Living Marxism

Bringing Marxism to life

Is China the new US?

with 31 comments

website translator plugin

For many China is the new USA. They think that it will be the next economic powerhouse, if it is not already, replacing the US as the leader in the world economy. Others doubt this, but there is no denying that today China is rapidly growing – but what sort of society is it? There are still those who think that China is a socialist country or some transitional type of ‘market socialism’ somewhere between socialism and capitalism. Then there are the classic liberals who think that in China the Manchu dynasty and the Chinese Communist regime are different versions of ‘oriental despotism’ all engaged in human rights abuses. Rather than attempt to navigate between these contending viewpoints on the surface of events, we prefer to approach China by looking for the underlying revolutionary changes in its modern history which allows us to understand its development and its current role in the global economy today. Using Trotsky’s concept of the law of uneven and combined development, and Marx’s concept of permanent revolution which was later taken up by Lenin and Trotsky we can uncover and reveal this historic dynamic.

China’s pre-capitalist history

China before the entry of the European powers had been a highly developed pre-capitalist society for centuries. Marx famous and controversial concept of an Asiatic Mode of Production was an attempt to describe the typical hierarchical society typical of Asia of which European feudalism was a local variant. Despite being criticized as a Eurocentric version of ‘oriental despotism’ Marx seems to have identified the key elements of this mode in the communal modes at its base and centralized state at its center.

Eric Wolf defines this mode in Europe and the People Without History as a tributary mode of production which incorporated and dominated kinship modes of production Peasant families organized as kinship modes of production had their tribute or rent expropriated by a class of landlord families which in turn paid the standing army and bureaucracy to administer society. Yet for all its advanced technology and trade relations the tributary mode of production tends towards stagnation and could not embark on the capitalist road. The ruling class was able to extract sufficient rents to maintain society and did not need to allow the formation of a middle class of merchants to bring wealth from unequal exchange overseas back to China. Rather, those traders who sought to expand their wealth through trade and become merchant capitalists had to exile themselves and look for opportunities in other parts of the world in particular South East Asia. This merchant diaspora is the basis of overseas Chinese capitalism today.

China was highly successful in producing and exporting tea, running a trade surplus until the British ‘opium wars’ in the mid 19th century forced it to import opium in exchange for its exports. The tributary mode was thus subordinated to British imperialism which exploited China’s raw materials and surplus labor force as migrant workers in its other colonies. So long as China remained a form of British colony and had its resources and wealth expropriated it would not be able to create its own internal market and develop the capitalist mode of production. It would remain a tributary mode mined and plundered by imperialism. Karl Marx, however, anticipated that the sleeping giant would awaken as an independent capitalist nation. Marx wrote of the impact of the capitalist mode of production in dissolving the Asiatic mode, though he noted that this was very slow. Nevertheless in a famous newspaper article he wrote in 1850 Marx was not joking when he said: “When our European reactionaries in their immediately coming flight across Asia finally come up against the Great Wall of China, who knows whether they will not find on the gates which lead to the home of ancient reaction and ancient conservatism the inscription, ‘Chinese Republic – liberty, equality, fraternity’.”

The Bourgeois revolution

Here Marx is anticipating the uneven and combined development that would see capitalism progressively free China from the Asiatic Mode so that it would replace Europe as the dominant force in the world economy. For this to happen, however, a national bourgeoisie would have to rise up to overthrow the tributary ruling class which was subservient to imperialist powers. This national democratic revolution began in 1911 when the weak bourgeoisie struggled to force the old landlord ruling class to break from its subservience on British imperialism and free up the opportunities or the emergence of a national bourgeoisie. However, the Chinese would-be bourgeoisie proved to be too weak to united the country and win complete independence from the imperialist powers. Power shifted from the imperial center to a host of tributary warlords. As an expression of the tragicomic adventures of the would-be bourgeoisie, the united Chambers of Commerce declared their own national government in 1923, supported by Mao Zedong who said “The merchants of Shanghai…have adopted revolutionary methods; they have overwhelming courage to take charge of national affairs’. (Cambridge History of China, p 782). To unite China and win independence the national bourgeoisie would have to harness the class power of the peasantry and the workers and complete the bourgeois revolution. But it ran the risk of the peasants led by the workers taking over the national revolution and going straight to socialism.

The Kuomingtang (KMT), the party of the bourgeoisie the under Sun Yat-sen sought to complete the national revolution against Japan and Britain and liberate the nation from semi-colonial oppression. To achieve this, the KMT formed a patriotic alliance between a bloc of workers, peasants and middle class under its leadership. This bloc was unstable because it contained a contradiction between the producing classes and exploiting classes. In order to ensure that the bourgeoisie would retain its class rule, the KMT could not allow the workers and poor peasants to lead the revolution for fear that they would not stop at throwing out the Japanese, but would throw out the KMT as well.

Russia’s permanent revolution

This class contradiction was recognized by the Bolsheviks because it had occurred in Russia as well. In Russia the weak bourgeoisie preferred to stay in power with the backing of the imperialists rather than cede power to the worker and poor peasant majority. Why? Because the imperialists would allow them a share of the super-profits expropriated from workers and peasants, while a workers revolution would eliminate the bourgeoisie as a class. Because of this treacherous role of the bourgeoisie only the workers leading the poor peasants could complete the national revolution against imperialism. The Bolsheviks rapidly dropped their alliance with the bourgeoisie and led a revolution in which the worker and poor peasant majority took power. The Bolsheviks had an ‘uninterrupted’ revolution (or ‘permanent’ revolution in Trotsky’s terms) in which the national revolution was completed by a socialist revolution.

Facing a similar situation in China in 1924, the Comintern (the 3rd International) that arose out of the Russian Revolution, was divided over how the national revolution should be completed. The majority around Stalin abandoned the lessons of October and reverted to the Menshevik idea that the bourgeoisie would lead a ‘united front’ [the ‘bloc of 4 classes’] to complete the national revolution and so prepare the conditions for the socialist revolution. The minority around Trotsky, (the Left Opposition) applied the lessons of the Russian revolution to China. Only the working class leading the poor peasants could complete the national revolution as a socialist revolution – the permanent revolution! The bourgeois KMT could not be trusted to lead a national revolution because it would side with the imperialists as a comprador bourgeoisie rather than allow the workers and peasants to take power. This division in the Comintern was reproduced in the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CCP).

The second revolution betrayed

Trotsky’s warnings that the workers and poor peasants must not subordinate themselves to Chiang Kai-shek’s military leadership were ignored. KMT were made honorary section of Comintern. The Comintern overruled the CCP leadership and suppressed the Left Opposition (LO). The KMT led the bloc of 4 classes to fight the imperialists but fearing the power of the exploited classes then turned on the CCP leadership and destroyed it. Stalin blamed the CPP leadership. Some of the CPP leadership opposed this and were expelled. Others were won to LO in China and four LO currents were formed which later formed a United Opposition.

Meanwhile in the face of this betrayal the Maoist leadership of the CCP continued the failed Stalinist popular front tactic of the bloc of 4 classes and began to suppress the LO. The KMT regime under Chiang was a form of Bonapartist bourgeois regime balanced between the Chinese peasants and workers on the one side and the imperialists on the other. Because of the weakness of the national bourgeoisie the KMT regime encouraged the formation of a state bourgeoisie. The national war of liberation became a peasant ar and it took many years to drive out the Japanese the KMT and its backer, the US. Mao finally took power in 1949 still committed to a bourgeois China and attempted to hand power over to the bourgeoisie. Again the popular front theory was proven wrong but only because by this time the peasants and workers were mobilized to take power, and not to hand it back to the bourgeoisie. The leading sectors of the Chinese bourgeoisie abandoned the revolution since it would not allow them to profit from a comprador relationship with imperialism. Some other sectors made an alliance with the CCP. Mao was then forced to expropriate bourgeois property but at the same time refuse to allow the workers and peasant base to administer the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The third revolution

Thus despite the Stalinist Maoists the revolution succeeded in removing the imperialists and the national bourgeoisie, but failed to create the conditions for the transition to socialism. The nationalization of bourgeois property created workers property and a bureaucratic plan, but the working class and poor peasantry were never able to democratically control the state. This transitional form of society contained a contradiction between workers property and the parasitic Bonapartist bureaucracy. In that sense it was structurally a workers’ state degenerate at birth, the same as the states formed in Eastern Europe that were occupied by the Red Army, or like Yugoslavia, balanced between the Soviet Union (SU) and imperialism.

We characterize this transitional form of state in China as a Degenerate Workers State (DWS) at birth following Trotsky’s method in explaining the role of the Red Army in occupying the Ukraine, Poland and Finland in 1939. Against those who took the position that the Red Army could not substitute for the working class to create workers states in these countries, Trotsky said that the state forms that resulted were an extension of the DWS in the SU. Despite everything the bureaucracy did, including suppressing national workers and poor peasants’ movements, the expropriation of the bourgeoisie created post-capitalist property.

But does the analysis of the DWS occupied by the Red Army as an extension of the Soviet Union also apply to those countries that were not occupied by the Red Army – Yugoslavia, China, Vietnam, Cuba? In each of these countries, the nationalist forces that led the revolution were not under the direct control of the SU. But the same phenomenon that Trotsky observed in Poland happened. The support of the SU encouraged the workers and peasants to join in not only the expulsion of the imperialists, but in forcing the bureaucratic or petty bourgeois leaderships to go further than forming a government with the national capitalists, and rather to expropriate them.

In China the expropriation of big bourgeois property was possible only with support from the Soviet Union –a fact that the bureaucracy was forced to use to legitimate its rule. This is why when the CCP nationalized property it took the form of workers property, even under a bureaucratic dictatorship. The bourgeoisie as a class are removed, and all that remains for workers to claim their property is the removal of the bureaucracy. That is why, against those who thought that the Stalinists could create healthy workers’ states, substituting for the historic revolutionary role of the working class, Trotsky said that the only sure defence of workers property was the overthrow of the bureaucracy in a political revolution as part of an international socialist revolution.

Thus in China in 1949, as in Poland as Trotsky had argued in 1939, it was not the Chinese Red Army in itself that was progressive but the fact that the SU backed it against Japan and the US, expelling the comprador bourgeoisie, and forcing the Bonapartist CCP leadership to expropriate capitalist property.

Forward to socialism, or back to capitalism

China, as a new DWS could go in two directions. Forward to socialism by political revolution that removes the bureaucracy, or back to capitalism by a counter-revolution where the bureaucracy privatized workers property and turned itself into a new national bourgeoisie. The contradiction between workers property moving forwards to socialism and the bureaucratic caste moving backward to capitalism was expressed in the class contradiction which the Bonapartist regime attempted to reconcile. It was also represented in two factions in the CCP leadership. The Maoists fought to keep workers property and the planned economy as the basis of their bureaucratic privilege, while the ‘capitalist roaders’ fought to privatise collective property, restore capitalism and convert themselves into a new bourgeoisie. These big internal fights then represented both sides of the class contradiction striving for victory over the other.

The capitalist roaders won and began by replacing the rural collectives with the TVE (Town Village Enterprises) cooperatives in the 1980s, and then began transforming the SOEs (State Owned Enterprises) into privatized corporations in the 1990s. The shift to TVE cooperatives was decisive as it allowed a shift to personal shareholding. These became the basis of the conversion of the TVEs into privatized industries in the 1980s. This created a huge movement of displaced workers into the cities as a rural reserve army of formal wage labour who would then become a free wage labor force.

By the early 1990s the Chinese economy had been gradually opened to the influence of the Law of Value (LOV). State owned land was increasingly commodified with the development of a rental market, the SOEs were freed of any responsibility to meet the health, education and welfare needs of wage workers, and the state surplus increasingly became accumulated as private capital in pockets of TVE shareholders, SOE managers as well as private bosses. Thus at this point workers property relations were being replaced by capitalist property relations. The bureaucracy had converted the TVEs and SOEs into capitalist corporations in which a new bourgeoisie become the private owners.

Capitalist Restoration completed

The question of when workers property is replaced by capitalist property determines the change in the class character of the state. Here again, we apply Trotsky’s analysis of the counter-revolution in the SU. Up to the time of his death in 1940 Trotsky argued that the SU remained a DWS, and as we have argued the just as the occupied countries were DWs by extension of the SU. The counter-revolution in all of the DWS that emerged after WW2 would follow the same pattern as the SU. In the SU, the economy was characterized as workers property, or nationalized property, that was nevertheless coexisting with some elements of the market to allow demand to guide prices. But as long as the market was subordinated to the plan, no matter how bureaucratic, the allocation of resources would follow the plan rather than the law of value. That is why the SU was plagued by waste and shortages of basic necessities. Capitalism is restored when the LOV takes over from the plan in determining prices in allocating resources. Today when workers have little money the shortages of necessities result from lack of effective demand not lack of commodities.

In the EE states, attempts to remove the Red Army included elements that were for the defence of state property and those that wanted to restore capitalism. The bureaucratic suppression of both had the effect of subordinating the independence struggle to the restorationists. Thus by the 1980s the struggle for political revolution was weakened and the forces for counter-revolution strengthened. In the SU and EE this counter-revolution was completed between 1989 and 1992. At this point it was clear that the bureaucracy, despite competing factions, was committed to destroying the plan and re-imposing the LOV as the basis of production. Thus the SU and its buffer states ceased to be DWSs and became capitalist states. The first phase of the operation of the LOV was to destroy the existing industry and allow asset stripping by a new capitalist class to set its value on the world market. Trotsky anticipated this transition back to capitalism as a state capitalist phase.

Applying the same method to China it is clear that the turning point was around 1992 when the CCP abandoned and defence of the plan and passed laws to privatize the SEOs as the property of their managers. The CCP did this more deliberately than the CPSU and this phase of state capitalism was dressed up as market socialism. Massive devaluation and asset stripping was spread over decades instead of a few years. As opposed to those who point to the concessions to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in China as a major force for restoration, we point to the fact that FDI is still relatively small, and that the major moves towards privatization originated in the state sector where the bureaucracy made a smooth transition to capitalism and to their re-invention as a national bourgeoisie.

Is China imperialist?

Today by the measure of the LOV China is capitalist. In that sense a rapidly growing powerful capitalist China could be considered imperialist. But what do we mean by imperialist? According to Lenin and imperialist country has a surplus of finance capital which must be exported to counter falling profits at home. That is, the possibilities of growth at home can only be sustained by the export of capital to earn super-profits in other countries, and be imported to the home country to maintain the rate of profit. Less important was the need to find new markets in which to sell the commodities produced in the home market. Historically, the powers that clearly meet this definition are the USA, Japan and the main European powers like Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Others are not imperialist, or may be former imperialist, and are more like semi-colonies, such as Portugal, Greece, Poland, etc. Others may be small imperialist powers such as Sweden, Austria etc.

Does China today meet these criteria? As yet it doesn’t appear so. China has a big trading surplus from its commodity exports but this is mainly invested in US bonds. It is a peculiar sort of finance capital that must accept US petrodollars to fund the massive US external deficit. Most of China’s growth is driven by its internal market which is huge and expanding rapidly. In that sense China’s internal market is sufficient to maintain its profitability, while its exports are more re-exports of foreign mainly overseas Chinese companies (mainly Hong Kong and Taiwan) that have invested in China. So far from being evidence of the export of China’s surplus finance capital, China is the source of imperialist (Japanese, overseas Chinese, EU, US etc) FDI which reaps massive super-profits from China’s cheap resources and labor power.

While the organic composition of capital in China is growing it doesn’t seem yet to have reached the point of an overproduction of capital necessitating an export of productive capital. China today, then, is still developing its internal market, making huge infrastructural investment and is only beginning to establish DFI overseas in Africa, Latin America, and the rest of Asia to create its own so-called ‘empire’. Nevertheless, China is being driven by the rapid growth in demand for cheap raw materials and markets to become a major competitor to the existing imperialist powers, a fact that is clearly behind the growing alarm with which the EU and US views its aggressive role in Africa.

For some China’s capitalist growth has many of the features of industrialization in Europe in the 19th century. However, the form of combined and uneven development that Trotsky and Lenin spoke of in the case of the Soviet Union, and which Marx foreshadowed in China, is today manifest in a pace and scale that would have been beyond even their imaginations. Not only has China become the key driver of the world economy at a time of US dominance and relative decline, it is now at the center of the world historic contradiction between labor and capital. Emerging out of a bourgeois national revolution and the aborted socialist revolution China has within the space of two decades created a powerful capitalist economy. Whether it is contained as a semi-colony exploited by the other capitalists, or succeeds in re-dividing the world economy at the expense of the other capitalist powers, remains to be seen. China may be on the road to displacing the US but will it be as an imperialist China or a socialist China?

