the Israeli commandos burst into the house of Hassan NASRALLAH, owner of a grocery and detained him with his son Bilal, Mohamad CHAKER car mechanist, Hassan BURJI a builder and Ahmad EL AOUTA a tile designer. Israeli investigators were convicted that Hassan and bilal his son were themselves the SG of Hezbollah and his son. All the detained tell that they were handcuffed and blind eyes folded on their feet into an Israeli helicopter waiting for them and they were taken into Sri prison near Tel Aviv. They were cruelly subject to psychological and physical torture. Few days later Israel released them and confessed that they were civilians not Hezbollah members.

    4- August 11th, 2006: Common forces members were detained in Marjeyoun casern after the occupation of Marjeyoun. The artillery of the 350 internal forces and soldiers were confiscated. The international community interfered and the Israeli troops accepted to let set them free. Still, Israeli aircrafts bombed the convoy composed of hundred of civilians and military vehicles in Bekaa Garbi and Kefraya alledging that hezbollah members have concealed their weapons and activists amongst them. 7 civilians were killed and 14 others wounded.

    5- August 18th, 2006: 4 days after the cease-fire, the Israeli forces detained Abdallah MALAK, from his house in Beit Leif – a bordering village in Bint Jbeil.

    6- August 23rd, 2006: The Israeli soldiers set an out of the blue barrage and detained 3 civilians from their cars in Kantara. A ½-hour interrogation was conducted with Mohamad and Hassan ABDEL HUSSEIN and Hassan Junior. The latter was released but the adults were taken into the occupied territories. They were handcuffed, blind eye folded and interrogated. On the same day, Mahmoud KHATIB from El Ghajar was detained and convicted of collaboration with Hezbollah.

    7- August 24th, 2006: Israeli soldiers detained from Rab Thalathin, Hussein KASSEM and Youssef YASSINE. They were interrogated for ½ hour in the occupied territories and then released.

    8- September 8th, 2006: Israeli troops detained 6 civilians from Aita El Chaeb. Those persons were inspecting a center for special needs on the out skirts of the village. They were driven into the occupied territories handcuffed and blind eyes folded. The Israeli interrogated Hassan DAKDOUK, employee in the General security, Taher TAHINI, Kamal HARISI, Mohamad SROUR, Ali KASSEM and ALI OBEID detained in Marwahin on the same day and released them on September 10.

    Israel has also detained 4 persons whom it has suspected their affiliation to Hezbollah during the field battles. The whereabouts of three were revealed: Hussein SLEIMAN (22 years) who appeared on the Israeli TV and spoke about the kidnapping of the 2 Israeli soldiers on July 12th in Aita El Chaeb, Mahmoud SROUR (20 years old) and Maher KOURANI (26 years).

    Israel has kidnapped as well Hasan Akeel on 14/08/2006 and Khodor Zeidan adding up the following names to the Lebanese Detainees list:

    1- Maher Kourani (26 Years) born in 1981, from Yater village in Bint Jbeil District, married and has a child 3 years old. Maher lives with his family, his own house and his family’s house were destroyed completely during the Israeli aggression, his wife and child and his mother live at his brother’s home in the village.

    2- Hussein Sleiman (22 years) born in 1985, from Bint Jbeil district. Single and lives with his family in Southern Suburb of Beirut. The house was destroyed during bombing which pushed the family to move to another area in Beirut. He was still studying in the Lebanese University.

    3- Mohammed Srour (20 years) born in 1987, from Aita Shaab village, single and lives with his family whose home was totally destroyed that made them move to their relatives. He was still studying in one of the institutions.

    4- Hasan Akeel (46 years) born in 1961 from Jebeen village, married and has 4 children, works in agriculture. He was abducted on 14/08/2006 by the Israel forces 2 weeks before the cease-fire. Although he has schizophrenia and the ICRC submitted the reports that proves that, but the Israelis are still detaining him.

    5- Khodor Zeidan from Marwaniyyeh village, single and lives with his family in the Southern Suburb of Beirut.

    On September 18, 2006 the Israeli Penal Court convicted them of murder and affiliation to a terrorist organization. A civil trial shall be carried out in Nassora – occupied Palestine.
    Kidnapping and detaining these civilians on the Lebanese territories and taking them into Palestine is a serious violation to the 4th convention of Geneva on taking Hostages into another country. Keeping those detained during the war in the Israeli prisons breaches the international resolution 1701 since the suspension of military operations should have occurred concurrently with an immediate release of all the hostages and detained and their immediate return to their homelands.
    The Follow-Up Committee urges the international community to put pressure over Israel in order to stop the detention of civilians and to release all those kept in its prisons.

    FOLLOW-UP COMMITTEE FOR THE
    SUPPORT OF THE LEBANESE
    DETAINEES IN THE ISRAELI PRISONS
    &
    KHIAM REHABILITATION CENTER
    FOR VICTIMS OF TORTURE

    30/03/2007

    yossi schwartz

    July 15, 2008 at 1:19 pm

  22. Comrade Yossi:

    However clumsy I am in expressing my points about the SU, I assure you again and again that I do not intend to deviate from Trotsky before his death, as I think that his method and analysis is vindicated right up to the present.
    You on the other hand are deviating claiming that the SU was different to what Trotsky thought while lhe was alive. You need to explain why he was wrong, and in the context of the arguments he made at the time against those who raised the same objections as you.

    You have doubts as to who I am:

    I am Raved on WordPress and Dave on Blogspot.
    You have visited CWG website http://geocities.com/communistworker
    our informal blog http://redrave.blogspot.com
    Gager, who split from Logan over the Spartacists critique of Cannon is here
    http://www.geocities.com/communistworker/cannon.html
    Our document splitting with Workers Power in 1995 has a lot on restoration in the SU http://www.geocities.com/communistworker/proletarian.html
    a archive blog we are putting together for CWG is here
    http://communistworker.blogspot.com/

    Some suggestions:

    I am working on a new post on China. That should satisfy you and me both as it will be an excellent test of method. I will do this in a few days.

    Do you have a blog where you put all your material on Palestine? If not, why not?
    I welcome your comments on this post but I doubt if they get read. A blog of your own however that you linked to on Marxmail etc would immediately get your stuff widely read.

    Raved

    raved

    July 15, 2008 at 11:51 pm

  23. “However clumsy I am in expressing my points about the SU, I assure you again and again that I do not intend to deviate from Trotsky before his death, as I think that his method and analysis is vindicated right up to the present.
    You on the other hand are deviating claiming that the SU was different to what Trotsky thought while lhe was alive. You need to explain why he was wrong, and in the context of the arguments he made at the time against those who raised the same objections as you.”