Advertisements

Written by raved

July 27, 2008 at 10:53 am

Posted in Uncategorized

31 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Just think being a Chinese capitalist, experiencing your first capitalist recession. Better have an experienced broker.

    In general I agree with the conclusions of this post.

    Renegade Eye

    July 28, 2008 at 5:20 am

  2. You wrote:

    “Again the popular front theory was proven wrong but only because by this time the peasants and workers were mobilized to take power, and not to hand it back to the bourgeoisie. The leading sectors of the Chinese bourgeoisie abandoned the revolution since it would not allow them to profit from a comprador relationship with imperialism. Some other sectors made an alliance with the CCP. Mao was then forced to expropriate bourgeois property but at the same time refuse to allow the workers and peasant base to administer the dictatorship of the proletariat”

    This paragraph is the key to understand your theoretical mistake and poor history.’

    The Stalinists did not mobilize the workers to take power. If this was the case Trotsky was wrong and the Stalinists were revolutionaries. In reality Trotsky was right in contrast to your account and description that makes the Stalinists – revolutionaries .Where as in reality the Stalinists did not mobilize the working class but collaborated with the KMT to repress the working class.
    The repression of the working class was a necessary condition for the Maoist’s bourgeois revolution.

    The outcome was not a deformed workers state- a dictatorship of the working class even if deformed but a capitalist state. The revolution was not a workers revolution but a partial bourgeois revolution, that its gains have been going back since the 1980s opening the gate before the imperialist capital.

    In the same way that your description is turning a counter revolutionary force-the Stalinists into revolutionaries, who created a workers state-the transition to socialism albeit deformed by the lack of workers power, your description of how a workers state is turning into a capitalist state without a social counter revolution; but from above by the Maoists expose an utterly reformist concept of the state.

    The only thing we agree is that unlike the former SU that became an imperialist state this is not the case of China. China has remained a semi colonial state where the working class is super exploited by the imperialists.
    This raise the question you do not care to analyze : Why is the difference ? The difference is because in the former USSR a working class revolution took place and the Stalinists could use its achievement to turn the USSR into an imperialist state by industrialization by the Stalinists in the most brutal ways. This is very different from the industrialization of china by the imperialists who super exploit and keep China as provider of cheap labor.

    It is interesting as well that you avoid the all history of the repression of the working class from 1949-1992 as history some how disappeared The only reference to this period come in a form of a political support to a wing of the Chinese Stalinists –those according to you that opposed the destruction of workers property,

    yossi schwartz

    July 28, 2008 at 6:24 am

  3. Comrade Yossi,

    Concerning that paragraph you quote. It probably needs to be rewritten, but it is not claiming that the workers and peasants were mobilised by the Maoists to make the socialist revolution. They were mobilised by the bureaucracy in the PLA against imperialism. But defeating imperialism necessarily meant defeating the comprador bourgeoisie. The PLA could only do this because of the assistance of the SU which despite the Stalinists produced the material aid for the Chinese revolution on the basis of workers property in the SU. The MaoistS could not go backwards immediately against the anti-imperialist masses, nor could they build an official popular front in the absence of the bourgeoisie. The majority of Chinese bourgeoisie property was nationalised, the LOV was eliminated, (it cannot operate in the absence of a market) foreign trade was monopolised etc. This is not state capitalism on Trotsky’s criteria, but a low grade workers property. It is workers property so long as it is not privatised as the property of individual bureaucrats.

    It is true I did not detail the class struggle in the period from 1949 to 1992. The general point made in the post is that the counter-revolution took place in stages over that whole period from the communes to the TVEs, from the SOEs to privatised corporations, from state owned land to a private rental market in state owned land, to actual private property. The FTZs are also another route for the re-introduction of the lov. Each of these steps is a step towards the restoration of the LOV which however is not made official until 1992, and finished off with the joining of the WTO.

    I will follow up this post with one that looks at the current class struggles in China especially in the light of the current US recession and its implications for China.

    fraternally
    Raved

    raved

    July 28, 2008 at 9:07 am

  4. so what does the sub-prime crisis – world economic crisis mean for China’s economy / and vice versa?

    Adam Smith

    July 28, 2008 at 10:23 am

  5. Adam, I am working on that for Part 2.
    There are those who think that China will prevent the US recession from going global and that China has given the world economy a bypass operation.
    Others are less sanguine.

    raved

    July 28, 2008 at 11:29 am

  6. Comrade Raved You wrote

    “Concerning that paragraph you quote. It probably needs to be rewritten, but it is not claiming that the workers and peasants were mobilized by the Maoists to make the socialist revolution. They were mobilized by the bureaucracy in the PLA against imperialism.”

    This is a very interesting sentence. If I understood it than the Maoists mobilized the working class in the first stage- the struggle against Imperialism- the Democratic bourgeois revolution and after this successful revolution, the Maoist without mobilizing the working class, on their own went further and formed a workers state.

    This version is even more creative than the usual Pabloites version that under the pressure of the working class and the peasants the Stalinists went further than what they had in their mind.

    The problem you have is not only with Trotsky theory of the Permanent Revolution and Trotsky characterization of the Stalinists as counter revolutionaries, while pushing a two stage theory, but with the historical facts.. The workers were not mobilized against imperialism but attacked by the Stalinists peasantry based who collaborated with the KMT against the revolutionary working class.

    Trotsky dealt with this issue of peasants based army and the working class in a very known article published in 1932 in which predicted such an outcome.
    You can find it in:
    Leon Trotsky: Peasant War In China and the Proletariat (1932)

    The peasant movement has created its own armies, has seized great territories, and has installed its own institutions. In the event of further successes—and all of us, of course, passionately desire such successes—the movement will become linked up with the urban and industrial centres and, through that very fact it will come face to face with the working class. What will be the nature of this encounter? Is it certain that its character will be peaceful and friendly?

    .

    “…The grim experience of the civil war demonstrated to us the necessity of disarming peasant detachments immediately after the Red Army occupied provinces which had been cleared of the White Guards. In these cases the best, the most class-conscious and disciplined elements were absorbed into the ranks of the Red Army. But a considerable portion of the partisans strived to maintain an independent existence and often came into direct armed conflict with the Soviet power. Such was the case with the anarchist army of Makhno, entirely kulak in spirit. But that was not the sole instance; many peasant detachments, which fought splendidly enough against the restoration of the landlords, became transformed after victory into instruments of counter-revolution.

    Regardless of their origin in each isolated instance—whether caused by conscious provocation of the White Guards, or by tactlessness of the Communists, or by an unfavourable combination of circumstances—the conflicts between armed peasants and workers were rooted in one and the same social soil: the difference between the class position and training of the workers and of the peasants. The worker approaches questions from the socialist standpoint; the peasant’s viewpoint is petty bourgeois. The worker strives to socialize the property that is taken away from the exploiters; the peasant seeks to divide it up. The worker desires to put palaces and parks to common use; the peasant, insofar as he cannot divide them, inclines to burning the palaces and cutting down the parks. The worker strives to solve problems on a national scale and in accordance with a plan; the peasant, on the other hand, approaches all problems on a local scale and takes a hostile attitude to centralized planning, etc”.

    The commanding stratum of the Chinese “Red Army” has no doubt succeeded in inculcating itself with the habit of issuing commands. The absence of a strong revolutionary party and of mass organizations of the proletariat renders control over the commanding stratum virtually impossible. The commanders and commissars appear in the guise of absolute masters of the situation and upon occupying cities will be rather apt to look down from above upon the workers. The demands of the workers might often appear to them either inopportune or ill-advised.

    Nor should one forget such “trifles” as the fact that within cities the staffs and offices of the victorious armies are established not in the proletarian huts but in the finest city buildings, in the houses and apartments of the bourgeoisie; and all this facilitates the inclination of the upper stratum of the peasant armies to feel itself part of the “cultured” and “educated” classes, in no way part of the proletariat.

    Thus in China the causes and grounds for conflicts between the army, which is peasant in composition and petty bourgeois in leadership, and the workers not only are not eliminated but on the contrary, all the circumstances are such as to greatly increase the possibility and even the inevitability of such conflicts; and in addition the chances of the proletariat are far less favourable to begin with than was the case in Russia.

    From the theoretical and political side the danger is increased many times because the Stalinist bureaucracy covers up the contradictory situation by its slogan of “democratic dictatorship” of workers and peasants. Is it possible to conceive of a snare more attractive in appearance and more perfidious in essence? The epigones do their thinking not by means of social concepts, but by means of stereotyped phrases; formalism is the basic trait of bureaucracy.

    The Russian Narodniks used to accuse the Russian Marxists of “ignoring” the peasantry, of not carrying on work in the villages, etc. To this the Marxists replied: “We will arouse and organize the advanced workers and through the workers we shall arouse the peasants.” Such in general is the only conceivable road for the proletarian party.

    .”

    What then are the conclusions that follow from all this? The first conclusion is that one must boldly and openly face the facts as they are. The peasant movement is a mighty revolutionary factor insofar as it is directed against the large landowners, militarists, feudalists, and usurers. But in the peasant movement itself are very powerful proprietary and reactionary tendencies, and at a certain stage it can become hostile to the workers and sustain that hostility already equipped with arms. He who forgets about the dual nature of the peasantry is not a Marxist. The advanced workers must be taught to distinguish from among “communist” labels and banners the actual social processes.

    The activities of the “Red armies” must be attentively followed, and the workers must be given a detailed explanation of the course, significance, and perspectives of the peasant war; and the immediate demands and the tasks of the proletariat must be tied up with the slogans for the liberation of the peasantry.

    On the bases of our own observations, reports, and other documents we must painstakingly study the life processes of the peasant armies and the rgime established in the regions occupied by them; we must discover in living facts the contradictory class tendencies and clearly point out to the workers the tendencies we support and those we oppose.

    We must follow the interrelations between the Red armies and the local workers with special care, without overlooking even the minor misunderstandings between them. Within the framework of isolated cities and regions, conflicts, even if acute, might appear to be insignificant local episodes. But with the development of events, class conflicts may take on a national scope and lead the revolution to a catastrophe, i.e., to a new massacre of the workers by the peasants, hoodwinked by the bourgeoisie. The history of revolutions is full of such examples.

    The more clearly the advanced workers understand the living dialectic of the class interrelations of the proletariat, the peasantry, and the bourgeoisie, the more confidently will they seek unity with the peasant strata closest to them, and the more successfully will they counteract the counter-revolutionary provocateurs within the peasant armies themselves as well as within the cities.

    2. What assistance China got from the SU? If you will examine the facts you will discover that the cost of industrial products the SU offered to China after the Maoists came to power was extremely high and it was cheaper to buy them for example trucks in Hong Kong.

    3. How could the Law of Value not in operation when the workers were paid a salary?
    I already point to you that you confuse mode of production and forms of property’s ownership. The working class was exploited from 1949 and on and not from 1992.
    You wrote that you missed the history of class struggle in China by accident but if the LOV was not in operation what do you think were most of the struggle about?

    .
    As I pointed out to you are turning the Stalinists characterized by Trotsky as counter revolutionaries into force that creates a workers state-the dictatorship of the proletariat.
    Your version of history is that what the Mensheviks could not do in 1917 the Stalinists were able to do in 1949-create a workers and peasant government in the sense Marxists understand this demand- the dictatorship of the proletariat.

    Trotsky pointed out that even if the reformists would break under tremendous pressures from the capitalists what they will create is not the dictatorship of the proletariat but a step toward it. The confusion between what the counter revolutionaries can do and the actual need for a workers revolution is deadly theoretical and political poison for those who want to fight for the socialist revolution.

    Trotsky specifically in his writing in defense of Marxism over the question of Poland rejected the idea that the Stalinist bureaucracy was a revolutionary agency.

    “My remark that the Kremlin with its bureaucratic methods gave an impulse to the socialist revolution in Poland, is converted by Shachtman into an assertion that in my opinion a ‘bureaucratic revolution’ of the proletariat is presumably possible. This is not only incorrect but disloyal. My expression was rigidly limited. It is not the question of ‘bureaucratic revolution’ but only a bureaucratic impulse. To deny this impulse is to deny reality. The popular masses in western Ukraine and Byelo Russia, in any event, felt this impulse, understood its meaning, and used it to accomplish a drastic overturn in property relations. A revolutionary party which failed to notice this impulse in time and refused to utilize it would be fit for nothing but the ash can.”

    (In Defense of Marxism, p. 130.

    Trotsky credited the “socialist revolution” before the
    war to the masses, not the Stalinists. You credit the Stalinists with this task. No other than Shachtman in 1939 attributed this monstrous idea to Trotsky and the Pabloites after the WWII took it from Shactman not from Trotsky.

    It is interesting that you claim that the Maoist in the 1950s were able to do not only what Trotsky did not think possible, but what they did not do in the 1930s when they controlled huge territory The “Chinese Soviet Republic” in Kiangsi. Why did they not according to your theory formed a workers state than? Or did they and Trotsky simply did not understand what he saw and wrote in 1932?

    Here is what Trotsky wrote in 1930:

    “The Stalinist press is filled with communications about a ‘soviet government’ established in vast provinces of China under the protection of a Red army. Workers in many countries are greeting this news with excitement. Of course! The establishment of a soviet government in a substantial part of China and the creation of a Chinese Red army would be a gigantic success for the international revolution. But we must state openly and clearly: this is not yet true.
    “Despite the scanty information which reaches us from the vast areas of China, our Marxist understanding of the developing process enables us to reject with certainty the Stalinist view of the current events. It is false and extremely dangerous for the further development of the revolution….

    “When the Stalinists talk about a soviet government established by the peasants in a substantial part of China, the not only reveal their credulity and superficiality; they obscure and misrepresent the fundamental problem of the Chinese revolution. The peasantry, even the most revolutionary, cannot create an independent government; it can only support the government of another class, the dominant urban class. The peasantry at all decisive moments follows either the bourgeoisie or the proletariat…. This means that the peasantry is unable to organize a soviet system on its own. The same holds true for an army. More than once in China, and in Russia and in other countries too, the peasantry has organized guerrilla armies, connected to a local province and incapable of centralized strategic operations on a large scale. Only the predominance of the proletariat in the decisive industrial and political centers of the country creates the necessary basis for the organization of a Red army and for the extension of a soviet system into the countryside. To those unable to grasp this, the revolution remains a book closed with seven seals.

    ” (“Manifesto on China of the International Left Opposition,” Leon Trotsky on China, pp. 476-480

    yossi schwartz

    July 28, 2008 at 12:24 pm

  7. The great peace show in the Middle East and the theory of the defornmed workers state

    In contrast to the reformists who separate between the good or at least less evil imperialist peace and the bad imperialist war, those who know history are aware of the fact that the imperialist peace is a preparation for an imperialist war.
    Any one who knows the history of the Middle East is aware of the fact that in preparation of Israel attack on Lebanon in 1982, Begin made peace with Egypt. Later on he received of course a Nobel price for his war.
    Usually however the Zionist politicians are not as stupid as saying aloud that they want to make peace with one Arab state in order to attack another state in the region. Lately however the Israeli states is run by half geniuses ( IQ of 60 points) . The president of Israel Katzab was so stupid as to inform on himself that he is a sex offender who is supposedly afraid of black mailing by one of his victims. Olmert is another such great mind who is saying openly that Israel wants to make peace with Syria in order to separate Syria from Iran and from Hezbollah, in preparation of Israel plans to attack Iran. We are informed of it by Haaretz: “Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he was pleased with the measures and with the negotiations with Syria. He predicted that Israel’s talks with Damascus will soon cause Syria to come into conflict with Hezbollah and Iran. Olmert said that when Syria reaches that crossroad it will have to decide which direction to pursue” Olmert also challenged Hezbollah saying:” Olmert said that he expects Hezbollah to try and avenge the death of top figure Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in a bomb blast in February in Damascus that has been attributed to Israel”.

    .
    Assad on hi side is showing “good will”-proving to the Zionists and the US imperialists that he is a loyal servant by carrying out a number of actions. We learn this from the same source:

    “Senior officials in Jerusalem confirmed Monday that Syria has carried out a number of measures in recent weeks that reflect that it is taking talks with Israel seriously.

    The sources refused to say whether they were referring to such measures as lowering the alert levels of the Syrian army or stemming the flow of arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon through its territory, but they did say that the effects of the measures were tangible”

    In another article they mentioned that Syria is preventing the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah

    . Assad who is another half genius rush to help Olmert in this time of Olmert worse political crisis because he knows that the next Israeli government will be led by Binyamin Netanyahu The reason he is half wit is that he should know that what ever agreement he will make with Olmert will not be worth a penny and not be honored by Netanyahu.
    Assad wants to overcome this problem by having another imperialist state involved in the talk. It cold be the US or France, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
    Meanwhile, Syria’s Ambassador to the U.S., Imad Moustapha, Monday told the American branch of Peace Now that a peace deal with Israel, Syria and Lebanon was possible.

    “Let’s sit down, make peace and end this war status once and for all,” Moustapha said. He later added that Israel had an opportunity to make peace with Lebanon at the same time.

    Moustapha, a senior Syrian policymaker, is considered close to Assad

    Some of the readers may be remember the great Pabloits theory of the Arab Revolution. A theory that claimed that not the Arab working class revolution will unite the region, but the local radical petit bourgeois nationalists –like Nasserism and the Baathism ( like Assad). History is proving once again that revisionism that destroyed the FI is no more than middle class nonsense. Today the same forces who tailed the Nasserites and the Baathists are tailing forces like Chaves in Venezuela, the PPP in Pakistan, the CMD in Zimbabwe and idealized Che Guevara and Castro and their version of Stalinism.
    Yes we will defend Syria against imperialist attacks and yes we will defend Cuba against imperialist attacks and demand the end of the sanctions. However this is very different from spreading illusions in any form of middle class “socialism” or Deformed workers state. Those who do not recall the IMT and CWI Great theories included the theory that Syria is a deformed workers state because Assad the father nationalized the economy

    yossi schwartz

    July 29, 2008 at 9:53 am

  8. Yossi,

    You don’t understand Trotsky’s main point about Poland etc., that these invasions were in defence of workers property. This was the ‘impulse’ that mobilised workers and peasants, even lacking organisation and party, despite the counter-revolutionary role of the bureaucracy and Red Army. Do you think they should have said, “sorry, we are not ready to expropriate the bourgeosie yet, we do not agree that the bureaucracy do it either because we don’t agree that they can defend workers property by their counter-revolutionary methods. If the bourgeoisie are to be expropriated, and workers property defended against imperialisim, then we have to wait until we are ready.”

    Trotsky recognised this when he said the priority was defend workers property and then when you are strong enough overthrow the bureaucracy, but of course that will not be possible without world socialist revolution which was always the main priority.

    In China the same would apply. Do you think that the workers in the cities that had their leaders killed by the KMT and were oppressed by the PLA, would have turned their backs on the peasant war of liberation and said ” sorry, this is not how Trotsky said it should happen writing in the early 1930s. First we have to win over the poor peasants and expose the rich peasants, and then make a permanent revolution”?

    No, while the workers were powerless to intervene in the war of liberation in the leadership, their ‘impulse’ would have been to side with the war against the landlords and imperialism, despite their repression, because that revolution was forced by the mass of poor peasants, and the actual soviet support in arming the PLA in this war, to similtaneously kick out the imperialists and the KMT.

    In the same way that Trotsky anticipated the buffer states in EE, Lenin and Trotsky had much earlier anticipated the ‘revolution in the East’ as making the possibility of realising socialism in the SU stronger in the absence of the victorious German revolution.

    The reason why you fail to see this and disallow the historic gain of the Chinese revolution which was only possible on the back of the Bolshevik revolution is because you say the counter-revolution has already happened in the SU by 1939. We keep coming back to the reasons you say that Trotsky was wrong in failing to see that the SU had succumbed to counter-revolution during the last years of his life.

    Your argument about workers property is one based on market exchange. You say that the LOV always existed in the SU so that market exchange was the allocator of prices. Workers are paid a wage in China you say so this must mean the LOV operates. The only thing that determines if workers property exists is whether workers control the state directly and influence the market exchange so that workers do not get exploited.
    Once the bureaucracy has substituted itself for the workers in the state, then it gets its privileges by means unequal exchange. For you this happened as the result of the civil war 1936-39. That made the bureaucracy state capitalists, and the property form is no longer workers property.

    However, Trotsky had a different view of workers property. It resulted from workers expropriation of bourgeois property and the suppression of the capitalist market as the main mechanism for allocating prices and its replacement by planning. The LOV is suppressed, though it survives or is revived in part as an incentive to production but under the overall control of the plan. This was Lenin’s concept of ‘state capitalism’ which for him signified the very rudimentary state of the plan and its ability to develop the forces of production in a backward and isolated workers state.

    With the usurpation of workers control of the state by the bureaucracy this resulted in degeneration of the workers state as the bureaucracy could extract its privileges by manipulating the allocation of prices and incomes. But the inequality that resulted was not due to the LOV or the market, so the ‘exploitation’ of workers was not class exploitation, rather caste exploitation. As long as the bureaucracy was forced to extract its privileges from workers property, and unable to privatise this property as its own property, the degenerated workers property remained.

    This was the situation in 1940 when Trotsky was still alive. He made unconditional defence of workers property the litmus test for revolutionaries. Despite the role of the statlinists in suppressing revolutionary movements around the world, this was not qualitatively different from the ‘fascist’ methods used in defence of ‘socialism in one country’ in Trotsky’s time.

    The class significance of the workers state degenerate at birth in EE and China, Vietnam, Cuba etc was recognised by the imperialists. The expropriation of bourgeois property was a defeat for world imperialism and a gain for the world revolution, not because of Stalin, but because as Hitler realised, Trotsky. It created an opening for the political revolution to get rid of the bureaucracy as part of the world revolution.

    The problem was not that the stalinists overthrew workers property, it was the failure of the 4th to build a revolutionary international that could unite the workers and poor peasants to fight the political revolution.

    Those who must take responsiblity for this are both the Stalinophiles who liquidated themselves into the bureaucracy as cheerleaders of the Stalinists or national bourgeosies as ‘unconscious trotskyists’, and the Stalinophobes who abandoned the unconditional defence of the DWSs, in their degenerated form, because the bureaucracy was credited with having already defeated the gains of 1917 and could never as a Bonapartist bureaucracy, be forced to expropriate the bourgeoisie in the absence of a workers vanguard and workers party. The most they could do would be to repeat the defeat in the SU of 1939 and install themselves as state capitalists.

    Both Stalinophiles and Stalinophobes abandoned the political revolution as part of the world socialist revolution, adapting to the stalinists or isolating themselves from the task of uniting workers and poor peasants to overthrow the bureaucracy. The result was the collapse of the 4th international its manifest betrayals, and ultimately the victory of the counter-revolutions in the 1980s-1990s as the world historical defeat of the international proletariat.

    In Cuba today this acid test remains separating the trenches between real revolutionaries and Stalinophiles and Stalinophobes who adapt to Castro, or isolate themselves from the Cuban and LA masses who recognise the gains of workers property in Cuba that are currently under threat of restoration, and with it the historic defeat of the revolution in LA and the world.

    Dave Brown

    raved

    July 30, 2008 at 1:59 am

  9. Yossi: When you left the IMT, I was at sympathizer status here in Minneapolis. I reprinted some of your writing at my blog at various times. I wasn’t involved in discussions, when you left. You are always welcome at my blog.

    It’s confusing and sad reading your comments. The positions you denounce, are the ones you articulated very well.

    Do you still support the Israeli Labor Party and Histadrut, as points for entryism.

    DB: You give Mao too much credit. The myth is that PLA led the fight against the Japanese. In reality Chiang Kai-Shek’s forces did most of the fighting, while Mao’s sat it out. There were even battles where the Japanese combined with Mao’s forces.

    Mao’s main philosophy was nihilism. He enjoyed seeing people die. He never was involved in a peasant struggle, until he was 32 yrs old. To him the most oppressed were middle class intellectuals.

    During the Long March, Mao was carried on a litter.

    Your posts are manifestos, and require manifestos to answer. It’s hard if someone stumbles on this blog, to comment. The IMT can be critiqued, because it’s involved with campaigns as Hands Off Venezuela.

    Renegade Eye

    July 30, 2008 at 6:56 am

  10. While you keep arguing that the Red army was the vanguard of the working class, Churchill wrote in his memorial of Yalta meeting:

    “The moment was apt for business, so I said ‘Let us settle about our affairs in the Balkans. Your armies are in Rou-mania and Bulgaria. We have interests, missions and agents there. Don’t let us get at cross-purposes in small ways. So far as Britain and Russia are concerned, how would it do for you to have 90 per cent predominance in Roumania, for us to have 90 per cent of the say in Greece, and go 50-50 about Yugoslavia?’ While this was being translated, I wrote on a half sheet of paper: Roumania: Russia 90% – The others 10% Greece: Great Britain 90% – Russia 10% Yugoslavia: 50-50% Hungary: 50-50% Bulgaria: Russia 75% – The others 25% I pushed this across to Stalin, who had by then heard the translation. There was a slight pause. Then he took his pencil and made a large tick upon it, and passed it back to us. It was all settled in no more time than it takes to set down … After this there was a long silence. The pencilled paper lay on the centre of the table. At length I said, ‘Might it not be thought rather cynical if it seemed we had disposed of these issues, so fateful to millions of people, in such an off-hand manner? Let us burn the paper.’ ‘No, you keep it,’ said Stalin”
    This seems as a very typical imperialist deal would you not say so?

    Did Trotsky or the Polish Leninist Bolsheviks claimed like you that the Stalinists will transformed the Polish capitalist state into a workers state? Trotsky is dead and can not defend himself against this monstrous slander and the attempt to destroy his revolutionary work against the Stalinist counter revolution.

    In reality in contrast to the Pabloites the genuine Marxists at the time of Stalin-Hitler agreement even though were under the wrong impression that the SU was still a workers state did not spread the illusions you push in the political nature of the Stalinist army as the vanguard of the working class. They knew they were counter revolutionaries whose tasks is not to transformed society but to defeat and smash the working class movement to maintain capitalism. They understood it already in 1934 as the conclusion of the debacle of the working class due to the Stalinists counter revolutionary role, the same role as the Social Democracy since 1914

    In Warsaw the Bolshevik-Leninists printed Przeglad Marksistowski (Marxist Review). In this cahier an article appeared entitled `Poland and the international revolution’. It clearly formulated the ideas of the movement as regards affairs in Poland. Concerning the demagogy and cynicism of the slogans about the independence of Poland we read:

    `”We cannot talk about national Socialism in Poland. He who has subjugated his own people cannot liberate other nations. He who tramples upon social justice in his own land cannot introduce social justice anywhere else. But isn’t the hypocrisy of the “democracies”, the fighters against Fascism, any less then? The “holy disgust” of the imperialist democracies of the west against German barbarism is relatively recent. One clear and indisputable fact about their lack of military preparation proves that they did not want, and were not prepared for, their war with Hitler, but rather that they had attempted to recreate a Germany responsive to their wishes, a Germany that would be the gendarme of counter-revolution in a revolutionary Europe, and attempted to direct its energy along anti-Soviet lines – not expecting that Hitler might do this independently of their wishes and at a time of his own choosing. We are not fighting for a change of masters – even though under the conditions of foreign occupation our “possessing classes” have not renounced their right to exploit and oppress their own people – but for the overthrow of all servitude and oppression.

    “`For Poland to be Poland”, a true mother country for the working people, and not a bourgeois swindle and a capitalist country, “it needs a world revolution”, in the countries of imperialist democracy as well as of Fascist barbarism. These words of Mochnackiego from a hundred years ago, which are also our declaration of faith, also describe our feelings towards the Soviets. We are not waiting for any almighty visitations from the east. In this deformed, degenerated workers’ state the coming revolution will have to conduct many painful operations to heal the deep wounds of Stalin’s Thermidor. For this reason the Soviet toiling masses will have to renew their links with the Socialist brotherhood of the proletariat of the leading western countries that were broken by the counter-revolutionary policies of “Socialism in One Country”.’

    The Review also took up a position with regard to the coming Russo-German conflict. The article `1 May 1941′ that appeared in issue no 7, April/May 1941 began by stating that:

    `The pact between Stalin and Hitler August 1939 is the ugliest atrocity that has ever been committed against the proletariat by a workers’ party. Hitler’s victories during the current war have only been possible because of this pact. Stalin is dripping with blood, and not only the blood of those murdered by him …the Polish proletariat does not await freedom at the hands of Stalin. We do not want Stalinist “freedom”. We do not want to be joined to the Russia of today, the prison-house of all its nations and concentration camp for revolutionaries. We are fighting for a free Soviet Poland which will by its own volition take rightful place in the family of United European Soviet Republics”.

    Were the Stalinists any thing other than counter revolutionaries the ” Red Army” would have joined and support the working class uprising in Warsaw uprising against the German occupation army and regime in August 1944. This did not happen but the Stalinist army waited 15 miles away while the working class poorly armed under reformist leadership hoping for the support of the Stalinist army uprising in Warsaw was smashed. Although the military command was in the hands of members of the pre-war Polish army like General Bor-Komorowski, mass popular organizations, like the Polish Socialist Party (PPS) and the Peasant Party played an important role.

    Contrary to the Stalinist usual lie they used in each working class uprising in East Europe this was not a white uprising – the forces of the extreme right were small and organized in a separate organization, the NSZ.

    This Stalinist lie is exposed by the fact that at the time the Communist organization in Poland, the Union of Polish Patriots, itself put out calls for the insurrection.

    Appeal of the Union of Polish Patriots broadcast by Moscow Radio, 29 July 1944. Quoted in Gluckstein, op. cit., p.144, cf. also appeal of the UPP radio, Radio Kosciuszko, the day before the rising began: ‘Peoples of Warsaw to arms. Attack the Germans … Assist the Red Army in crossing the Vistula’, quoted in “Manchester Guardian”, 22 August 1944.

    The Communist paper “Armia Ludowa” stated: ‘The armed uprising has found the support of the broadest masses of Warsaw’s people, quite independently of who started it and for what purpose, and that is its strength.’

    Armia Ludowa”, 15 August 1944, quoted in Gluckstein, op. cit., p.148.

    As it was, the Russian forces stood back while the Germans put down the rising. After 63 days Warsaw fell. The city had been systematically destroyed, house by house, 240,000 of its inhabitants had been killed and another 630,000 deported. In this way the revolutionary insurgency of the mass of Poles was destroyed before the Russian troops eventually took the city early in 1945

    And after the smashing of the Polish working class uprising did the Stalinists formed as you claim a workers state in 1945?

    I have the reasons to believe that according to your scheme this happened only in 1948-9 and until than Poland like East Europe remained capitalist states with popular front government. In Romania the Stalinists went as far as returning the King Peter.

    Than according to your scheme very peacefully from above without the repressed and exploited working class the Stalinist transferred the capitalist state to a workers state. This is pure reformist theory that Kautsky would recognized as its own.
    As I wrote to you already you are turning the counter revolutionary Stalinists to revolutionaries who could do what the Mensheviks and the SR could not do in 1917.

    And what a kind of a workers states! . You label Poland and the rest of East Europe deformed workers states to indicate that the working class did not make a revolution nor controlled the state. Yet by claiming that the Law of Value did not operate you turned these buffer states not to “healthy” workers states- the transition to socialist society but to SOCIALISM OR OCMMUNISM. An echo of Stalin’s claims.

    yossi schwartz

    July 30, 2008 at 10:16 am

  11. Dear renegade

    1.Do you agree with Fred and Dekel article on the Middle East about two weeks ago where they characterize Israel as another imperialist satellite in the Middle East?
    To make my question fully understood :
    a/ Is Israel and Egypt or Iran on the same level as Israel?
    b/ Are Egypt and Iran imperialist states?
    c. Are Egypt and Iran settler colonialist states?
    d. is Israel a settler colonialist society similar to the South African Apartheid and an imperialist state?

    2. You asked me whether I still support the IMT position of enteryism into the Zionist Labor party ? Let me ask you the same question : Do you support the idea of enteryism into the Zionist Labor Party?

    My answer is no We do not support the wrong concept of the IMT, We did it in the past and gave critical support to the Leadership of the Labor Party for about 3 weeks. We broke away from it shortly after we accepted the IMT great idea . Since you read my article on the IMT web please seek my answer to this question I wrote on our critical support for the Zionist Labor Party as a reply to the Argentine PO.

    Speaking about entryism are you for 50 years entryism into the labor party in Britian?
    Do you think the Trotsky’s short term entryism under very specific conditions is the same as 50 years entryism into the Labor party with the claim that it can be reformed?
    Do you think that the Labor party can be turned into a revolutionary party? Do you accept the line “Labor on a socialist program”? Do you think the Labor party can adopted a socialist program? If you do, don’t you think that this position is in full opposition to Lenin analysis of the need for a third International and Trotsky call for a Fourth International, rather than try and reform the reformists?