    The main point where Trotsky was right , was that he thought that in the civil war between the working class and the bureaucracy between 1936-9 that he was aware of it, the working class is winning. He was wrong on this question because he was isolated cut from real information of what is going on in the SU and may be because in isolation and after so many defeats of the working class he wanted to believe that the working class is winning, and not defeated in the SU

    Was he not murdered by the Stalinists he would have changed his position because he would realized that the Stalinists won and destroyed the Bolshevik party and most importantly the left opposition-the class consciousness and the state apparatus that was build by the working class revolution.
    How do I know it because of the letter of resignation of

    Natalia Sedova (1882-1962) the wife of Leon Trotsky who was, an active revolutionary in her own right. She went with Trotsky into l exile from Russia. She was the mother of , Leon Sedov, a leading member of the Bolshevik-Leninist movement and was assassinated by a Stalinists . Another son who was not politically active and remained in Russia was almost certainly murdered by agents of Joseph Stalin as well..

    She was an active member of the revolutionary Trotskyist movement during Trotsky’s life and share the same views but in 1951 after she has seen where the positions of the FI leaders who claimed to hold the same position you are holding were leading to the destruction of the FI as a world revolutionary party, that indeed went to the other side not long after she resigned and supported the popular front in Bolivia.

    She adopted the position that the USSR was a state capitalist society and that the Fourth International founded by Trotsky no longer held to the revolutionary program of Communism. Therefore, she broke from the FI in disgust.

    Here is her letter:

    To the Executive Committee of the Fourth International and the Political Committee of the Socialist Workers Party (USA)

    May 9, 1951

    Comrades: You know quite well that I have not been in political agreement with you for the past five or six years, since the end of the war and even earlier. The position you have taken on the important events of recent times shows me that, instead of correcting your earlier errors, you are persisting in them and deepening them. On the road you have taken, you have reached a point where it is no longer possible for me to remain silent or to confine myself to private protests. I must now express my opinions publicly.

    The step which I feel obliged to take has been a grave and difficult one for me, and I can only regret it sincerely. But there is no other way. After a great deal of reflections and hesitations over a problem which pained me deeply, I find that I must tell you that I see no other way than to say openly that our disagreements make it impossible for me to remain any longer in your ranks.

    The reasons for this final action on my part are known to most of you. I repeat them here briefly only for those to whom they are not familiar, touching only on our fundamentally important differences and not on the differences over matters of daily policy which are related to them or which follow from them.

    Obsessed by old and outlived formulas, you continue to regard the Stalinist state as a workers’ state. I cannot and will not follow you in this.

    Virtually every year after the beginning of the fight against the usurping Stalinist bureaucracy, LD Trotsky repeated that the regime was moving to the right, under conditions of a lagging world revolution and the seizure of all political positions in Russia by the bureaucracy. Time and again, he pointed out how the consolidation of Stalinism in Russia led to the worsening of the economic, political and social positions of the working class, and the triumph of a tyrannical and privileged aristocracy. If this trend continues, he said, the revolution will be at an end and the restoration of capitalism will be achieved.

    That, unfortunately, is what has happened even if in new and unexpected forms. There is hardly a country in the world where the authentic ideas and bearers of socialism are so barbarously hounded. It should be clear to everyone that the revolution has been completely destroyed by Stalinism. Yet you continue to say that under this unspeakable regime, Russia is still a workers’ state or with socialism. They are the worst and the most dangerous enemies of socialism and the working class. You now hold that the states of Eastern Europe over which Stalinism established its domination during and after the war, are likewise workers states’. This is equivalent to saying that Stalinism has carried out a revolutionary socialist role. I cannot and will not follow you in this.

    After the war and even before it ended, there was a rising revolutionary movement of the masses in these Eastern countries. But it was not these masses that won power and it was not a workers’ state that was established by their struggle. It was the Stalinist counter-revolution that won power, reducing these lands to vassals of the Kremlin by strangling the working masses, their revolutionary struggles and their revolutionary aspirations.

    By considering that the Stalinist bureaucracy established workers’ states in these countries, you assign to it a progressive and even revolutionary role. By propagating this monstrous falsehood to the workers vanguard, you deny to the Fourth International all the basic reason for existence as the world party of the socialist revolution. In the past, we always considered Stalinism to be a counter-revolutionary force in every sense of the term. You no longer do so. But I continue to do so. In 1932 and 1933, the Stalinists, in order to justify their shameless capitulation to Hitlerism, declared that it would matter little if the Fascists came to power because socialism would come after and through the rule of Fascism. Only dehumanised brutes without a shred of socialist thought or spirit could have argued this way. Now, notwithstanding the revolutionary aims which animate you, you maintain that the despotic Stalinist reaction which has triumphed in Eastern Europe is one of the roads through which socialism will eventually come. This view marks an irredeemable break with the profoundest convictions always held by our movement and which I continue to share.

    I find it impossible to follow you in the question of the Tito regime in Yugoslavia. All the sympathy and support of revolutionists and even of all democrats, should go to the Yugoslav people in their determined resistance to the efforts of Moscow to reduce them and their country to vassalage. Every advantage should be taken of the concessions which the Yugoslav regime now finds itself obliged to make to the people. But your entire press is now devoted to an inexcusable idealization of the Titoist bureaucracy for which no ground exists in the traditions and principles of our movement.

    This bureaucracy is only a replica, in a new form, of the old Stalinist bureaucracy. It was trained in the ideas, the politics and morals of the GPU. Its regime differs from Stalins in no fundamental regard. It is absurd to believe or to teach that the revolutionary leadership of the Yugoslav people will develop out of this bureaucracy or in any way other than in the course of struggle against it.

    Most insupportable of all is the position on the war to which you have committed yourselves. The third world war which threatens humanity confronts the revolutionary movement with the most difficult problems, the most complex situations, the gravest decisions. Our position can be taken only after the most earnest and freest discussions. But in the face of all the events of recent years, you continue to advocate, and to pledge the entire movement, to the defense of the Stalinist state. You are even now supporting the armies of Stalinism in the war which is being endured by the anguished Korean people. I cannot and will not follow you in this.

    As far back as 1927, Trotsky, in reply to a disloyal question put to him in the Political Bureau by Stalin, stated his views as follows: For the socialist fatherland, yes! For the Stalinist regime, no! That was in 1927! Now, twenty-three years later Stalin has left nothing of the Socialist fatherland. It has been replaced by the enslavement and degradation of the people by the Stalinist autocracy. This is the state you propose to defend in the war, which you are already defending in Korea.

    I know very well how often you repeat that you are criticizing Stalinism and fighting it. But the fact is that your criticism and your fight lost their value and can yield no results because they are determined by and subordinated to your position of defense of the Stalinist state. Whoever defends this regime of barbarous oppression, regardless of the motives, abandons the principles of socialism and internationalism. In the message sent me from the recent convention of the SWP you write that Trotsky’s ideas continue to be your guide. I must tell you that I read these words with great bitterness. As you observe from what I have written above, I do not see his ideas in your politics. I have confidence in these ideas. I remain convinced that the only way out of the present situation is the social revolution, the self-emancipation of the proletariat of the world.

    Natalia Sedova Trotsky, Mexico 9 May 1951

    Your are not clumsy but simply caught in the ideology of the Pabloites who destroyed the FI claiming to be the Orthodox . They have only forgotten that Kautsky claimed to be the Orthodox and so were the Stalinists.

    It is funny but Neither Marx, nor Lenin neither Trotsky ever claimed they are right because they are Orthodox. They argued that they are right because they represent the historical interest of the working class-the only real progressive class and because of it they understand the living historical motion.

    How do you explain to yourself the fact the same people like Pablo and Mandel who came with this “theory” that the Stalinists like Tito and Mao were unconscious Marxists and led to revolutionary working class transformation of Yugoslavia and China , ended in supporting the popular front in Bolivia and later on in Sri Lanka and Chile?
    Don’t you think there is a connection between their position on this question that counter revolutionaries murderers exploiting the peasants and based on them oppress the working class replaced the working class and the Marxist leadership of the working class and their betrayal in the form of support the Popular fronts?

    We are working on an internet site. At this point we have one using an Israeli supplier Tapuz that is free of charge in Hebrew but very few people around the world can read it.
    http://www.tapuz.co.il/Communa/usercommuna.asp?CommunaId=30005

    You can see as well the one we are working on: http://www.marxism-israel.com
    It is possible to enter via the Web search small window.

    yossi schwartz

    July 16, 2008 at 5:16 am

  24. Today we are bombarded with slimy Zionist propaganda centered around the claim that the Zionist state is a state of high moral and because of this high standard of moral, and it concern with its captured solders it is exchanging prisoners including Kuntar they call a bloody monster.

    This propaganda that may work on the believers who do not know the real story of Kuntar and the events or the real history of Zionist violence against Lebanon.

    They are trying to hide what is clear for most people around the world.
    1/ they were forced to exchange the prisoners because of the growing weakness of the rotting Zionist state. This is a humiliating defeat for the Zionist state.
    2/ They have been built the image of Kuntar as a murderer where as the people of Lebanon know the truth. He was motivated by the crimes committed by Israel in 1978 in Lebanon.
    He did not kill one Israeli civilian contrarily to the Zionist lying machine. The mother killed her baby fearing she will cry. The Israeli army killed the father and the son and 3 of Kuntar friends in the fire exchange on the beach.

    What is Israel history in Lebanon?
    In 1947-8 Israel expelled using at least 30 massacres around 900,000 Palestinians many of them settled in Lebanon.
    Some of them have tried to return home, other organized resistance from Lebanon. This led to many brutal actions of the Israeli state against civilians Palestinian and Lebanon.
    In 1968 Israeli commandos blew up 13 airliners at Beirut airport.

    In April 1973, Israeli elite troops, including present-day war Minister Ehud Barak disguised as a woman, entered Beirut flats and shot dead three Palestinian guerrilla officials. Israel said those targeted played a role in a guerrilla attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics a year earlier.

    In March 1978, in retaliation for the killing of more than 30 bus riders in a raid by sea-borne guerrillas near Tel Aviv, Israel attacked PLO positions in south Lebanon and occupied a 10 km (six mile)-wide strip north of the Lebanese border. About 1,500 people were killed, mostly Lebanese and Palestinian civilians. Some of the Israeli forces pulled out, but not before handing over the area to allied Christian militiamen fighting Palestinians and Moslem leftists in Lebanon’s civil war. U.N. Security Council resolution 425 ordered the Israelis to leave. They refused. The United Nations set up UNIFIL, a 5,000-strong peacekeeping force to help restore Lebanese state authority down to the border. Israeli troops did not let it reach the border.

    In 1981, PLO guerrillas rained Katyusha rockets into northern Israel and the border strip. Israel launched air raids on Beirut in retaliation, killing scores of civilians. In July 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon with the declared aim of routing Palestinian guerrillas. Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon declared the Israeli army would stop after 40 km (25 miles) but it encircled Beirut, 40 km further north. After bombardments, PLO fighters agreed to leave the city. About 20,000 people were killed, mostly Palestinian and Lebanese civilians. Israel lost hundreds of soldiers.

    In September 1982, Israeli forces stormed west Beirut after pro- Israeli Christian leader Bashir Gemayel, who days earlier had been elected president, was assassinated. Israeli troops ringing the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila allowed revenge-seeking Christian militiamen into the shantytowns. Hundreds of refugees were slaughtered and Israel was widely condemned. Bruised by world outrage and hurt by mounting guerrilla attacks by Lebanese Shi’ite Moslem guerrillas, Israel, under Prime Minister Shimon Peres, pulled most of its forces out of Lebanon in 1985 and set up a 15 km (nine mile) wide occupation zone to stop cross-border attacks.

    But its continued presence stirred the resentment of local south Lebanese. This led to formation of Hezbollah whose fighters fought 18 years the Israeli cruel occupation which included the infamous Khiam Detention Center, located in Khiam, Lebanon. It was build by the French colonialists as a barrack in the 1930s. It became a base for the Lebanese army before Israel gave it to its own creation the South Lebanon Army (SLA) and in 1985 was converted into a detention and interrogation centre. It detente and interrogated thousands of Lebanese civilians until Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000.. After the withdrawal, the prison was preserved in the exact condition as it was abandoned and converted into a museum by the Hezbollah.

    The Israeli Air Force destroyed the prison during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.
    .
    Israel was forced to retreat from Lebanon in 2000 while leaving behind hundreds of thousands mine
    It launched in 2006 a new war where it killed more than 1000 civilians and was defeated.
    Today the real monster has to admit it has failed.
    It is a good day

    yossi schwartz

    July 16, 2008 at 6:01 am

  25. It is as I thought.

    Natalia adopts a method that is foreign to Trotsky.

    …As far back as 1927, Trotsky, in reply to a disloyal question put to him in the Political Bureau by Stalin, stated his views as follows: For the socialist fatherland, yes! For the Stalinist regime, no! That was in 1927! Now, twenty-three years later Stalin has left nothing of the Socialist fatherland. It has been replaced by the enslavement and degradation of the people by the Stalinist autocracy. This is the state you propose to defend in the war, which you are already defending in Korea…

    Trotsky did not think that the bureaucracy had conquered workers property in 1940, and Natalia does not say it has by 1951. Her criteria is the worsening of the Stalinist autocracy means the “destruction of the socialist fatherland”, yet even here she cannot claim it has qualitatively worsened. How could she when Trotsky already called it ‘fascist’ in 1936?

    If you read our documents you will see that we are not Stalinophiles. Read Jose Villa on Bolivia 1952 on our website. In our critique of Workers Power we say the 4th was dead by the end of the war. In the FLT we bloc with those who want to refound the 4th on the 1938 program.