    3. The Histadruth is more complicated question as we are for working with the lower body of the Histadruth- the Labor committees but at the same time we support the idea of democratic independnent Trade Unions instead of the Histadruth that their nucleus are in the process of being form by the Palestinians in Israel and sooner or later will join the existing Palestinians TU and the ones that will be formed in the future

    yossi schwartz

    July 30, 2008 at 10:17 am

  12. Renegade Eye
    I will be happy to write and post on your site an article on the real historical development of the IMT from the 1930’s at the time they refused to enter the Forth International for local nationalist reasons to the political support to British imperialism during the WWII to their romance with Pablo after the destruction of the FI up to their popular front politics in Pakistan and Venezuela, if you promise me not to remove it from your site but debate it point by point.

    yossi schwartz

    July 30, 2008 at 10:26 am

  13. “While you keep arguing that the Red army was the vanguard of the working class”

    I don’t you are making this up.

    “Did Trotsky or the Polish Leninist Bolsheviks claimed like you that the Stalinists will transformed the Polish capitalist state into a workers state? Trotsky is dead and can not defend himself against this monstrous slander and the attempt to destroy his revolutionary work against the Stalinist counter revolution.”

    I don’t say they did.Therefore I do not slander Trotsky. But the method Trotsky used in defence of Poland was that it was an extension of the USSR. We can use that method to characterise the post-war DWSs. You on the other hand thinik that the Red Army defence of workers property was in fact an act of imperialist barbarism. That is the slander of Trotsky.

    “Than according to your scheme very peacefully from above without the repressed and exploited working class the Stalinist transferred the capitalist state to a workers state. This is pure reformist theory that Kautsky would recognized as its own.
    As I wrote to you already you are turning the counter revolutionary Stalinists to revolutionaries who could do what the Mensheviks and the SR could not do in 1917”

    Nothing peaceful. Stalinists were counter-revolutionary and repressed the workers in the USSR and in the buffer states. But as Trotsky said, they did it to extend workiers property on which they depended as a bureaucracy. Insofar as they did this, and insofar as workers could not overthrow them, then the unconditional defense of workers property was part of the world social revolution. We can call this the lesser evil if that helps you to understand this.

    You want to turn this dialectical position into a black and white situation and say that the Stalinists are so evil NOTHING the Stalinists did could be defended. You want to abstain from the political revolution to wait for the social revolution.

    You might as well say: “too bad we cannot bloc with the Stalinists to defend workers property because they are objects of intense hatred to Western liberals who never fought to win workers property in the first place, and so don’t care about its defence.”

    Such Stalinophobia is a petty bourgeois liquidation of the political revolution as I said in my last post that is responsible, along with Stalinophilia, for abandoning the defence of workers property and responsible for the world historic defeat of capitalist restoration in the DWS.

    For the moment this will be my last response to you on this subject.

    raved

    July 31, 2008 at 3:54 am

  14. Yossi: My blog started before I was an activist. I have maybe the only socialist blog, with mostly rightist commenters. I had trouble explaining Stalinism is conservative, considering how normal people use it. My blog is not written to discuss disagreements in theory, amongst Trotskyists, with so many rightist commenters. I have Kahanists who leave comments. Dave I’m sure agrees. I do post many articles from IMT. I invite you to disagree. My blog is not the place, to argue the history of IMT. In addition to me, Marxist from Lebanon, John Peterson, Iranian feminist Maryam Namazie etc contribute. My blog has a hard time, to get revolutionary socialists to comment. I have anarchists, liberals, postmodernists, feminists, Maoists, Zionists, extreme rightists etc.

    I posted the article saying Israel, was a US satellite. That perspective helps fight the Jewish conspiracy types, that AIPAC rules America. Israel is to the Middle East as Colombia, is to LA.

    Popular front? What are you saying? I will discuss this with JP, when he returns from Barcelona. Entryism is different than a pop front.

    Did Trotsky advocate entryism as a one time tactic? In the classic sense yes. Is it wrong to use, as we do? No. The masses when in motion will not turn first to the IMT.

    I’m not opposed to entryism into the British Labor Party. We’ll probably be in it another 30 years. Join RESPECT?

    I don’t understand what you mean about British imperialism after WWII?

    The Labor Party in the UK, can be made more democratic. Above all people can be recruited from it. In the US we have no labor party. for us it’s our 1917, if we had one.

    Do you have a website or blog?

    Regards.

    Renegade Eye

    July 31, 2008 at 5:05 am

  15. Like in any case we have to use the dialectical method and trace this question from the very beginning.

    The degeneration of the FI and the IMT

    A. The historical development of Trotskyism up to end of WWII

    The so called Trotskyist movement was in reality the working class revolutionary struggle against the capitalist world system in decay and in particular the struggle to build a revolutionary leadership against the growing decay of the Stalinists moving from centrism to reformism and from material benefits based on their positions in the isolated workers state to the destruction of the same workers state while turning themselves into a new capitalist ruling class.

    The history of the Left opposition led by Trotsky in Russia and internationally can be divided into two main periods.
    A. The struggle to reform the Third International from 1924-34,( The questions of China, Britian, North Africa-The Moslems rebellion, the struggle against Fascism)
    B. The struggle against to form the revolutionary alternative to the Commintern 1934-1938( The questions of the Popular front in particular in Spain , the defense of non imperialist states in particular Abyssinia and China. The coming war)

    It is important to grasp what is the meaning of the decision to organize an alternative International. Like the decision of Lenin and Trotsky and other revolutionaries to build a Third International it means that the petit bourgeois formations are not only incapable of leading the working class to power but that they are a counter revolutionary obstacle that must be removed from the political map.
    The United front tactics and entryism as a particular application of this tactic was not simply to build a wide front of the working class but a method to struggle to take over this front and in the way to destroy the reformist’s traitors. “To support them as the rope support the hanged man” as Lenin put it

    The problem was that the tiny revolutionary movement was isolated and its isolation grew as the Social Democrats and the Stalinists led the workers movement from one defeat to another.
    At the time the FI was formed in `1938 there were may be 5000 members in the entire revolutionary movement. Close to half of them in the US.

    The FI was based on the perspective and the expectations that .following the war, a titanic revolutionary wave will turned the FI into a massive revolutionary movement able to finish the capitalist system in the imperialist states and in the semi colonial states and burry the Stalinists counter revolution if they will survive the war.

    Such a revolutionary wave did happen but it was not strong enough and the “democratic” imperialists and the Stalinists were able to defeat this wave. Following the defeat of this revolutionary wave the capitalist ruling class were able to sustain the stability of the system and had an economic boom until the end of the 1960s.

    In that period the middle class grew significantly in the imperialist countries and in some semi colonial countries and the Trotskyist movement cynical about the working class built its ties to the middle class and became the political expression of this class . They build in many countries their connection to imperialism trough the social democracy and in Britian through the Labor party.
    Many who consider themselves Trotskyists know of course of the Shachtmanites and their betrayal of the working class revolution .on the eve of the WWI. But it was not only the wing of Max Shachtman that came under the pressure of the “Democratic” imperialists, but other groups like the SWP itself that during the war took the position of turning the war against a war against Fascism rather than against ALL imperialists.

    Another tendency that capitulate to the same pressure were the IKD who advocate the “historical retrogression” meaning that history retreated so badly that on the agenda democratic bourgeois revolutions only.( Later on following the collapse of the USSR the Lambertists adopted this view once again)

    This is the origin of the adaptation not only to Social Democracy and Laborism but to the concept that other forces other than the working class can transformed society and form the deformed workers states. A gross adaptation to Stalinism and in the case of the IMT and the CWI this adaptation became generalized and applied to any capitalist state that nationalized the economy. They counted states like Syria, Ethiopia, Burma, Eden, in addition to East Europe, China, North Korea, Vietnam and Cuba among the workers states, albeit deformed.
    Before we will deal with the period 1945-1953, when the FI passed from reformist theories to the open betray of the working class by supporting and participation in popular fronts, a few words on the particular development of the IMT led by Ted Grant.

    B The historical development of the RCL –WIL

    In Britain, the organization Grant led, which was known as the Revolutionary Socialist League in private and the Militant Tendency in public, trained young people in the reformist political outlook of the Labor Party. This was long before the Pabloites adopted the same reformist perspective after the WWII. It was even before Max Shachtman split criminally the SWP.

    Grant put his tactic of enteryism into the labor party as a supreme principal above internationalism. He was approached to join the FI before it was formed and he refused because of this tactic. The following is Ted Grant account:
    The role of Cannon
    In the middle of 1938 plans were being laid by the International Secretariat in Paris for the first World Congress, the founding congress of the Fourth International. Since 1933, Trotsky had raised the idea of a new International to replace the bankrupt Internationals of the Stalinists and reformists as a weapon for world revolution. Throughout the 1930s, Trotsky sought to prepare the ground for its launch. However, whereas the other Internationals were born in a period of working class advance and revolution, the Fourth International was being formed in a period of colossal defeats and retreat for the working class. Nevertheless, the founding of the Fourth International in 1938 was directly linked to the perspective of world war and revolutionary upheavals. On the basis of this perspective, Trotsky forecast that within ten years not one stone upon another would be left of the old organisations, and that the Fourth International would become the dominant force on the planet.

    As a prelude to the founding Congress of the Fourth International in Paris, James Cannon, the leader of the American Trotskyists and delegate to the World Congress, came over from the United States to prepare the ground for a unified Trotskyist organisation in Britain. He imagined that he was going to brush away the differences and unify the movement in one fell swoop. At that time, there existed three separate groups claiming Trotskyist roots in the London area, and one in Scotland. There was the Militant Group, the Revolutionary Socialist League, the Revolutionary Socialist Party, and ourselves, the WIL. The RSP was a split-off from the Socialist Labour Party, a largely sectarian organisation in Scotland, with remnants in Glasgow, Edinburgh and a few individuals in Yorkshire, which had moved in the direction of Trotskyism.

    So this was the state of things when Cannon came to this country. We looked up to Cannon, who had a long revolutionary history in the movement. He was the leader of the SWP and was in regular contact with Trotsky in Mexico. The comrades held him in very high regard. When we met Cannon he told us that his task was to unify the British groups before the founding congress of the Fourth International in September. That was the deadline and we couldn’t wait until everything was right in everybody’s head before carrying through this unification. For our part, we told him that we were in favour of unity, but it must be on a correct principled basis. At that time, given the fundamental differences between the groups, you had to face up to the immediate problem of how to work: entry or non-entry, independent work or work in the Labour Party. We told Cannon that before we could get unity we had to agree on one clear policy. Any united organisation would have to agree either a policy for entry or a policy for independent work

    … Cannon spoke forcefully to our members, arguing for unity at all costs. However, his arguments fell on stony ground and he failed to convince a single comrade. The WIL membership was homogeneous, firm, and clear on the unity question, both the leadership and the rank and file. We pointed out to him the weaknesses of the other groups. We said, “You haven’t had a meeting with the rank and file of the Militant Group, or with the rank and file of the RSL

    It was therefore a formula for paralysing the organisation. Cannon was furious because we refused to accept the Unity Agreement. He got up and said, “We crush splitters like beetles”. And Sara chipped in: “This is a scandal. Here is our guest comrade from the United States, and he is being treated shamefully!”

    We rejected this assertion. At this point, I intervened. “Even if Comrade Trotsky himself had come here we would have acted no differently. The need to state differences clearly is a principle of our movement, as opposed to the Stalinists. Each comrade should be allowed to say what he or she honestly believes. Shortly after the Congress, on 12 October, Cannon wrote a report to Trotsky which referred to the “Lee Group”.

    “The Militant Group in the past six months had suffered from an unfortunate split led by Lee which resulted in the creation of another group without any principled grounds for the split (the Workers International News). This could only introduce confusion and demoralisation – the more so since both groups work exclusively in the Labour Party. At the same time the Liverpool branch had withdrawn from the Militant Group on opportunistic grounds. They wanted to work in the Labour Party simply as a left wing without any international connections…”

    At the Unity Conference in London, “We carried on a strong crusade against irresponsible splits and made it clear that the international conference would do away with the possibility of a multiplicity of groups, and recognise only one section in each country’

    “The Lee group consists of about thirty, mostly youngsters, who have been deeply poisoned with personal antagonism to the leadership of the Militant Group. They attempted to obstruct the unification but were pounded mercilessly at the Unification Conference, and their ranks were badly shaken. Their attitude was condemned by the international conference.

    “Shachtman, during his visit in England, also had a session with this group. His opinion is the same as mine – that they will have to submit to the international decision and come into the united British section or suffer a split. It is only necessary for the British section to take a firm and resolute stand in regard to this group, and in no case to acknowledge its legitimacy

    Thus, in his book the unbroken tread Ted grant not only pretend that he was the main leader of the group while it was Lee, but he hardly able to hide his contempt for the FI during Trotsky’s life.

    Trotsky on his part had a very strong negative view of this group. He would not compromise with the group, since to do so would have undermined the most fundamental principle of the International. He warned the comrades of the WIL “that they are being led on a path of unprincipled clique politics which can only land them in the mire. It is possible to maintain and develop a revolutionary political grouping of serious importance only on the basis of great principles. It is possible for a national group to maintain a constant revolutionary course only if it is firmly connected in one organisation with co-thinkers throughout the world and maintains a constant political and theoretical collaboration with them. The Fourth International alone is such an organisation. All purely national groupings, all those who reject international organisation, control, and discipline, are in their essence reactionary.”
    Documents of the Fourth International, New York: Pathfinder Press, 1973, p. 270

    And indeed this reformist nationalist outlook of the RCP expressed itself very strongly during the WWII when they turned the tactic of the Military Proletarian Policy aimed at preparing to turn the solders against the officers as happened during the WWI in Russia, into its opposite. into a shameless chauvinistic position in support of British imperialism
    We learn it from Ted Grant himself from his book: We have a victorious army in North Africa and Italy, and I say, yes”, I stated to the WIL conference. “Long Live the Eighth Army, because that is our army. One of our comrades has spoken to a number of people who have had letters from the Eighth Army soldiers showing their complete dissatisfaction. We know of incidents in the army, navy and other forces that have never been reported, and it is impossible for us to report. It is our Eighth Army that is being hammered and tested and being organised for the purpose of changing the face of the world. This applies equally to all the forces.”

    Thus all later pro imperialist positions of the IMT are rooted already in the development before and during WWII. Later on we will return to them in one of the next chapters.

    C The evolution of the FI 1945-53
    The first reaction of the FI to the end of the war was that nothing was changed and they had in 1946 a perspective of a catastrophe with the same line of arguments of the Stalinist third period.
    “What is really in store is not unbounded prosperity but a short-lived boom. In the wake of the boom must come another crisis and depression which will make the 1929-32 conditions look prosperous by comparison”
    Theses on the American Revolution James p Canon, Speeches to the party.

    But the main line came from Mandel empirical reaction to the boom . He came with his theory of neo capitalism-“Late capitalism”, that totally revised the nature of our epoch as the epoch of decay of capitalism –the Lenin’s perspective.
    This new epoch according to Mandel characterized by massive state intervention into the economy, permanent armed race and high technological advance. Later on he added a cover to this reformist perspective-the long wave theory he took from Kondratiev that already Trotsky replied to him in the problem of every day life.

    This theory of the permanent armed race was picked up later on by the is theoreticians for the same reason to obscure Lenin’s analysis of our epoch.

    As a matter of fact this theory is much more in line with Kautsky and Bukharin theories of imperialism than of Lenin.

    Once the revolutionary theory of our epoch was destroyed it was easy to look for the Stalinists as the revolutionary force that can change society in total opposition to Trotsky characterization of Stalinism as counter revolutionary force.

    At the beginning James Canon was in opposition to this revisionism and wrote:”I do not think you can change the class character of a state by manipulation at the top. It can only done by a revolution which is followed by a found mental change in property relations… if you once begin to play with the idea that the class nature of a state can be changed by manipulation of the top circles, you open the door to all kinds of revisions of basic theory”.
    Bulletin, October 1949, pp 25-6

    At first the FI saw the East European states that came under the Stalinist occupation as capitalist states and for a good reason’ many capitalist held to their properties , the old parliaments were revived and known bourgeois politicians were in the new governments.( among them known fascists and in Romania the king was returned).
    The Stalinists themselves did not call these states workers states but “People Democracies” and in China the new state was called “New Democracy”.
    In 1947 Ernest Mandel still said that “We will continue until we have sufficient proof to the contrary, to consider as absurd the theories of a –degenerated workers state being installed in a country where there has been previously been a proletarian revolution”
    Mandel “The conflict in Poland, Fourth International (1947)

    At the beginning of 1948 the Stalinists took over the other working class parties, ended their coalitions with the bourgeois parties and nationalized the economy.
    Still the FI did not change its position that these were capitalist states while the SU was presumably a degenerated workers state.
    “In the “buffer” countries the state remains bourgeois: (a) Because the state structure remains bourgeois; … (b) Because the function of the state remains bourgeois. Whereas the workers’ state defends the collective ownership of the means of production, arising from a victorious socialist revolution, the state of the “buffer” countries defends property which, despite its diverse and hybrid forms, remains fundamentally bourgeois in character …

    Thus, while maintaining bourgeois function and structure, the state of the “buffer” countries represents at the same time an extreme form of Bonapartism …[Fourth International, June 1948, p.119.]