    I looked at your websites. It is good to see your material up their in public.
    I am working on an article on China which we can debate no doubt in a week or so.

    Raved

    raved

    July 16, 2008 at 10:34 am

  26. Dear comrade
    Very interesting claim that makes the point even sharper. Trotsky differentiated as a true Leninist between a workers state=” Socialist father land” and political regime. Natalia adopts exactly the same method when she said :”The destruction of the socialist father land”-the workers state does not exist any more.
    You are the one who confuse the two. Fascism is a regime not a state.! The Socialist fatherland can have a fascist regime and be still a workers state.
    Geramany under the Weimar republic and under the fascist regime was a capitalist state in the stage of imperialism. For all the counter revolutionary forces it was their motherland.
    Even Stalin understood this difference. During the WIII he did not call to defend the Socialist fatherland but of mother Russia.
    It seems to me you do not completely understand Lenin theoretical contribution on the state.
    Your position on the FI is wrong as you judge it most likely because of the theoretical revisionism rather than crossing the class line inn practice in Bolivia. If I am right than this is idealist position not dialectical materialism.

    yossi schwartz

    July 16, 2008 at 2:08 pm

  27. No you misunderstand. I said that Natalia equates “socialist fatherland” with the regime not Trotsky. Unlike Trotsky who was still saying that the fatherland still survived despite the Stalinist regime, Natalia substitutes the regime for the fatherland. That is why I said she uses a different method. For Trotsky fatherland does not equal regime. For Natalia it does.

    Thus she says:
    “As far back as 1927, Trotsky, in reply to a disloyal question put to him in the Political Bureau by Stalin, stated his views as follows: For the socialist fatherland, yes! For the Stalinist regime, no! That was in 1927! Now, twenty-three years later Stalin has left nothing of the Socialist fatherland. It has been replaced by the enslavement and degradation of the people by the Stalinist autocracy. This is the state you propose to defend in the war, which you are already defending in Korea.”

    She says the ‘fatherland’ has been replaced by the “enslavement and degradation of the people by the Stalinist autocracy”. She says the fatherland has been replaced by the regime, not by capitalist social relations.

    We keep coming back to the point that you abandon Trotsky’s method that workers’ property must be overthrown because you cannot stand how bad the regime got, just like Natalia. That was not Trotsky’s method.

    If you read the document on Bolivia you will see that we say that the POR-Lora betrayed the revolution. It certainly crossed the class line.

    raved

    July 17, 2008 at 4:32 am

  28. Comrade Raved

    No I do not agree with your interpretation. Any one who knows of Natalia. Sedova political political development know that at that time she was influenced by
    “Spanish revolutionary Grandizo Munis who had led the Spanish Seccion Bolchevique-Leninista during the revolutionary events in the 1930s. Under his influence, she came to adopt the position that the USSR was a state capitalist society and that the Fourth International founded by Trotsky no longer held to the revolutionary programme of Communism.”

    It is so well known fact that the quotation is taken from Wikipedia.

    Thus she knew very well the difference between regime and a state and when she wrote the revolutionary fatherland does not exists she meant the workers state.

    You are keeping avoiding the civil war of 1936-9, the destruction of the subjective element in Russia and the state apparatus built by Lenin and Trotsky and ends by a reformist belief that the transformation took place in 1990s in a cold manner without any civil war or the destruction of the state apparatus.
    It was not Sedova who confused state and regime, it is you.

    yossi schwartz

    July 17, 2008 at 6:35 am

  29. May be not in Vain

    Robert Fisk, a Middle East expert and journalist with The Independent newspaper, told Al Jazeera of the exchange: “It’s regarded as being the final chapter of the 2006 war.

    “The Israelis certainly lost that war, they did not get their prisoners back – not until now and they’re getting them back dead. So more than 1,000 Lebanese civilians and more than 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers, all died for absolutely nothing and that’s what [these] prisoner exchanges prove

    From a left liberal point of view Robert Fisk is absolutely correct the exchange closed the book of the 2006’s war, but it opens the first chapter in the new book of the next imperialist war of Israel against Lebanon, or the Palestinians, or the Iranians or the Syrians or may be against all of them together. It is important that in the next round Israel would be weaker and here is where he is wrong. The deaths of 1000 Lebanese was not necessary in vain. It was part of the price humanity has to pay for the defeat of Israel and the defeat of Israel is important as part of breaking the powers of the imperialists in this region

    They did not necessary die in vain. They died so the Lebanese militants who were free would not be broken but proudly will stand with their heads high outside Imad Mughniyeh’s burial spot at a cemetery south of Beirut.
    Mughniyeh, the second in command of the Lebanon-based guerilla organization Hezbollah, was killed in a car bomb in neighboring Syria in February most likely by Israel..

    It was not necessary in vain. Yesterday Kuntar was still a prisoner but today he is able to say :

    “This time yesterday I was in the hands of the enemy. But at this moment, I am yearning more than before to confront them,”

    The Israelis now would like to murder him in a desperate act of terror but after today they are going to find many more Kuntars in Lebanon.

    The point however is that to win not the battle but the war and defeat the imperialists it is necessary to build a working class revolutionary party committed to the socialist revolution. A party that can unite the workers the peasants , the poor and overthrow the capitalist system itself. When this will happen the defeat of Israel would be not in vain but for the future of humanity free of murdering imperialist wars.

    yossi schwartz

    July 17, 2008 at 6:39 pm

  30. I don’t avoid the civil war 1936-9 any more than Trotsky did. You claim that Trotsky was out of touch with events in the SU over that period. Does this explain why he was right about Poland, Ukraine and Finland while the state capitalists were wrong?
    If Sedova means that the end of the socialist fatherland is the same as the overthrow of workers property, then where is her evidence? Where is the overthrow of workers property when workers property was extended beyond the SU.
    You can read our view of the counter-revolution in the SU in the 1980s and 1990s in our critique of Worker Power on our website. Trotsky never said that a short lived civil war was certain in a counter-revolution. He was making the point about a short civil war against reformists. The matter was not settled. Events showed that the counter-revolution was spread over many defeats including the period of Thermidor. It was gradual but not peaceful. In the end it succeeded because of the absence of a revolutionary party. Who do we hold responsible for that? Those who failed to build the party, the Stalinophobes and Stalinophiles.

    raved

    July 17, 2008 at 11:04 pm

  31. Excuse me comrade Raved
    But have you heard of circular argument? It is an argument that you assume to be true what has to be proven, what is your proof for example that Trotsky was right over Finland, Poland or the Ukraine ?

    Did Finland become another workers state in 1939-40? When the “Winter war” broke out the Red Army more troops and total supremacy in the air.