    The fact that capitalism still exists in these countries side by side with the exploitation by the Stalinist bureaucracy must fundamentally determine our strategy. The capitalist nature of these countries imposes the necessity of the strictest revolutionary defeatism in wartime. [Fourth International, p.121.]
    In the United States, the Militant of the Socialist Workers Party (Cannonites) was faced on June 29 with the same problem as the Daily Worker: how to handle an event which failed to jibe with previous notions. Its first reaction was:
    This is just a scrap between rival dictators.
    Tito and Stalin want the workers to choose between them … Regardless of what Tito and Stalin want, the workers will surely reject this trap of choosing between the type of gold braid worn in Belgrade as against the type Stalin prefers in the Kremlin. [Militant, July 19]
    Tito knows no other school of politics than Stalinism. The hands of this shady adventurer drip with the blood of hundreds of Yugoslav Trotskyists and other militants whom he murdered during the civil war in Yugoslavia. He began his service as a purger of Stalin’s political opponents as far back as 1928 … Everywhere his specialty was purging “Trotskyists.” It was precisely in this capacity as an unquestioning and willing tool of the GPU that Tito was permitted to rise to the top. [Militant, July 6]
    But On July 1 Pablo the general Secretary of the FI sent the famous open letter to Tito:.
    Comrades: …
    The official press of the Communist parties is seeking to engulf you in a flood of slanders and insults … this system of slander campaigns which has in the past destroyed so many precious forces in the labor movement. … Now you are in a position to understand … the real meaning of the Moscow Trials …

    You hold in your hands a mighty power if only you summon enough strength to persevere on the road of the socialist revolution and its program … Keep up your fight! … [The Fourth International] wants to address itself in this our first message to you not concerning those things about which we must be critical of you with regard to your past and more recent course. We wish rather to take note of the promise in your resistance – the promise of victorious resistance by a revolutionary workers’ party against … the Kremlin machine …

    Long Live the Yugoslav Socialist Revolution! …
    The Fourth International pledges itself to be the devil’s advocate:

    It [the FI] calls upon the Communist workers of all countries to send their delegations to Yugoslavia, in order to find out on the spot the real policies pursued by your party. Tomorrow it will make known your documents in twenty different languages, because a Communist cannot tolerate that militants be judged without a hearing. It asks you to permit a delegation of its leadership to attend your congress, to make contact with the Yugoslav Communist movement to knit close fraternal tics with you, which can only be of service to the world Communist movement.
    Your choice will decide for years, if not for decades, the fate of your country and its proletariat …

    On this road [if you capitulate to American imperialism] the work undertaken by your party will only come to complete ruin … [The policy we advocate] will permit you to hold out while awaiting new mass struggles, to stimulate these and to conquer with them. In closing, the Open Letter calls for nothing less than unity. Its climactic slogan is: “YUGOSLAV COMMUNISTS, LET US UNITE OUR EFFORTS FOR A NEW LENINIST INTERNATIONAL!”
    Canon warning was apt, but he also went with Pablo. The same happen with China even though Mao arrested the members of the Chinese section of the FI.

    The date question
    When did the alleged transformation occurred in 1944-45 when the Stalinist armies entered East Europe and controlled it or in 1947-8 when the old bureaucracies were replaced?
    To argue that it happened in 1947-8 contradicts the Marxist theory of the state as the state was in the hands of the Stalinist army already in 1944-45 and thus if it happen in 1947-8 it happed very peacefully. If on the other hand it happened in 1944-45 there was no change of the forms of ownership and the capitalists still held to their properties and participated in the running of the state. It turns the Stalinists to the agents of the working class at the time the Stalinist participated or allowed the smashing of the working class movement watching from aside as the Warsaw uprising was crushed.
    Such a theory is an echo of the revisionism of Bernstien that confuses the difference between reform and revolution. It revised the lesson of the Parisian Commune in 1871 and of the October revolution including Lenin’s theory of the state.
    If it happened in 1944-45 how to explain that when the Stalinist army left Finland and Eastern Austria they remained capitalists?
    Any way you look it, this theory of the deformed workers states is a volguar revisionism of the Marxist theory of the state, That the capitalist state has to be smashed to allow for a workers state.
    Thus this theory revised with one stroke of the pen not less than 3 main Marxists principles
    That only the working class can free itself and chanced society by a revolution
    That to do it it needs a while the Stalinists are counter revolutionaries.
    That to transform society the capitalist state must be smashed or in the other direction the workers state must be crashed. revolutionary vanguard leadership of the class
    The workers government.
    The Pabloites change the transition program and in particular the passage dealing with the demand on the Mensheviks and SR to break with the popular front and hold power on their own with the act of the revolution as if the reformists can under pressure to go further than they thought. But this is in opposition to history of the Russian revolution and the Lenin and Trotsky political work. The demand on the reformists to break with the Popular front in a situation of sharp crisis is to expose them and if they do break it would be only a step that will ease the making of the revolution, not the revolution itself. Once again there is a confusion between reform and revolution.
    Confusing between Trotsky and Shachtman.
    The Pabloites claim that Trotsky thought that the Stalinists can bring transformation to Poland. This is a lie and a slander, Trotsky himself wrote on this question: My remark that the kremlin with its bureaucratic methods gave an impulse to nthe socialist revolution in Poland converted by Shachtman into an assertion that in my opiopn a bureaucratic revolution of the proletarian is presumably possible, This is not only incorrect but disloyal. My expression was rigidly limited. It is not a question of bureaucratic revolution but only an impulse. To deny it, is to deny reality. The popular masses in western Ukraine and Byelorussia, in any event felt this impulse, understood its meaning and used it to accomplish a drastic over turn in property relations.
    Trotsky from a Scratch to the danger of Gangrene January 1940 in Defense of Marxism
    TROTSKY ON CHINA
    In the 1930 Trotsky who observed closely the struggle of the Maoist army did not think it can establish a workers state but upon reaching the main cities come in conflict with the revolutionary working class.

    1. Let us quote from two articles on this question: Leon Trotsky: Peasant War In China and the Proletariat (1932)
    The peasant movement has created its own armies, has seized great territories, and has installed its own institutions. In the event of further successes—and all of us, of course, passionately desire such successes—the movement will become linked up with the urban and industrial centres and, through that very fact it will come face to face with the working class. What will be the nature of this encounter? Is it certain that its character will be peaceful and friendly?
    .
    “…The grim experience of the civil war demonstrated to us the necessity of disarming peasant detachments immediately after the Red Army occupied provinces which had been cleared of the White Guards. In these cases the best, the most class-conscious and disciplined elements were absorbed into the ranks of the Red Army. But a considerable portion of the partisans strived to maintain an independent existence and often came into direct armed conflict with the Soviet power. Such was the case with the anarchist army of Makhno, entirely kulak in spirit. But that was not the sole instance; many peasant detachments, which fought splendidly enough against the restoration of the landlords, became transformed after victory into instruments of counter-revolution.
    Regardless of their origin in each isolated instance—whether caused by conscious provocation of the White Guards, or by tactlessness of the Communists, or by an unfavourable combination of circumstances—the conflicts between armed peasants and workers were rooted in one and the same social soil: the difference between the class position and training of the workers and of the peasants. The worker approaches questions from the socialist standpoint; the peasant’s viewpoint is petty bourgeois. The worker strives to socialize the property that is taken away from the exploiters; the peasant seeks to divide it up. The worker desires to put palaces and parks to common use; the peasant, insofar as he cannot divide them, inclines to burning the palaces and cutting down the parks. The worker strives to solve problems on a national scale and in accordance with a plan; the peasant, on the other hand, approaches all problems on a local scale and takes a hostile attitude to centralized planning, etc”.
    The commanding stratum of the Chinese “Red Army” has no doubt succeeded in inculcating itself with the habit of issuing commands. The absence of a strong revolutionary party and of mass organizations of the proletariat renders control over the commanding stratum virtually impossible. The commanders and commissars appear in the guise of absolute masters of the situation and upon occupying cities will be rather apt to look down from above upon the workers. The demands of the workers might often appear to them either inopportune or ill-advised.
    Nor should one forget such “trifles” as the fact that within cities the staffs and offices of the victorious armies are established not in the proletarian huts but in the finest city buildings, in the houses and apartments of the bourgeoisie; and all this facilitates the inclination of the upper stratum of the peasant armies to feel itself part of the “cultured” and “educated” classes, in no way part of the proletariat.
    Thus in China the causes and grounds for conflicts between the army, which is peasant in composition and petty bourgeois in leadership, and the workers not only are not eliminated but on the contrary, all the circumstances are such as to greatly increase the possibility and even the inevitability of such conflicts; and in addition the chances of the proletariat are far less favourable to begin with than was the case in Russia.
    From the theoretical and political side the danger is increased many times because the Stalinist bureaucracy covers up the contradictory situation by its slogan of “democratic dictatorship” of workers and peasants. Is it possible to conceive of a snare more attractive in appearance and more perfidious in essence? The epigones do their thinking not by means of social concepts, but by means of stereotyped phrases; formalism is the basic trait of bureaucracy.
    The Russian Narodniks used to accuse the Russian Marxists of “ignoring” the peasantry, of not carrying on work in the villages, etc. To this the Marxists replied: “We will arouse and organize the advanced workers and through the workers we shall arouse the peasants.” Such in general is the only conceivable road for the proletarian party.
    .”
    What then are the conclusions that follow from all this? The first conclusion is that one must boldly and openly face the facts as they are. The peasant movement is a mighty revolutionary factor insofar as it is directed against the large landowners, militarists, feudalists, and usurers. But in the peasant movement itself are very powerful proprietary and reactionary tendencies, and at a certain stage it can become hostile to the workers and sustain that hostility already equipped with arms. He who forgets about the dual nature of the peasantry is not a Marxist. The advanced workers must be taught to distinguish from among “communist” labels and banners the actual social processes.
    The activities of the “Red armies” must be attentively followed, and the workers must be given a detailed explanation of the course, significance, and perspectives of the peasant war; and the immediate demands and the tasks of the proletariat must be tied up with the slogans for the liberation of the peasantry.
    On the bases of our own observations, reports, and other documents we must painstakingly study the life processes of the peasant armies and the rgime established in the regions occupied by them; we must discover in living facts the contradictory class tendencies and clearly point out to the workers the tendencies we support and those we oppose.
    We must follow the interrelations between the Red armies and the local workers with special care, without overlooking even the minor misunderstandings between them. Within the framework of isolated cities and regions, conflicts, even if acute, might appear to be insignificant local episodes. But with the development of events, class conflicts may take on a national scope and lead the revolution to a catastrophe, i.e., to a new massacre of the workers by the peasants, hoodwinked by the bourgeoisie. The history of revolutions is full of such examples.
    The more clearly the advanced workers understand the living dialectic of the class interrelations of the proletariat, the peasantry, and the bourgeoisie, the more confidently will they seek unity with the peasant strata closest to them, and the more successfully will they counteract the counter-revolutionary provocateurs within the peasant armies themselves as well as within the cities.

    The other article is :
    The Stalinist press is filled with communications about a ’soviet government’ established in vast provinces of China under the protection of a Red army. Workers in many countries are greeting this news with excitement. Of course! The establishment of a soviet government in a substantial part of China and the creation of a Chinese Red army would be a gigantic success for the international revolution. But we must state openly and clearly: this is not yet true.
    “Despite the scanty information which reaches us from the vast areas of China, our Marxist understanding of the developing process enables us to reject with certainty the Stalinist view of the current events. It is false and extremely dangerous for the further development of the revolution….

    “When the Stalinists talk about a soviet government established by the peasants in a substantial part of China, the not only reveal their credulity and superficiality; they obscure and misrepresent the fundamental problem of the Chinese revolution. The peasantry, even the most revolutionary, cannot create an independent government; it can only support the government of another class, the dominant urban class. The peasantry at all decisive moments follows either the bourgeoisie or the proletariat…. This means that the peasantry is unable to organize a soviet system on its own. The same holds true for an army. More than once in China, and in Russia and in other countries too, the peasantry has organized guerrilla armies, connected to a local province and incapable of centralized strategic operations on a large scale. Only the predominance of the proletariat in the decisive industrial and political centers of the country creates the necessary basis for the organization of a Red army and for the extension of a soviet system into the countryside. To those unable to grasp this, the revolution remains a book closed with seven seals.

    ” (”Manifesto on China of the International Left Opposition,” Leon Trotsky on China, pp. 476-480
    entryism/entryism ‘sui generis’
    Following the decision of the Revolutionaries to build a new international to fight and replace the Second and the third international that passed to the other side, the revolutionaries used the tactic of entryism. At the time it was called the “French Turn”. In 1934 Trotsky proposed an entryism into the SFIO that as result of the victory of Hitler without any struggle by the German SDP was in deep crisis. The tactic was used for two years only. It was not used to reform the SFIO by pony arguments like SFIO on a socialist program, but on the full program. This turn brought a few recruits anf raised the section to 300 by the end of this operation. The same was used in The USA in the Socialist Party of America. Similar tactics were used in the Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Poland. Entryism was used to connect with and recruit leftward moving political currents inside radical parties.
    Part of the destruction of the FI by the Pabloites was to turn this tactic to long term strategy in order to reform the reformists calling on them to adopted socialist programs.
    The tactic is closely identified with Michel Pablo Ernest Mandel and Gerry Healy, who in the late 1940s and 1950s. The ‘deep entry’ tactic was developed not as a way to build Trotskyist parties but to adopt to these parties in particular to the Stalinists. To justify this liquidation, the cold war was presented as a world civil war between the working class led by the Soviet Stalinism and the imperialists led by the US. The main point of this document is instead of building revolutionary parties- to build the Marxist wing of the labor party and make deep entrism, sui generis into the communist parties that are not really counter revolutionaries. Trotskyists with their full program. This led to enter these parties on a minimum reformist program and train the cadres to pretend that this reformist program is the socialist program. The question of the class nature of the state disappeared and nationalization by the bourgeois state became the program. Such a tactic can lead only to the destruction of a revolutionary organization.

    a. We have made clear that the CPs are not exactly reformist parties and that under certain exceptional conditions they possess the possibility of projecting a revolutionary orientation, i.e., of seeing themselves obliged to undertake a struggle for power.

    b. In Europe, we will continue to give special attention to our work in England, Prance, Germany and Italy. Concerning England, our organization is now solid, firm and clear from all points of view in its methods of work. We will aid it to the best of our ability especially in the sphere of education and in a constant improvement of the theoretical and political level of the revolutionary Marxist wing which we want to build in the British labor movement. This movement has always inclined toward empiricism and activism; and in this connection we will revive the idea of a theoretical organ with a broader circulation.

    c. In Germany, our movement started almost from zero after the war. But it has developed and now includes an important number of militants who occupy solid positions in the revolutionary vanguard of that country. This is the result of activity which has intelligently exploited the peculiarities of the situation in Germany, the crisis of the CP and the formation of a left centrist tendency following the first favorable developments of the Yugoslav affair and its repercussions in German vanguard circles. We did not hesitate to immediately integrate ourselves in this tendency and to play a major role in its evolution

    ….The Congress will be a landmark for Latin America. It will make possible, through the discussion opened during its sessions, the settlement of a series of important questions that have been pending up to now for our movement in this area. It will advance the maturity already attained there by the evolution of a number of our cadres on the spot, and give a powerful impulse to our work in the future.

    Michel Pablo Main Report to the Congress World Trotskyism Rearms (November 1951)
    with the open letter to Tito who became the unconsciousness Trotskyist and to Mao in spite of the fact that one of his first act in power was to arrest the Trotskyites, These counter revolutionary by the reformist magic became revolutionaries who over threw capitalism and established workers states.