    On December 1, 1939 in the border town of Terijoki, the Stalinists established not a Finish Socialist Republic in the territory the occupied but the Finish Democratic Republic under Kussinen . It was known as well as the Terijoki Government. Before the end of the war the Stalinists liquated this puppet government to reach an agreement with the Finnish government. On march 1940 the only achievement of the Stalinists army was that this town was ceded to the SU as part of the Moscow Peace treaty.
    If the idea of Stalin by establishing a puppet regime was to split the population along pro Soviet / Anti Soviet he failed miserably. This puppet regime only pushed the general population to the arms of the right wing nationalist government and the much stronger Stalinist army was unable to win the war against the much smaller Finish army.
    The Battle of Suomussalmi for example lasted for months rather than weeks, the international prestige of the Stalinist army as a strong army suffered greatly..

    By March 1940, the rulers of the Soviet Union wanted to end the costly war that had become an international embarrassment. In the Moscow Peace Treaty, the Finns had to make significant territorial concessions to the stronger imperialist power.

    Was Trotsky right on the Fin question the all story would be different as a Workers state not a puppet regime under the clear bourgeois name would be established and the working class would oppose the capitalist class. Is this what happen?

    Let us take the Polish question. The Stalinists divided Poland with Germany. In Sept 1939 the Stalinist army entered Poland. Did they established a workers state in 1939? If you are right that what should have happened in 1939-1940. This however did not happen not in 1939 and not in 1945. Poland was treated as an occupied colony not only under German occupation during the war but the Soviet occupation.

    Furthermore as you must know Trotsky has a very different position on the Ukraine that already possibly implicitly included the beginning of the thinking of Trotsky himself that the USSR is not a workers state. He called for a united, free, and independent workers’ and peasants’ Soviet Ukraine”
    .
    It is true Trotsky argued that an independent Soviet Ukraine would strengthen the USSR because it would have a vested interest in the defense of the socialist status quo. This independent socialist country would be a “mighty southwestern bulwark of the USSR”. However on this question Trotsky reserved the final decision to the Ukrainian Marxist movement:

    “”This appears to me the correct policy on the Ukrainian question. I speak here personally and in my own name. The question must be opened up to international discussion. The foremost place in this discussion must belong to the Ukrainian revolutionary Marxists. We shall listen with the greatest attention to their voices. But they had better make haste. There is little time left for preparation!” (Collected Writings, 1938-1939, p. 307))

    Trotsky interest lies in world revolution and every political slogan was put forward with this final goal in mind.

    In any case in reality Trotsky was wrong on the situation of the Ukraine. The resistance to the Soviet Union was led by the nationalists OUN that was very strong and this movement was very right wing. The remaining Marxists if some remained alive were very few . Thus the chance for an ” independent workers’ and peasants’ Soviet Ukraine” did not exist at all.

    The expectations of Trotsky in his last year on all 3 questions were unreal and misinformed. The reason is not only that Trotsky was cut from information but his analysis of the SU was wrong. When the war began the SU was an imperialist state. It behaved like one and every one else except the isolated and mistaken revolutionaries dealt with the SU as an imperailist state. No tonly Germany and late ron the Western imperialists but the nationalist movements.

    It is much better to correct Trotsky’s mistakes in order to keep revolutionary Marxism alive that to justify mistakes made by Trotsky and kill Marxism.

    yossi schwartz

    July 18, 2008 at 5:53 am

  32. Summary of the debate:

    At this point the debate between the ISL and the CWG must be very confusing for readers and for this reason we attempt to organize it from the very beginning without any distortions.
    The center of this debate is the class nature of the Soviet Union during the WWII and on.
    The CWG is holding to the “Orthodox”-Trotskyist position that until the early 1990s the SU was a degenerated workers state.

    Our position is that the SU was destroyed as a workers state on the eve of WWII when the Bolshevik party including the left opposition- the revolutionary consciousness element, in the former SU, was destroyed and at the same time the workers state apparatus was destroyed . This happened between 1936-9, the period of the big show trials that were part of the civil war between the working class and the bureaucracy turning itself into a ruling class. A civil war that while Trotsky was aware of it, he believed mistakenly that the working class is winning this civil war.

    The Debate began on July 11th when the ISL posed 3 points :
    1. When did the SU became a workers state? In our opinion it happened in October 1917 when : (a) the working class (b) led by a revolutionary working class party –the Bolsheviks took power –destroyed the old apparatus and ruled through the Soviets.
    In our opinion this is important as this was before any mass nationalization took place.
    From this point we ask how it is possible for the CWG to argue that it happened in the early 1990s in a cold process-reform rather than through a civil war that a workers state became a capitalist one ? This in our opinion is an indication of a reformist approach. As Trotsky pointed out in his famous example of the film rolling backward.

    2. We pointed out that nationalizations by itself is a form and not content. We argued that the public ownership, is not the essence, but that the mode of production and the relationship of production are
    The form of ownership did not change in the former USSR until the 1990s but the capitalist mode of production- the exploitation of the working class by a bureaucratic class was in place already on the eve of the WWII. Following the civil war that destroyed the workers state and the Bolshevik party between 1936-9 the workers state was destroyed.

    3. We pointed to the theory of the Degenerated workers states like, Yugoslavia, China, and Cuba as examples to the revisionism of the CWG as they claim that these were or are workers state (even though deformed) because these revolutions were carried out by other class than the working class and Stalinists counter revolutionary leadership in the case of Yugoslavia and China and a third world liberal nationalists in the case of Cuba and not by the working class led by its own revolutionary party.
    That as a matter of fact these are not workers states but capitalist states. That the nationalizations did not change the class nature of these states.

    The next day we got the reply:

    a. The CWG speak about the buffer states of East Europe but not of China or Cuba. That the legacy of 1917 forced the bureaucracy to live of the nationalized property before they could privatize only in the 1990s and it was the failure of the revolutionaries to defend the SU that allowed the bureaucracy to privatize.
    .

    .
    b That Trotsky anticipated the possibility of a ‘cold’ counter-revolution in the USSR given his 1930s analysis of the Stalinist superstructure as ‘fascist’ in form.

    . C Nevertheless the form of nationalized property (workers property) in the USSR remained a workers state until the privatization in the 1990s. That is, the bureaucracy was forced to be parasitic on it and extract their privileges by unequal exchange as opposed to privatizing those social relations- a degenerate form of workers property which workers did not control or administer.

    D Cuba survived as a post-capitalist degenerate workers state only because of the existence of the USSR

    Trotsky was of the opinion on the eve of the WWII that the question of the class nature of the USSR would be determine in the period of the war and that the Soviet union will not remain a degenerated workers state but either the working class would over throw the bureaucracy or the bureaucracy would become a new capitalist state. Your position implies that Trotsky was wrong and the fact that the USSR survived the war proves that it remains a workers state and the expansion of it was a great victory for the working class
    .
    While Trotsky offered a concrete analysis of relationship of class forces and thus concrete time with a clear understating that if the USSR will survive the war it will be at the expense and the defeat of the working class, not in the far away future but at the time. For the CWG reality became an abstraction.
    Without any analysis of the motion the USSR’s economy between 1939-1990s a period of 50 years that end with a 0 growth and thus I do not see a theoretical analysis of the system but statements of a believer hanging his hat on a label

    That the vanguard for the CWG is not the revolutionary working class organized in the FI but the Stalinist army after the removal of all those who participated in the 1917..

    That it seems to us in the ISL that the theory of the CWG is not very different than the Spartacist which led them to their positions in Poland and in Afghanistan.

    This” theory” was examined in practice by the politics of the Spartacists in Poland and in Afghanistan. In Poland the SL theory was that the Army will defend what they called the DWS and in Afghanistan that it will turn Afghanistan into DWS.

    .
    For clarification we in the ISL added that : A workers state is a transition to socialist society, it is a motion to accumulate and concentrate all the private capitals under workers control with an increasing planning of the economy. The reason to defend a degenerated workers states is because they are more advance than capitalist state. Was this the case in Poland or East Germany or were they less developed than the capitalist states in Western Europe? Was there any planning in reality in these states? Was not the working class exploited badly by the ruling bureaucratic capitalist class? Did the Stalinist Army liberate or repress Afghanistan?.

    The GWC ‘s article stated that the Stalinists were allies of the working class. However we saw in the Middle East in 1947-8 that they were allies of the Zionists helping them to smash the working class revolutionary movement of 1946 and on to form a bastion of imperialism in the region-Israel. It is the same class in power in the USSR who did it.

    It is of interest that you limit yourself to certain states in East Europe as you can not claim that it was the Soviet Stalinist army that made the revolution in Yugoslavia or in China. Do you claim that Tito army was the working class vanguard and the same for Mao peasants based army? It seems to me that your logic is leading you there but afraid of your own logic you simply do not deal with this questions
    .
    And what about Cuba? You can not argue that the Stalinist army of the USSR made the revolution. It was a petite bourgeois guerilla army. Castro at the time of his visit to the US in 1960 called the Stalinist and the USSR totalitarian dictatorships that he opposes in his country.

    The same day the CWG wrote:

    a. Its true we should not lump the LRP in with the Cliffites. The Cliffites basically followed the petty bourgeois opposition into Stalinophobia (Stalinism is reactionary root and branch) after the war. The material linterest underlying such politics was an adaptation to the weakest layers of the vanguard who rejected the USSR because of its Stalinist regime.

    I don’t remember when the LRP developed their version of state capitalism, its a while since I read their book. But from memory it was also a response to the reactionary role of Stalinism from 1939. This I respectfully suggest results from adapting to the same wave of revulsion from Stalinism among workers in the imperialist states as well as the general anti-communism promoted by the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeois intellectuals.

    b. In a classical idealist fashion the CWG rejected the idea that workers states should be more advance than capitalism not less advance claiming that this simple materialist criteria is the position of the Second international. ( As a matter of fact of Maoism)

    They wrote: “But why reject the SU as a workers state only from 1939? If, as you say, support for a workers state depends on it developing the force of production ahead of capitalism, why even support the 1917 revolution? This was after all the position of the right and centre of the 2nd International”.

    .

    The CWG continues to confuse relationship of production with form of ownership writing : “, It must be the social relations of production that decide if a workers state exists or not. As I already pointed out, this was Trotsky’s view at the time of his death. The social relations of the USSR must be unconditionally defended, despite what he termed the ‘fascism’ of the Stalinist regime”

    They further explains that these relationship of production( as a matter of fact property ownership) is their criteria and not ” not Trotsky’s ‘opinion’ that the SU would become socialist or capitalist as the result of WW2.”

    And this round ended with CWG statement:

    .

    In terms of the LRP politics, from 1939, they would have refused to defend the SU against imperialism since it was already imperialist. This is worse that the Cliffites who at least did not regard the SU as imperialist at this time. How do we explain this difference? I would say that the Cliffites were representing a more class conscious vanguard (because of British imperialsm’s decline) and could not come out as totally Stalinophobic. Whereas in the US, the rise of US imperialism and the cold war created a US chauvinist and anti-communist consciousness and that the LRP adapted to this backward consciousness by removing the defence of the SU from its program.

    :

    In our ISL next reply we stated that the CWG confuse a workers state with socialism. “What do you think was exactly the mode of production of the USSR
    Capitalism is a mode of production based on the exploitation of the working class and the central law of this system is the law of value.

    Lenin defined a workers state as a capitalist state without the bourgeois The USSR was based on the exploitation of the working class. The main law in operation was the law of value . If before the social counter revolution when it was a workers state the working class was self exploited for the socialist future. under the Stalinist counter revolution the working class was exploited by the bureaucratic capitalist class to accumulate national capital.. If during the time of a workers state the law of value was deformed in favor of the working class the deformations than after were in favor of accumulation of state capital abused by the Stalinist bureaucracy. I fail to understand why do you think that these relationship of productions were other than capitalists. The Stalinist industrialization was a night mare for the working class and it included a fascistic regime including slave labor camps.

    Was Trotsky alive he would decided as he wrote that the working class lost the struggle in the USSR and the capitalist counter revolution won. We know it from Natalie letter of resignation from the FI in 1953 as result of the leadership tailing counter revolutionary forces”.

    In addition we pointed out to the CWG that in their argument they confuse regime and stste. “Further more in your argument that we have a similar argument to Social democracy you are proving once again that you are confusing state and regime. Not only this but you are making up an argument foreign to Marxism. Workers states are more progressive than capitalism but not for you. The tasks of workers state is to complete the accumulation and centralization of capital that the capitalists in this epoch of decay can not do any more and this is what makes them a reactionary class.
    For you a workers state is an abstract moralist question. As I wrote to you already I do not see Dialectical materialism in your arguments”.

    On July 13 the CWG wrote:

    a. Cuba became a workers state because the Castroists went further than they wanted. “I already spoke of Cuba. By extension all the other national revolutions that were forced to go further than the petty bougeois leaders intended and expropriate the bourgeoisie did so because of the refusal of imperialism and the national bourgeoisie to form popular front governments with them in the post-war bipolar world. In every case, I don’t know about Tito, these petty bourgeois leaders sought to make peace with imperialism, but imperialism refused.
    We have to ask why imperialism refused. The answer is Yalta and the imperialists fear of the power of workers property in the SU. When imperialism refused, these national revolutions were thrown into the arms of the USSR. Nowhere do we say that these regimes are healthy workers states, rather they were deformed at birth because their reliance on the SU meant that the workers in these countries did not control the economy”.

    b. The CWG Keep confusing the positions of the Cliffites and the LRP

    “. The fact that the Cliffites and LRP would not have defended workers property in the SU and by extension any of the DWSs that emerged in the post WW2 period is exactly what Trotsky meant when he said that if you can’t defend this, what can you defend”

    c. Distortion of our position “You say the SU was always a CMP” as if we did not state that in 1917 there was a workers state that was destroyed in 1936-9 and turn it as we have denied that a workers state existed.