    There was only one way to preserve the theoretical achievements of Marxism- realizing that the SU was destroyed as a workers state on the eve of WWII. This crucial point to understand East Europe. At the beginning the FI International Secretariat declared : “the point where all progressive manifestations of the remains of the October conquest are more and more neutralized by the disastrous effects of the Stalinist dictatorship ” For a short time Ted Grant and the entire RCP accepted that the SU became a state capitalism, we learn it from the CWI that wrote on their site on July 25 2006: “At first, he leaned towards an analysis of Russia and Eastern Europe as ‘state capitalist’”
    According to the SL article the genesis of Pabloism they write: Within the SWP, the rumor circulated that Cannon was flirting with the characterization that the Soviet Union had become a totally degenerated workers state, i.e., a “state capitalist” regime-a position which Natalia Trotsky shortly embraced

    However the ideological pressures were too strong, and this essentially correct analysis of the nature of the SU since 1939 was too much and the leaders of the FI capitulated to Pablo who in the name of orthodoxy declared this theory as sacrilegious and Stalinphobia.
    Behind the mask of Orthodoxy like in the case of kautsky’s claim to Orthodoxy some thing else was hidden. The betryal of the working class revolution that began with the romance with the Stalinist Tito and the open letter the SWP in its open letter wrote:

    .”The confidence of the masses in it [“your party”] will grow enormously and it will become the effective collective expression of the interests and desires of the proletariat of its country.”

    In January 1951 Pablo published his document called “Where Are We Going?:

    “The relation of forces on the international chess-board is now evolving to the disadvantage of imperialism.

    An epoch of transition between capitalism and socialism, an epoch which has already begun and is quite advanced….This transformation will probably take an entire period of several centuries and will in the meantime be filled with forms and regimes transitional between capitalism and socialism and necessarily deviating from ‘pure’ forms and norms.

    The objective process is in the final analysis the sole determining factor, overriding all obstacles of a subjective order”

    To be sure that what he has in his mind was the liquidation of the FI into the Stalinist parties Pablo wrote:

    “The Communist Parties retain the possibility in certain circumstances of roughly outlining a revolutionary orientation”

    In other words no need for the subjective element-the revolutionary working class as the Stalinists whom Trotsky characterized as counter revolutionaries would do the job.
    This perspective led to his known liquidation strategy the policy of entrism sui generis” we can find in his document :The coming War:

    “In order to integrate ourselves into the real mass movement, to work and to remain in the masses’ trade unions for example, ‘ruses’ and ‘capitulations’ are not only acceptable but necessary”.

    The application of Pablo’s policy of “entrism sui generis” was elaborated in the Austrian Commission

    “The activity of our members in the SP will be governed by the following directives: A. Not to come forward as Trotskyists with our full program. B. Not to push forward programmatic and principled questions….”
    Genesis of Pabloism

    THE END OF THE FI
    The end of the FI as a revolutionary force came with the support for the popular front of the MNR in Bolivia is the early 1950s . This is the red line that the Party that pass it can not go back. From than on they were more support for popular fronts in Sri Lanka and in Chile, With this reformism the FI fell apart first by a split between the Internal Committee and the International Secretary. In the 1960 the American SWP joined the IS and created the Unified International Secretariat that mean time the SWP left. The process of split upon split and the more they try to unite the more they split, This of course testified to the class nature as only the working class can build an International.
    THE IMT REJOIN THE PABLOITES

    Now when the FI was destroyed as a world revolutionary party the Ted Grant group joined the Pablo wing of the FI where the Granites remained until 1965.

    From him they learned not to expend even more the revisions regarding deformed workers states, Now it was not only the counter revolutionary Stalinists but even army officers and populist parties. By 1978 their list of the DWS including in addition to East Europe China and Cuba states like Syria, Burma, Eden Ethiopia. Not only this but Grant developed his own version of deep entrism into the labor party. TED GRANT DEEP ENTRYISM While Grant had initially stood with those opposed Pablo’s form of entryism into the Labour Party, by 1948 Grant was part of Healy’s organization known as “the Group” in the Labour Party which operated in a semi-clandestine manner. Its public face was the journal Socialist Outlook, which presented itself as a platform for various left reformists, including the Bevanites in the Labour Party, and figures from the trade union bureaucracy. Grant was only to enjoy membership of the Group for a brief time before he was expelled by Healy.
    Grant’s document, “Problems of Entrism”, began by recognising that the conditions which led to Trotsky’s original premise for urging an entry tactic back in the 1930s – severe crisis and radicalised workers surging into the social democratic parties in Europe – were not present. But when the predicted crisis did finally arrive, it would inevitably drive the mass of workers into membership of the Labour Party. The task of revolutionaries was to embed themselves within Labour and wait, preparing for this mass influx which would then elevate the “Marxists” to the leadership of the party.
    Where Trotsky had argued that entry needed to be carried out on the basis of an open fight for the full revolutionary programme, Grant argued in contrast for the entryists to keep their heads down in order to avoid expulsions by the bureaucratic leadership. Although slanted towards Britain of the 1960s, Grant was in effect borrowing the old arguments of Pablo from a decade earlier and transforming them into a generalized method. In 1964 Grant, along with Peter Taaffe, Alan Woods and others launched the paper, the Militant – the organ of a highly secretive entrist organisation, the Revolutionary Socalist League, within the Labour Party.
    While for Trotsky entryism can be used as tactic of a short term when the reformist party is in deep crisis and a left wing seeking the road of the revolution developed within it is the time to make entryism and connect with this motion to the left in order to recruit them to build the revolutionary party the Pabloites changed this concept to adopted the reformists and claim that it is possible that under pressure the labor party and other reformists will become a revolutionary party-the political expression of the working class and adopted the socialist program. For this reason the IMT is already not less than 50 years in the Labor party spreading illusion about the chance to transform it.

    What is the History record of the IMT since 1965?
    a. It is on the record for refusing to defend Argentina a third world country against British Imperialism.
    b. A very poor record on South Africa and Israel and Ireland
    c. Popular front politics in Pakistan and Venezuela.
    d. Following Pablo applying the theory of Deformed Workers state to states like Syria, Burma, Ethiopia, Aden.
    e. Revision of Lenin’s theory of the state.
    f. By characterizing China now as an imperialist state, not only revision of Lenin theory of the state but the nature of the epoch. If China and the other states you defines as deformed Workers states can become imperialists states –the period is no more the decay of capitalism.
    This article omit the analysis of the British SWP revisionism of theory expressed with the idea that the law of value was external to the Soviet Union, and their syndicalist mistake by characterizing the SU as a capitalist state already in 1928 while the workers state was still in existence and so the Bolshevik party including the Left Opposition and their very known opportunistic politics for many years.
    This is waiting for another article on the same topic.

    yossi schwartz

    July 31, 2008 at 10:49 am

  16. Dear comrade Roved.
    In reaction to my question: “Did Trotsky or the Polish Leninist Bolsheviks claimed like you that the Stalinists will transformed the Polish capitalist state into a workers state? Trotsky is dead and can not defend himself against this monstrous slander and the attempt to destroy his revolutionary work against the Stalinist counter revolution.”

    You replied:
    “I don’t say they did. Therefore I do not slander Trotsky. But the method Trotsky used in defence of Poland was that it was an extension of the USSR. We can use that method to characterise the post-war DWSs.”

    You do not claim that the Stalinists transformed East Europe to deformed workers states? This is a very good one. I suggest you will re-read what you write.
    It the Stalinists did not transformed East Europe as I have some very good reason to believe you argued, and the working class did not, than they remained capitalist states, Is it not So? In this case why are you arguing and what do you do with a movement that clearly claim that these states were trasformed by the counterrevolutionary Stainists? Not only transformed but to societies without a law of value, i.e Socialist or communists?

    yossi schwartz

    July 31, 2008 at 11:11 am

  17. Dear comrade Roved.
    In reaction to my question: “Did Trotsky or the Polish Leninist Bolsheviks claimed like you that the Stalinists will transformed the Polish capitalist state into a workers state? Trotsky is dead and can not defend himself against this monstrous slander and the attempt to destroy his revolutionary work against the Stalinist counter revolution.”

    You replied:
    “I don’t say they did. Therefore I do not slander Trotsky. But the method Trotsky used in defence of Poland was that it was an extension of the USSR. We can use that method to characterise the post-war DWSs.”

    You do not claim that the Stalinists transformed East Europe to deformed workers states? This is a very good one. I suggest you will re-read what you write.
    It the Stalinists did not transformed East Europe as I have some very good reason to believe you argued, and the working class did not, than they remained capitalist states, Is it not So? In this case why are you arguing and what do you do with a movement that clearly claim that these states were trasformed by the counterrevolutionary Stainists? Not only transformed but to societies without a law of value, i.e Socialist or communists?

    Sorry I want to rephrase my reply because I did not understand your reply. When you replied ” I don’t say they did” you did not mean the Stalinists but the revolutionaries.
    Now that I got it let us see:
    Shachtamn disloyally slandered Trotsky on Poland saying that according to Trotsky the Stalinists can transform Poland to a workers state. Trotsky protested this slander in his writing.
    You hold the position Shacthman’s attributed to Trotsky-that the Stalinists could transform a capitalist state to a workers state. A position that Trotsky said it is disloyal.
    Yet you claim that those who do not agree with you are “Stalinphobic”-Thus in this category of yours Trotsky is falling Nevertheless you claim that you represent Trotsky’s method against Trotsky.
    This is really heavy. But do not we know of such method of arguments? Was it not the method Kautsky who claimed to be a Marxist Orthodox used against Lenin? Did not Stalin and his men claiming to be Orthodox Leninists used against Trotsky?
    Funny how history is repeating is it not so?

    yossi schwartz

    July 31, 2008 at 12:12 pm

  18. Dear Renegade Eye
    The question is always for whom to you aim in opening a site? Revolutionaries are aiming at this point at the most advanced workers and the best left moving intellectuals ready to serve the working class.
    You are aiming at a different crowd including as you wrote anarchists, liberals, postmodernists, feminists, Maoists, Zionists, extreme rightists etc.

    From the point of view of attracting more sane Zionists in opposition to the Jewish conspiracy types like the Kanists and AIPAC you post an article that characterized Israel not as a settler colonialism and an imperialist state, but of a US satellite like the rest of the states in the Middle East.
    But this is not to tell the truth as the other states in the regions are not settlers colonialists nor Imperialists. Revolutionaries must always tell the truth and can no lie! The reformists and the imperialists lie to the mass, now we.

    Your politics in Pakistan is a gross Popular front – you supported politically the capitalist populist party the PPP claiming that it is the political expression of the workers and peasants.
    Your entryism has nothing to do with Trotsky but every thing to do with Pablo. Please read my reply to Roved on the history of the FI and the IMT

    yossi schwartz

    July 31, 2008 at 12:42 pm

  19. Yossi:

    My blog has difficulty to attract revolutionary socialists, to comment. I’m linked to by many tendencies, but few discuss their positions on my blog, where they could test positions, with their opposition. My blog is more democratic than others, who freak out if challenged by rightists.

    The context of calling Israel a satellite state, is to debunk the idea that Israel is controlling US policy. That doesn’t refute Israel being a colonialist settler state.

    Entry into the PPP, is Grantism. That is his contribution to Trotskyism. Mass organizations is the first place workers look to when in struggle.

    What would you do in Pakistan?

    Entryism is what I find attractive about the IMT.

    I don’t know how you were able to function as long as you did, in the IMT?

    The issues you raise, I’ll discuss with JP, when he returns from Barcelona.

    Regards.

    Renegade Eye

    July 31, 2008 at 10:42 pm

  20. This is the method I endorse, not that of Kautsky or Stalin.
    In this section of From a Scratch to Gangrene, printed in In Defense of Marxism, Trotsky wipes the floor with the petty bourgeois opposition who are so hostile to the Stalinists invasion of Poland etc, that they refuse to defend workers property. To justify this betrayal on their part, they have to also reject workers property, so overnight (as Trotsky says – what has changed?) they call the SU ‘capitalist’, and ‘imperialist’ and become for the defeat of the SU!

    ————————————————
    Once Again: Poland

    My remark that the Kremlin with its bureaucratic methods gave an impulse to the socialist revolution in Poland, is converted by Shachtman into an assertion that in my opinion a “bureaucratic revolution” of the proletariat is presumably possible. This is not only in correct but disloyal. My expression was rigidly limited. It is not the question of “bureaucratic revolution” but only a bureaucratic impulse. To deny this impulse is to deny reality. The popular masses in western Ukraine and Byelo-Russia, in any event, felt this impulse, understood its meaning, and used it to accomplish a drastic overturn in property relations. A revolutionary party which failed to notice this impulse in time and refused to utilize it would be fit for nothing but the ash can.

    This impulse in the direction of socialist revolution was possible only because the bureaucracy of the USSR straddles and has its roots in the economy of a workers’ state. The revolutionary utilization of this “impulse” by the Ukrainian Byelo-Russians was possible only through the class struggle in the occupied territories and through the power of the example of the October Revolution. Finally, the swift strangulation or semi-strangulation of this revolutionary mass movement was made possible through the isolation of this movement and the might of the Moscow bureaucracy. Whoever failed to under stand the dialectic interaction of these three factors: the workers’ state, the oppressed masses and the Bonapartist bureaucracy, had best restrain himself from idle talk about events in Poland.

    At the elections for the National Assembly of western Ukraine and western Byelo-Russia the electoral program, dictated of course by the Kremlin, included three extremely important points: inclusion of both provinces in the Federation of the USSR; confiscation of landlords’ estates in favor of the peasants; nationalization of large industry and the banks. The Ukrainian democrats, judging from their conduct, deem it a lesser evil to be unified under the rule of a single state. And from the standpoint of the future struggle for independence, they are correct. As for the other two points in the program one would think that there could be no doubt in our midst ~s to their progressiveness. Seeking to get around reality, namely that nothing else but the social foundations of the USSR forced a social revolutionary program upon the Kremlin, Shachtman refers to Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia where everything has remained as of old. An incredible argument! No one has said that the Soviet bureaucracy always and everywhere either wishes or is able to accomplish the expropriation of the bourgeoisie. We only say that no other government could have accomplished that social overturn which the Kremlin bureaucracy notwithstanding its alliance with Hitler found itself compelled to sanction in eastern Poland. Failing this, it could not include the territory in the Federation of the USSR.

    Shachtman is aware of the overturn itself. He cannot deny it. He is incapable of explaining it. But he nevertheless attempts to save face. He writes:

    “In the Polish Ukraine and White Russia, where class exploitation was intensified by national oppression … the peasants began to take over the land themselves, to drive off the land lords who were already half-in-flight,” etc. (Loc. cit., p.16)

    The Red Army it turns out had no connection whatever with all this. It came into Poland only as a “counter-revolutionary force” in order to suppress the movement. But why didn’t the workers and peasants in western Poland seized by Hitler arrange a revolution? Why was it chiefly revolutionists, “democrats,” and Jews who fled from there, while in eastern Poland – it was chiefly the landlords and capitalists who fled? Shachtman lacks the time to think this out – he is in a hurry to explain to me that the conception of “bureaucratic revolution” is absurd, for the emancipation of the workers can be carried out only by the workers themselves. Am I not justified in repeating that Shachtman obviously feels he is standing in a nursery.

    In the Parisian organ of the Mensheviks – who, if that is possible, are even more “irreconcilable” in their attitude toward the Kremlin’s foreign policy than Shachtman – it is reported that “in the villages – very frequently at the very approach of the Soviet troops (i.e., even prior to their entering a given district – L.T.) – peasant committees sprang up everywhere, the elementary organs of revolutionary peasant self-rule …” The military authorities hastened of course to subordinate these committees to the bureaucratic organs established by them in the urban centers. Nevertheless they were compelled to rest upon the peasant committees since without them it was impossible to carry out the agrarian revolution.

    The leader of the Mensheviks, Dan, wrote on October 19:

    “According to the unanimous testimony of all observers the appearance of the Soviet army and the Soviet bureaucracy provides not only in the territory occupied by them but beyond its confines – an impulse(!) to social turmoil and social transformations.”

    The “impulse,” it will be observed, was invented not by me but by “the unanimous testimony of all observers” who possessed eyes and ears. Dan goes even further and expresses the supposition that “the waves engendered by this impulse will not only hit Germany powerfully in a comparatively short period of time but also to one degree or another roll on to other states.”

    Another Menshevik author writes:

    “However they may have attempted in the Kremlin to avoid anything which might smack of the great revolution, the very fact of the entry of Soviet troops into the territories of eastern Poland with its long outlived semi-feudal agrarian relations, had to provoke a stormy agrarian movement. With the approach of Soviet troops the peasants began to seize landlords’ estates and to form peasant committees.”

    You will observe: with the approach of Soviet troops and not at all with their withdrawal as should follow in accordance with Shachtman’s words. I cite the testimony of the Mensheviks because they are very well informed, their sources of information coming through Polish and Jewish immigrants friendly to them who have gathered in France, and also because having capitulated to the French bourgeoisie, these gentlemen cannot possibly be suspected of capitulation to Stalinism.

    The testimony of the Mensheviks furthermore is confirmed by the reports of the bourgeois press:

    “The agrarian revolution in Soviet Poland has had the force of a spontaneous movement. As soon as the report spread that the Red Army had crossed the river Zbrucz the peasants began to share out amongst themselves the landlords’ acres. Land was given first to small holders and in this way about thirty per cent of agricultural land was expropriated.” (New York Times, January 17, 1940.)

    Under the guise of a new argument Shachtman hands me my own words to the effect that the expropriation of property owners in eastern Poland cannot alter our appraisal of the general policies of the Kremlin. Of course it cannot! No one has proposed this. With the aid of the Comintern the Kremlin has disoriented and demoralized the working class so that it has not only facilitated the outbreak of a new imperialist war but has also made extremely difficult the utilization of this war for revolution. Compared with those crimes the social overturn in the two provinces, which was paid for more over by the enslavement of Poland, is of course of secondary importance and does not alter the general reactionary character of the Kremlin’s policy. But upon the initiative of the opposition itself, the question now posed is not one of general policy but of its concrete refraction under specific conditions of time and place. To the peasants of Galicia and western Byelo-Russia the agrarian Overturn was of highest importance. The Fourth International could not have boycotted this overturn on the ground that the initiative was taken by the reactionary bureaucracy. Our outright duty was to participate in the overturn on the side of the workers and peasants and to that extent on the side of the Red Army. At the same time it was indispensable to warn the masses tirelessly of the generally reactionary character of the Kremlin’s policy and of those dangers it bears for the occupied territories. To know how to combine these two tasks or more precisely two sides of one and the same task – just this is Bolshevik politics.
    http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/idom/dm/22-scratch2.htm
    —————————————

    Trotsky’s in no way says that the Bonapartist bureaucracy can create healthy workers states. However he says Poland is ‘incorporated’ into the USSR. This can only mean one thing, that the class character of the USSR now characterises Poland. What does that make Poland? Like Ukraine, a DWS, federated to the USSR, and Trotsky’s position would be for an “independent soviet Poland”.
    Extrapolate from Poland to the post-war situation in which the Red Army occupies EE, still as a counter-revolutionary Bonapartist caste, still by suppressing workers resistance and the world revolution, but yet at the same time because it must reproduce workers property in order to be parasitic on it, providing a bureaucratic ‘impulse’ for mass uprisings in support of the overturn of bourgeois social relations.
    The fact that these states were not politically incorporated into the USSR but became instead ‘satellites’ does not alter the fact that they are socially ‘incorporated’ into the USSR and that therefore they share the same class character. Therefore, the same political program that applied to the USSR should be applied to these states – unconditional defence of workers property and for political revolution as part of the world revolution.

    Raved

    raved

    August 1, 2008 at 3:07 am

  21. ACTION IN DEFENCE OF AN ANTI ZIONIST POET IS NEEDED NOW
    Shemuel Yerusalmi is an Israeli Russian Jew poet. He is unusual not only because he is an anti Zionist Jew living in Israel, but because he is coming from the Jewish Russian immigration known for its chauvinistic stand toward the Arab. A symptom of a kind of Red neck whites in the American south.
    Because of his political poetry he is suffering from many forms of harassments, He is known for his poetry and he need the recognition as a poet. He is poor and therefore he can not afford private internet and use the one open to the public in Bear Sheva university.
    A few days ago he wrote a poem on Samir Kuntar the Lebanese prisoners Israel was forced to exchange for the bodies of two solders who were in the hands of Hezbollah. In this poem he raise the question Whether Kuntar is the monster they say he is, or is it the Zionist state that committed so many crimes.
    Some one saw the poem and inform the University internal security that detained him for a few hours. Two days later the value Shemuel Yerusalmi (Jerusalmi) disappears from the English language Wikipedia most likely by the request of the University security or the general Israeli security service.
    This happened before, About 18 months ago his name was vanished from the same Encyclopedia claiming to be free and committed to the freedom of speech but as many of us know it is a right wing and likely connected to certain government .However at that time they had to retreat and returned his name after many left wingers around the world sent a letter of protest to the editors of the English Language Wikipedia. At that time they had to take an European lawyer to act as an arbitrator ,who decided that since many people protest there is an interest in keeping the value. The same is needed now.

    It is important that a campaign on this issue will be carried out and as many people who believe that the freedom of speech of the Israeli academia should be maintain and for this reason oppose the boycott on Israeli academia will know what is the reality of this freedom of speech when it comes to Israel and its friends regarding the freedom of speech of even Israelis who have different views than the Zionist line.

    I suggest that you write to VikiPedia this short notice

    Wikimedia Foundation
    Postal address

    Wikimedia Foundation Inc.
    P.O. Box 78350
    San Francisco, CA 94107-8350
    USA
    Phone: +1-415-839-6885
    Email: info@wikimedia.org
    Fax: +1-415-882-0495

    Wikimedia UK
    London
    United Kingdom
    http://www.wikimedia.org.uk
    info wikimedia.org.uk

    I (Name Or Email) protest the removal of the Value Shemuel Yerusalmi from the English language Wikepedia on the 222-23 of July) after he wrote a poem that raise the question whether it is true that Samir Kuntar did what the Kangaroo Israeli military court found him to be guilty of and who is the real monster, Kuntar or the Israeli state that committed so many crimes against the Arabs
    Signature

    I will appreciate if you send a copy to me
    Yossischwartz2007@yahoo.com

    yossi schwartz

    August 1, 2008 at 5:25 am

  22. Renegade Eye

    You think your site is more democratic by allowing Nazi types like the Khanists to use your form? May be it is the opposite. In a case you did not know Marxists do not protect the Freedom of speech of Nazis. Trotsky wrote that we have to smash the Nazis in the egg.

    The grant politics you like so much was not invented by Ted Grant it was used already by Stalin in China in the 1920 that led to the smashing of the communist party in 1925-7 by the KMT which was the same type of party of the PPP.

    The two issues go together and not seprated from the other.
    Regard

    yossi schwartz

    August 1, 2008 at 5:54 am

  23. Raved
    Your cynicism is boundless .
    Let us make it very simple:
    You claim that the Stalinists transformed Poland and East Europe, Yugoslavia and China and made it the dictatorship of the proletariat (even though deformed) Like you Ted Grant claimed that these were deformed workers state and he termed them Proletarian bonapartism. (Dictatorship of the proletarian as a state, Bonpartism as a regime)

    Shacthman attributed this position of yours (and of Ted grant and the rest of the Pabloites) in this article you quoted to Trotsky. Trotsky calls this attribution an act of disloyalty. In simple words a petit bourgeois slander of Marxism.

    Trotsky wrote and mark it well: “My remark that the Kremlin with its bureaucratic methods gave an impulse to the socialist revolution in Poland, is converted by Shachtman into an assertion that in my opinion a “bureaucratic revolution” of the proletariat is presumably possible. This is not only in correct but disloyal”
    .
    Thus your position is a total disloyalty to Trotsky A slander of Marxism.
    In some aspect your position is worse than the position of Shacthman , because you know where his politics took him and because you know what Trotsky told him in 1940 and nevertheless you use Schacthamn slander against Trotsky as your own theory.
    Bravo.

    yossi schwartz

    August 1, 2008 at 6:17 am

  24. Yossi:

    Did you have a religious conversion or something? You were a leader of a group, that supported the PPP and PSUV, for quite awhile I believe. Why the change?

    There is no comparison to Mao being in the KMT, and the Pakistani comrades. If you held such views, you were in the wrong tendency.

    I posted your writings several times. My friend Marxist from Lebanon, quoted one of your articles just yesterday. He is sympathetic to INT. His blog is in my links.

    Mad Zionist started coming to my blog, because we both had serious troll problems, with the same person.