    D. Keep denying that the law of value was in operation in the SU and by this turn the SU like Stalin to socialism in one country based on planned economy. “Yes Lenin did say that the SU was a bourgeois state without the bourgeoisie. But that is not the same thing as saying it was a CMP. He also said it was state capitalist, but that the workers controlled the state.”

    We keep tell them Yes comrades but for you nothing happened in the SU between the time Lenin made these statements and the 1990s and thus the destruction of any remannent of workers power is irrelevant. Capitalist state without workers power in any form is capitalis state not a workers state. In the case of the USSR because of the gains of the 1917 Stalin was able to tuen it to an imperailist state by industerialized it in the mos thorrible methods.

    The next days we went over the letter of resignation of Natalia Sidova where CWG denies that she saw the SU as a capitalist state already in 1951 and slander her as she was confusing between regime and state.

    Today we went over the question of whether Trotsky was right in assessment of the situation in the SU and its class nature based on his writing on Finland Poland and the Ukraine.

    yossi schwartz

    July 18, 2008 at 1:18 pm

  33. Ihave better things to do that go over all of this stuff again. I will be posting on China in a few days and we can debate it no doubt from these different methods.

    As to the above debate it boils down to this in my view:

    The state reproduces social relations. The SU workers state reproduced workers property relations as social relations because the state allocated resources (with secondary market mechanisms) from each according to their work (bourgeois norms of distribution) to each according to their needs (or course it fell short of this as surplus was appropriated by the bureaucracy leaving massive shortages). These social/property relations were always subject to market and bourgeois influences as well as geographic and technical limitations given the backwardness and isolation of the workers state (and subsequently other DWSs).

    Did the replacement of workers direct control through the healthy Bolshevik Party by a degenerate bureaucracy change these property relations? No the bureaucracy could only redistribute its privileges from the productive forces and existing workers social/ property relations which it was obliged to defend.

    What would be the evidence of a counter-revolution in these relations? The state would makes changes in the law/constitution to break the plan, privatise state property and substitute the Law of Value as the allocator of resources. The bureaucracy would then cease to extract increasingly marginal privileges from a collapsing planned economy, but engage in a primitive accumulation of socialist property under the names of individual capitalists, (or in the transition to this become individual shareholders in SOEs or other public enterprises). This is precisely what happened in the SU and EE from 1989 to 1992 and in China in the 1990s. It is happening in Cuba today.

    What this means is that instead of the abstract statement that the working class makes the revolution, we can show how in the SU (and DWSs that expropriated bourgeois property) a bureaucracy or petty bourgeois leadership was forced to do so by the strength of the surviving workers property in the SU, despite the most ‘horrible methods’ used by the bureaucracy, until it actively overthrew those social/property relations. We do not define in advance what form the counter-revolutionary struggle would take.

    Those who wanted to abandon defence of workers property in the SU in 1939 or fail to recognise the historic advance of the expropriation of the bourgeoisie in the post-war Stalinist states, sacrifice the major historical gain of the worlds workers in 1917 for the sake of an abstract blueprint that these revolutions did not live up to a theoretical schema in the minds of Marxists. This is a rationalisation of defeatism.

    The result is the abandonment of Marxist method and politics and with it the struggle for the political revolution to defend this historic gain, and therefore to actively side with the bourgeoisie who called the SU imperialist in bringjng about its downfall, and to fail to act to expose the Stalinists in front of the masses who still had illusions in the Stalininst state as healthy workers states, socialism even.

    Raved

    raved

    July 19, 2008 at 5:22 am

  34. How nice:

    Marx explained the essence of historical materialism in the following way:

    “The first premise of all human history is, of course, the existence of living human individuals. Thus the first fact to be established is the physical organisation of these individuals and their consequent relation to the rest of nature.”

    “Men can be distinguished from animals by consciousness, by religion or anything else you like. They themselves begin to distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence, a step which is conditioned by their physical organisation. By producing their means of subsistence men are indirectly producing their actual material life.

    “The way in which men produce their means of subsistence depends first of all on the nature of the actual means of subsistence they find in existence and have to reproduce. This mode of production must not be considered simply as being the production of the physical existence of the individuals. Rather it is a definite form of activity of these individuals, a definite form of expressing their life, a definite mode of life on their part. As individuals express their life, so they are. What they are, therefore, coincides with their production, both with what they produce and with how they produce. The nature of individuals thus depends on the material conditions determining their production.

    Karl Marx
    The German Ideology
    Chpt 1: Idealism and Materialism

    And: This conception of history depends on our ability to expound the real process of production, starting out from the material production of life itself, and to comprehend the form of intercourse connected with this and created by this mode of production (i.e. civil society in its various stages), as the basis of all history; describing it in its action as the state, and to explain all the different theoretical products and forms of consciousness, religion, philosophy, ethics, etc. etc. arise from it, and trace their origins and growth from that basis. Thus the whole thing can, of course, be depicted in its totality (and therefore, too, the reciprocal action of these various sides on one another).

    Karl Marx
    The German Ideology
    Chpt 2: Civil Society and the Conception of History

    [Humans] must be in a position to live in order to be able to “make history”. But life involves before everything else eating and drinking, a habitation, clothing and many other things. The first historical act is thus the production of the means to satisfy these needs, the production of material life itself. And indeed this is an historical act, a fundamental condition of all history, which today, as thousands of years ago, must daily and hourly be fulfilled merely in order to sustain human life.

    The second point is that the satisfaction of the first need (the action of satisfying, and the instrument of satisfaction which has been acquired) leads to new needs; and this production of new needs is the first historical act.

    The third circumstance which, from the very outset, enters into historical development, is that [humans], who daily remake their own life, begin to make other [humans], to propagate their kind: the relation between man and woman, parents and children, the family. The family, which to begin with is the only social relationship, becomes later, when increased needs create new social relations and the increased population new needs, a subordinate one, and must then be treated and analysed according to the existing empirical data… These three aspects of social activity are not of course to be taken as three different stages, but just as three aspects… which have existed simultaneously since the dawn of history and the first [humans], and which still assert themselves in history today.

    The production of life, both of one’s own in labour and of fresh life in procreation, now appears as a double relationship: on the one hand as a natural, on the other as a social relationship. By social we understand the co-operation of several individuals, no matter under what conditions, in what manner and to what end. It follows from this that a certain mode of production, or industrial stage, is always combined with a certain mode of co-operation, or social stage, and this mode of co-operation is itself a “productive force”. Further, that the multitude of productive forces accessible to [humans] determines the nature of society, hence, that the “history of humanity” must always be studied and treated in relation to the history of industry and exchange.

    In history up to the present it is certainly an empirical fact that separate individuals have, with the broadening of their activity into world-historical activity, become more and more enslaved under a power alien to them (a pressure which they have conceived of as a dirty trick on the part of the so-called universal spirit, etc.), a power which has become more and more enormous and, in the last instance, turns out to be the world market. But it is just as empirically established that, by the overthrow of the existing state of society by the communist revolution (of which more below) and the abolition of private property which is identical with it, this power, which so baffles the German theoreticians, will be dissolved; and that then the liberation of each single individual will be accomplished in the measure in which history becomes transformed into world history.

    Slavery cannot be abolished without the steam-engine and the mule and spinning-jenny, serfdom cannot be abolished without improved agriculture, and that, in general, people cannot be liberated as long as they are unable to obtain food and drink, housing and clothing in adequate quality and quantity. “Liberation” is an historical and not a mental act, and it is brought about by historical conditions, the development of industry, commerce, agriculture…

    German Ideology, Chpt. 1, Marx and Engels

    The economic situation is the basis, but the various elements of the superstructure — political forms of the class struggle and its results, to wit: constitutions established by the victorious class after a successful battle… political, juristic, philosophical theories, religious views and their further development into systems of dogmas — also exercise their influence upon the course of the historical struggles and in many cases preponderate in determining their form. There is an interaction of all these elements in which, amid all the endless host of accidents (that is, of things and events whose inner interconnection is so remote or so impossible of proof that we can regard it as non-existent, as negligible), the economic movement finally asserts itself as necessary.

    In the second place, however, history is made in such a way that the final result always arises from conflicts between many individual wills, of which each in turn has been made what it is by a host of particular conditions of life. Thus there are innumerable intersecting forces, an infinite series of parallelograms of forces which give rise to one resultant — the historical event. This may again itself be viewed as the product of a power which works as a whole unconsciously and without volition. For what each individual wills is obstructed by everyone else, and what emerges is something that no one willed… an aggregate mean, a common resultant… each contributes to the resultant and is to this extent included in it.

    Engels to J. Bloch In Königsberg

    But now for the comrades of the CWG, ho no. They know much better than Marx and Engles, for the comrades of the CWG it is the super stracture- the state that determine social relationship: The state reproduces social relations. The SU workers state reproduced workers property relations as social relations

    This world view that put the state in the center as the deterring factor has a name-It is called philosophical idealism. It is the bourgeois philosophy Marx and Engles worked so hard to negate. In a case you do no t know in the sphere of Jurisprudence it is called legal positivism. This was once again the point of view of Stalin and before him of Her Dühring who wrote:

    In my system, the relation between general politics and the forms of economic law is determined in so definite a way and at the same time a way so original that it would not be superfluous, in order to facilitate study, to make special reference to this point. The formation of political relationships is historically the fundamental thing, and instances of economic dependence are only effects or special cases, and are consequently always facts of a second order. Some of the newer socialist systems take as their guiding principle the conspicuous semblance of a completely reverse relationship, in that they assume that political phenomena are subordinate to and, as it were, grow out of the economic conditions. It is true that these effects of the second order do exist as such, and are most clearly perceptible at the present time; but the primary must be sought in direct political force and not in any indirect economic power” {D. Ph. 538}.

    This conception is also expressed in another passage, in which Herr Dühring

    “starts from the principle that the political conditions are the decisive cause of the economic situation and that the reverse relationship represents only a reaction of a second order … so long as the political grouping is not taken for its own sake, as the starting-point, but is treated merely as a stomach-filling agency, one must have a portion of reaction stowed away in one’s mind, however radical a socialist and revolutionary one may seem to be” {D. K. G. 230-31
    .
    It was left to Engles in 1877 in his book Anti-Dühring
    Part II: Political Economy the demolish this point of view.

    What should I say comrade? I wrote to you from the very beginning that your method has nothing to do with dialectical materialism and you just have proven that you hold the idealist philosophical point of view.
    I do not need to prove any thing any more about your methodology and methodology always reflects class interest.
    I finished with this debate on the SU. I will enter the debate when you will try to explain how the counter revolutionary Maoists on the base of the peasantry managed to replace the working class and built for the workers what you call a workers state albeit deformed where every workers in China has known that his class has been exploited by the capitalist who call themselves Communists.
    The only question that I have for you is :
    In your theory , is China still a workers state, or somehow very peacefully the Stalinists butchers who are still in power changed it to a capitalist state by some privatization

    Yossi Schwartz

    July 19, 2008 at 6:45 am

  35. THE IMT ON A POSSIBLE CONFLICIT ISRAEL-IRAN

    What is for the IMT a socialist perspective?.
    The IMT leaders are not stupid they know that the US is unlikely to attack Iran but that it is possible that Israel will attack Iran. And if indeed Israel will attack Iran what would be their position?
    For Marxists this question of the attitude toward war between two states is determine by the reply to the question what is the class nature and the stage of development of the states involved.
    In other words is Israel an Imperialist state?
    Is Iran an imperialist state? In reality from Marxist perspective Israel is an Imperialist state and Iran is part of the “third world”-Semi colonial states. For Leninists this definition leads to the conclusion of siding military with Iran in a case of an Israeli attack.

    Very carefully the IMT avoids this question and for them Israel is not an imperialist state but one of the American satellites of the US in the Middle East. Thus like for the SWP the all question of imperialism and the anti imperialist perspective is lost .

    In an article entitled :Bush’s adventure in Iraq: who has gained from it?
    By Dekel Avshalom and Fred Weston
    Friday, 18 July 2008, we read :

    “On the basis of this new situation, the prospect of a US attack on Iran receded. Initially there was talk of a US missile strike on Iran’s nuclear research facilities, but even this became less and less likely. How to solve this dilemma? Among the Bush entourage an idea emerged that there might a way out of this complexity. The United States could rely on one of its satellite states in the regions to protect its economic goals, while the political burden would be carried by that satellite state.

    Can Israel solve the problem?
    That satellite state is Israel. Recently, Israeli senior officials have repeatedly and threateningly raised the idea that Israel is very close to taking military steps against Iran…..

    The situation is a tragic one. The Israel ruling class could drag the nation into another messy military conflict, which would solve none of the problems. The Israeli masses will sooner or later awaken to a new understanding of the true nature of the Israeli state, which is not at all to provide a safe homeland for the Jews. It is in fact a satellite of imperialism in the region, albeit an unstable one.

    The interests of the Israeli masses and those of the Zionist ruling class are not the same. The Zionists use the historical fear of the Israeli masses of a new holocaust to keep them within a political straitjacket. To break out of that straitjacket a genuine socialist perspective is required

    Not one world of the need to opposed Israeli imperialism and defend Iran and this they call “socialist perspective”. Bravo!.

    yossi schwartz

    July 19, 2008 at 8:53 am


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