    Renegade Eye

    August 1, 2008 at 7:29 am

  25. Renegade Eye I was a leader in a movement that claimed to be revolutionary, and I discovered first over Palestine that it is truly a reformist pro imperialists movement. I learned it when Alan Woods and Fred Watson and others at the time Abu Mazen acting in the service of the Zionist state attacked Hamas the Palestinian elected government. To defend this betrayal they claimed that Hamas and the all Islamic movement is a Fascist movement, echoing the ugly propaganda of American and British Imperialism. This was a total distortion of Trotsky ‘s writing on Fascism and in the service of Bush and his British allies. At the same time the leader of the PPP , late madam Butho made a deal with Musharf and Bush to return to Pakistan to continue the imperialist war against the Afghani people. I discovered that the IMT group in Pakistan supported this betrayal for a promise not to remove your representatives from the PPP list. So in order that you will see with your own eyes what happened I post the latest exchange of letters that proves among other my opposition to this betrayal. Sent: Friday, August 17, 2007 7:17 PM Subject: ARTICLE DEAR FRED AS WE AGREED I AM SENDING YOU THE ARTICLE CG This article, was written as result of comrade Fred’s proposal during the International Summer School following a dispute over the position of the Marxists in Israel, regarding the civil war in Gaza. For us the few Marxists in Israel it was clear that the interest of the international working class movement during the military conflict in Gaza was to be on the side of Hamas elected government, against the attempt by the Abu Mazen and Dahlan’s armed forces backed and trained by Israeli ruling class and other imperialists to bring down this government by a military coup. The main argument of the comrades who disagree with us is that this is a civil war between two reactionary bodies and therefore unlike the war of Lebanon between two states, we can not support in any shape or form one reactionary side. Comrade Alan Woods stated that the analogical situation is the civil war in Ireland in 1923 where Marxists could not support any side. Comrade Tanvir a leader of our section in Pakistan went further and stated that Hamas is a fascist organization an equal evil to imperialism. The argument that Marxists do not have a position in an internal civil war, reflects a misunderstanding of the method of dialectical materialism. The comrades who argue that we can have a position in a conflict between states as in the case of Lebanon war , but not in internal civil wars use a simple mechanical and formal logic. They can understand a motion of large armed bodies like states, but not the internal contradictions in the same social organism like the Palestinian people. Only those who ignore the concrete reality where Hamas is the elected government by most Palestinians, and Abi Mazen forces in Gaza tried to destroy the will of the Palestinain people by a military coup can argue that A( one group of reactionaries) =A( another group of reactionaries) Whether you like it or not there are some common features between the civil war in Gaza and the civil war in Spain. Of course the two situations are not identical , as it is impossible to find two identical situations. Marxists do not think by analogies, this is the method of the positivists who are using formal logics According to the positivists , Judges in the English common law system supposedly use precedents in their judgment. The task of the Marxists is very different. We must analyze the class contents of the clashing forms and relate them to the process of the world revolution. Thus, we can not simply point out that in Spain an elected government of the Kernsky’s type ( a reactionary government) fought in a civil war against a military coup of Franco backed by the imperialists.(The reactionaries). For formalists A( reaction)=A(reaction) but for Marxists who use the dialectical logic it is a different story. Trotsky did not argue that two reactionary bodies were fighting each other in an internal civil war in Spain. Trotsky defended in the civil war the Republican government. As Trotsky explained in this connection ” When one of my enemies sets before me small daily portions of poison and the second, on the other hand, is about to shoot straight at me, then I will first knock the revolver out of the hand of my second enemy, for this gives me an opportunity to get rid of my first enemy. But that does not at all mean that the poison is a “lesser evil” in comparison with the revolver”( For a Workers’ United Front Against Fascism) In the same article we can find the key point on the united front Once Again: The Russian Experience In order to express my thought as clearly and as concretely as possible I will come back once more to the experience with the Kornilov uprising. On August 26 (old style), 1917, General Kornilov led his Cossack corps and one irregular division against Petrograd. At the helm of power stood Kerensky, lackey of the bourgeoisie and three-quarters a confederate of Kornilov. Lenin was still in hiding because of the accusation that he was in the service of the Hohenzollerns. For the same accusation, I was at that time incarcerated in solitary confinement in Kresty Prison. How did the Bolsheviks proceed in this question? They also had a right to say: “In order to defeat the Korniloviad – we must first defeat the Kerenskiad.” They said this more than once, for it was correct and necessary for all the subsequent propaganda. But that was entirely inadequate for offering resistance to Kornilov on August 26, and on the days that followed, and for preventing him from butchering the Petrograd proletariat. That is why the Bolsheviks did not content themselves with a general appeal to the workers and soldiers to break with the conciliators and to support the red united front of the Bolsheviks. No, the Bolsheviks proposed the united front struggle to the Mensheviks and the Social Revolutionaries and created together with them joint organizations of struggle. Was this correct or incorrect? Let Thälmann answer that. In order to show even more vividly how matters stood with the united front, I will cite the following incident: immediately upon my release after the trade unions had put up bail for me, I went directly to the Committee for National Defense, where I discussed and adopted decisions regarding the struggle against Kornilov with the Menshevik Dan and the Social Revolutionary Gotz [2], allies of Kerensky who had kept me in prison. Was this right or wrong? Let Remmele answer that : A Good Quotation From Lenin The present-day epigones, that is, the thoroughly bad disciples of Lenin, like to cover up their shortcomings on every occasion that offers itself with quotations – often entirely irrelevant. For Marxists, the question is not decided by a quotation, but by means of the correct method. If one is guided by correct methods, it is not hard also to find suitable quotations. After I had drawn the above analogy with the Kornilov insurrection, I said to myself: We can probably find a theoretical elucidation of our bloc with the conciliators in the struggle against Kornilov, in Lenin. And here is what I actually found in the second part of Volume XIV of the Russian edition, in a letter from Lenin to the Central Committee, written at the beginning of September 1917: “Even at the present time, we are not duty-bound to support the Kerensky government That would be unprincipled. It is asked: then we are not to fight against Kornilov? Of course we are. But that is not one and the same thing. There is a limit to this; it is being transgressed by many Bolsheviks who fail into ‘conciliationism’ and allow themselves to be driven by the current of events. “We shall fight, we are fighting against Kornilov, but we do not support Kerensky; we are uncovering his weaknesses. The distinction is rather delicate, but highly important and must not be forgotten But in a civil war who set the daily portion of poison and who holds the gun to my head? For Marxists the answer is clear: Our main and most dangerous enemy is the imperialists and their servants. A debate has its own laws of logic, reflecting the motion in the real world, and as arguments have been thrown into the air it became clearer that this dispute is part of a larger dispute over the question of anti imperialist united front in the post Soviet Union period, when the center of the revolutionary process is in Latin America. The defeats of imperialism in the Middle East is helping the revolutionary process in Venezuela by preventing US imperialism from military intervention against the revolutionary process in Venezuela. At the same time the revolutionary process in Latin America is encouraging the hopes of the masses in the region. To help the comrades to understand how absurd is the argument that Marxists do not have a side in an internal civil war we ask them : Did Marx supported the North against the South in the American Civil war? Didn’t Trotsky defend the Republican side in the Civil war during the Spanish revolution? Did Trotsky denied that it was the duty of the Communist Party to participate in the war of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie of the South against the generals of the North, agents of foreign imperialism in china in the 1920’s ? Did he not support at that time military bloc between the CP and the Kuomintang? Why did Trotsky think it was the duty of the Communist Party to participate in the war of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie of the South led by the Kuomintang against the generals of the North in china in the 1920’s? Did he think as some comrades would imagine because Trotsky thought the leadership of the Kuomintang , was progressive, or the lesser evil? No. The reason was that like Abu Mazen the generals of the North were agents of foreign imperialism Of course China is not Gaza and all these situations are not the same and yet the great Marxists did support one side against another in a civil war. The common thread is that the defeat for the South and of the Fascists in Spain, the agents of imperialism in North China, help in this epoch the historical revolutionary process. But before we can go deeper into this question it is necessary to deal with hints that the position of the Marxists in Israel on this issue is an abstract propaganda. Lenin, in “What is to be done” explained the difference between the propaganda and agitiation. The propagandist, dealing with, say, the question of unemployment, must explain the capitalistic nature of crises, the cause of their inevitability in modern society, the necessity for the transformation of this society into a socialist society, etc. In a word, he must present “many ideas”, so many indeed, that they will be understood as an integral whole by a (comparatively) few persons. The agitator however, speaking on the same subject, will take as an illustration the death of an unemployed worker’s family from starvation, the growing impoverishment etc and utilizing this fact, known to all, will direct his efforts to presenting a single idea to the “masses”. The propagandist, of course, must go deeper, must examine the notion of class justice.. But that is not the main thrust of agitation. Those ‘Marxists’ who do not understand this are themselves victims of bourgeois ideology,. Most importantly, they do not grasp concretely the way in which the oppressed masses and the working class attitudes actually change. They do not understand the role of experience, for example the experience of the role of the Abu Mazen as a stooge of Israel.. They do not understand the difference between agitation and propaganda. Both are necessary, but both are not always possible. Agitation requires bigger forces. Of course an individual can sometimes agitate effectively against a particular grievance, in a particular workplace, but a widespread agitation with a general focus is not possible without a significant number of agitators acting in a revolutionary party. Today in most places we are not talking to thousands or tens of thousands. We are talking to small numbers of people, usually trying to win them through general socialist politics, rather than on the basis of mass agitation. So what we are arguing is basically propaganda. But it is here that the confusion arises. Because there is more than one sort of propaganda. There is a difference between abstract propaganda, and that propaganda which can hopefully lead to activity, concrete or realistic propaganda. Abstract propaganda raises ideas which are formally correct, but which do not relate to struggle or to the level of consciousness which exists among those to whom the ideas are being put. For example to the the Palestinians under the Israeli occupation who voted Hamas because the Abu Mazen rotten misleader ship was exposed. Realistic Marxist propagandists on the other hand starts from the realization that tiny groups of socialists cannot decisively influence large groups of workers at present . But it also assumes that there are arguments over specifics around which socialists can attempt to build. For example that Hamas is the elected government and that the democratic right of the Palestinian is to choose their own government and defend it against a military coup organized by the Israeli government This is not an abstract propaganda because it relates to a real struggle and so can relate to a sizeable minority even in Israel. The importance of the distinction is clear Those socialists who believe that they make propaganda in their small discussion groups, and agitate in their workplace, or schools are very likely to overestimate their influence among the mass of workers and youth and therefore miss the opportunity to build a base among a tiny number of supporters. Those who believe they just raise abstract propaganda in their discussions with other socialists and in their workplace adopt an abstentionist attitude when real struggles do break out, they are a tail of the traitors like Abu Mazen. The military victory of Hams is a real even if temporary set back for imperialism.!!! The source of the confusion in our ranks in the case of Gaza is the huge imperialist propaganda machine painting Iran; Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas in freighting colors turning them into the “Evil Axis”. The result is that in some comrades’ mind the difference between political support and support for the military aspect in the given situation has been blurred. We the Marxist in Israel do not support politically nor Hamas’ leadership program, strategy and tactics neither of course Abu Mazen and Dahlan; and yet we support the military victory of Hamas struggling against the enslavement of the Palestinian people by the imperialists and their stooges. Marxists must differentiate between various contradictory aspects, even though they penetrate each other, like military and political aspects. Of course one turn into the other under certain conditions. However, If we do not differentiate at all between the military and the political aspects during the civil war in Gaza, we fall sooner or later into giving political critical support to a reactionary leadership, on the ground of a “lesser evil” which will prevent us from being able in the future to organize an armed insurrection against the ruling class. To understand the Leninist method, we should go back to the Russian Revolution. In the fall of 1917 general Kornilov was plotting to over throw the Provisional Government- the Popular Front. Since It was created the Bolsheviks called on the reformists in the government to break with the capitalists ministers “Out with the 10 capitalist Ministers”. If they would have done so it was possible for a peaceful revolution. However the Bolsheviks would not enter even to such a coalition without capitalists. This is not what they considered a true workers government. Kornilov was a reactionary and so was the government of Kerensky but the Bolsheviks did not sit on the side of history but mobilize against the military coup and in this way they secured massive support for the party. Did they give any political support to the Popular front? NO and again No. As Lenin explained: “Even now, we must not support Kerensky government. This is unprincipled. We may be asked: aren’t we going to fight against Kornilov? Of course we must! But this is not the same thing, there is a dividing line here. Which is being stepped over by some Bolsheviks who fall into compromise and allowed themselves to be carried away be the course of events” We shall fight. We are fighting against Kornilov, just as Kerensky’s troops do, but we do not support Kerensky. On the contrary we expose his weakness. There is the deference. It is rather a subtitle difference, but it is highly essential and must not be forgotten”(LCW To the CC of he RSDLP vol 25 p286 in Bolshevism the road to power by Alan Woods p 581) We are not in the same situation, we do not have the same weight the Bolsheviks in the fall of 1917, but we have the same method of Lenin of arriving to the correct positions based on the principle that what is correct is what advance the dictatorship of the proletariat . Trotsky did not have a mass party in Spain like the Bolsheviks, yet he held Lenin’s method. Not to be on the same side of Hamas in the civil war in Gaza last month is a betrayal! to support its political program is to cross the red line. The defeat of the Israeli ruling class in Lebanon and Gaza is the major reason for the growing discontent of the simple people in Israel including the Jewish workers. Their belief in the Zionist’s dogma is shacking in spite of their relative economic advantage over the workers in the other parts of the region. Some “Marxists” argue being on the side of Hamas in the military conflict the same mistake as the left did in Iran in 1979, that ended with the counter revolution of the fundamentalists! Here we see again the confusion between being on the same side on the military aspect and giving political support to the leaders of the Mullahs. The Tuda and others like the American SWP supported politically and tailed the Mullahs to the extend they chanted “Allah is great” . What was necessary was to struggle for the leadership of the mass movement and lead them to a socialist revolution. The politics of the reformists in Iran led to the counter revolution dressed in religious cloth. The Stalinists and other sects who blocked the path of the socialist revolution in South Africa are responsible for the counter revolution in democratic dress. We held the same position during the war of Lebanon .We held the position of revolutionary defense of Lebanon regardless of the leadership Not only we did not support Hezbollah politically but exposed their weakness for example shooting at civilians including workers in Israel. We exposed their program last January when they blocked the path of the greatest mobilization in the history of Lebanon. 1923 in Ireland and 1936-9 in Palestine As Marxists we accept the method and the tactics advanced by the first four congress of the Communist International during Lenin’s life. However, comrade Alan Woods in his position on 1923 put himself outside these congress. The CPI did take a side in civil war. “When finally the Civil War began, in May 1922, the CPI resumed some public activities, including lectures and outdoor meetings; it also provided the leadership of the unemployed movement. The Rotunda in Dublin was seized and the Red Flag was hoisted; however, in a matter of days the IRA police were used to clear the building and make it safe for its private owners. As the delegates to Dáil Éireann assembled on 14 December 1921, both the Black and Tans and the Republican police were arresting the Wexford farm workers who were on strike for trade union recognition. The labour and trade union leadership was sharply attacked by the CPI for their support of the Treaty. After Dáil Éireann had endorsed the Treaty in December 1921 and the danger of civil war began to emerge, the labour leadership declared a policy of neutrality. When finally, on 28 June, the Provisional Government attacked the Four Courts, with British guns, members of the CPI took part in the fighting in the Dublin area alongside the anti-Treaty forces. ( Source :The Communist Party of Ireland http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/pairti.html ) It must be added that the 1936-1939 in Palestine essentially posed the same question .It was a popular peasants uprising. Its leadership became the reactionary Hajj Amin Husseini, the Mufti, who after the failure of the uprising escaped to Germany and later on organized armed militia against the Soviet Union who fought on the side of the German army .As Trotsky wrote the uprising was a revolutionary movement with reactionary elements. It was a civil war between the Palestinian peasants led by a reactionary leadership against the Zionist colonization backed by British imperialism. The duty of Marxists was to be part of this uprising but at the same time struggling for the working class small as it was to stand at the head of the struggle on a revolutionary program that appeals to the best Jewish workers. Not to support this uprising would be a treason to support the political program of the semi feudal class led by the Mufti would be to cross the red line. On August 21 2003 I wrote an article on the nature of Islamic fundamentalism under the title : Palestine: The origins of Hamas and its role today ” which explained the difference between fascism and the Islamic movement. It was published in our International site without one criticism. Among other things I wrote: It is neither a fascist nor a revolutionary movement, but a populist movement. A recent study of Khomeinism in Iran by Abrahamian (E. Abrahamian, Khomeinism,) compares it to Peronism and similar forms of “populism”: “Khomeini adopted radical themes… At times he sounded more radical than the Marxists. But while adopting radical themes he remained staunchly committed to the preservation of middle class property. This form of middle class radicalism made him akin to Latin American populists, especially the Peronists.” [page 3]] And Abrahamian goes on to say: “By ‘populism’ I mean a movement of the propertied middle class that mobilises the lower classes, especially the urban poor, with radical rhetoric directed against imperialism, foreign capitalism, and the political establishment… Populist movements promise to drastically raise the standard of living and make the country fully independent of outside powers. Even more important in attacking the status quo with radical rhetoric, they intentionally stop short of threatening the petty bourgeoisie and the whole principle of private property. Populist movements thus, inevitably, emphasise the importance, not of economic, social revolution, but of cultural, national and political reconstruction.” [page 17] In other words it is a petit bourgeois movement dressed up in religious clothes, not different in its class composition from those who supported previously Stalinism and bourgeois nationalism” But even if Hamas elected government was a “fascist” facing imperialism and their agents still the Marxists would defend it against the attempt to overthrow it by a coup. Does it make us Fascist lovers? After all the revolutionaries are accustom to such accusations coming from the mouth of reformists and centrists. As Trotsky who was accused by the Stalinists that he was an agent of fascism wrote in: Anti-Imperialist Struggle is Key to Liberation An Interview with Mateo Fossa (September 1938) “I will take the most simple and obvious example. In Brazil there now reigns a semifascist regime that every revolutionary can only view with hatred. Let us assume, however, that on the morrow England enters into a military conflict with Brazil. I ask you on whose side of the conflict will the working class be? I will answer for myself personally—in this case I will be on the side of “fascist” Brazil against “democratic” Great Britain. Why? Because in the conflict between them it will not be a question of democracy or fascism. If England should be victorious, she will put another fascist in Rio de Janeiro and will place double chains on Brazil. If Brazil on the contrary should be victorious, it will give a mighty impulse to national and democratic consciousness of the country and will lead to the overthrow of the Vargas dictatorship. The defeat of England will at the same time deliver a blow to British imperialism and will give an impulse to the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat. Truly, one must have an empty head to reduce world antagonisms and military conflicts to the struggle between fascism and democracy. Under all masks one must know how to distinguish exploiters, slave-owners, and robbers”! During the Warsaw Ghetto one of the Jewish military organization led by Betar was a fascist organization modeled after Mussolini movement. It was correct to form a military alliance of all the military organizations in Ghetto against the Nazi army. Why? Because Germany was an imperialist state unlike the Zionists in Poland. We know what was Trotsky’s attitude toward Molotov-Ribentrop agreement. He did not oppose an agreement with Nazi Germany on any moralist ground that the “democratic ” imperialists are better. Trotsky understood that for the defense of the workers state it would be stupid to have a war against both imperialist camps. He criticized however, this agreement on the ground that Stalin is sowing illusions in the Nazi-government. To his mind the correct tactic was the Brest-Litovosk agreement that at the same time the Bolsheviks spoke over the heads of the German ruling class directly to the working class, not only explaining what is forcing the revolution to sign the humiliating agreement but called on them to up rise and remove the ruling class by a socialist revolution. So what has been changed since 2003 or since Trotsky wrote on this question? Was the situation that Fatah was elected to a government and this government was struggling against Israel, while Hams supported by Israel and other imperialist tries to bring it down by a military coup, than it was our duty to defend the elected government. THE WORKING CLASS UNITED FRONT AND THE ANTI IMPERIALIST UNITED FRONT V THE POPULAR FRONT.. A Working class united front-Leninist tactics In August 1914 the right wing leadership of the Social Democracy and the centrist Kautsky split the working class Second International by supporting in an imperialist war , each national section supported its “own” capitalist – imperialist class. This was a treason that put these leaders on the other side of the socialist revolution-They became counter revolutionaries However, since they kept a large section of the working class it was necessary for the Leninist to develop a tactic that will enable to unite the working class in action and expose these misleaders. Before Hitler took power, The Bolsheviks –Leninists led by Trotsky agitated addressing themselves to the members and leaders of the Commintern and the KPD for a united front of the working class against the Nazis. At that time Trorsky did not realize that the Thermidor already won in the USSR. Had he understood it he would formulate his position somewhat differently . In any case his writing on the working class anti fascist front is useful to understand what is a working class united front. It should be emphasized that the united front is not based on the assumption that the leadership of the reformists are less evil, but on the contradiction between the reactionary leadership of reformist parties, a counter revolutionary enemy of the working class that did not want to fight the Nazis and the honest rank and file that wanted to fight the fascist enemy. “The thousands upon thousands of Noskes, Welses, and Hilferdings prefer, in the last analysis, fascism to Communism. But for that they must once and for all tear themselves loose from the workers. Today this is not yet the case. Today the Social Democracy as a whole, with all its internal antagonisms, is forced into sharp conflict with the fascists. It is our task to take advantage of this conflict and not to unite the antagonists against us”. “The front must now be directed against fascism. And this common front of direct struggle against fascism, embracing the entire proletariat, must be utilized in the struggle against the Social Democracy, directed as a flank attack, but no less effective for all that”. “No common platform with the Social Democracy, or with the leaders of the German trade unions, no common publications, banners, placards! March separately, but strike together! Agree only how to strike, whom to strike, and when to strike! Such an agreement can be concluded even with the devil himself, with his grandmother, and even with Noske and Grezesinsky. On one condition, not to bind one’s hands”. “We are proposing nothing different. Complete independence of the Communist organization and press, complete freedom of Communist criticism, the same for the Social Democracy and the trade unions. Only contemptible opportunists can allow the freedom of the Communist Party to be limited (for example, as in the entrance into the Kuomintang). We are not of their number”. Trotsky: For a Workers’ United Front Against Fascism (December 1931) Please pay attention to what Trotsky wrote: Such an agreement can be concluded even with the devil himself, with his grandmother, and even with Noske and Grezesinsky. On one condition, not to bind one’s hands. Not only this but that he did not oppose entering into the Kuomintang but to the subordination of the communists to the leadership of the Kuomintang. B POPULAR FRONT V THE ANTI IMPERIALIST ALLIANCE Many so called Marxists confuse the question of the popular front with the anti imperialist front in the colonial countries. A popular front is not concrete actions with forces struggling against particular imperialist power, even if it is a reactionary, and all the non revolutionary leaderships including of the reformists controlling working class organizations are reactionaries. A popular front is the class collaboration of the reformists with capitalist elements to block the revolutionary path of the working class actual revolutionary struggle. In such situation this block leads many time to the victory of the worse enemy as happen in Spain and in Chile in 1973 for example and as it will happen in Venezuela unless the Marxists will use Lenin’s tactic toward the existing government. We leave this question of what should be done in Venezuela to the next exchange of opinions. Stalin mistake in China was not the fact that the Communists formed an alliance with the Kuomintang against imperialism but that he subordinated the Communists to the bourgeois nationalists.. In a famous letter to Diego Rivera ON THE SINO-JAPANESE WAR, Trotsky wrote(September 23, 1937): …”I want to stop to discuss in this letter only the Sino-Japanese War. In my declaration to the bourgeois press, I said that the duty of all the workers’ organizations of China was to participate actively and in the front lines of the present war against Japan, without abandoning, for a single moment, their own program and independent activity. But that is “social patriotism!” the Eiffelites cry. It is capitulation to Chiang Kai-shek! It is the abandonment of the principle of the class struggle! Bolshevism preached revolutionary defeatism in the imperialist war. Now, the war in Spain and the Sino-Japanese War are both imperialist wars. “Our position on the war in China is the same. The only salvation of the workers and peasants of China is to struggle independently against the two armies, against the Chinese army in the same manner as against the Japanese army.” These four lines, taken from an Eiffelite document of September 10, 1937, suffice entirely for us to say: we are concerned here with either real traitors or complete imbeciles. But imbecility, raised to this degree, is equal to treason. We do not and never have put all wars on the same plane. Marx and Engels supported the revolutionary struggle of the Irish against Great Britain, of the Poles against the tsar, even though in these two nationalist wars the leaders were, for the most part, members of the bourgeoisie and even at times of the feudal aristocracy . . . at all events, Catholic reactionaries. When Abdel-Krim( A chief Moslem Judge who led an Islamic movement and established for a short time the Riff Republic Y.S) rose up against France, the democrats and Social Democrats spoke with hate of the struggle of a “savage tyrant” against the “democracy.” The party of Leon Blum supported this point of view. But we, Marxists and Bolsheviks, considered the struggle of the Riffians against imperialist domination as a progressive war Lenin wrote hundreds of pages demonstrating the primary necessity of distinguishing between imperialist nations and the colonial and semi colonial nations which comprise the great majority of humanity. To speak of “revolutionary defeatism” in general, without distinguishing between exploiter and exploited countries, is to make a miserable caricature of Bolshevism and to put that caricature at the service of the imperialists. In the Far East we have a classic example. China is a semi colonial country which Japan is transforming, under our very eyes, into a colonial country. Japan’s struggle is imperialist and reactionary. China’s struggle is emancipatory and progressive. But Chiang Kai-shek? We need have no illusions about Chiang Kai-shek, his party, or the whole ruling class of China, just as Marx and Engels had no illusions about the ruling classes of Ireland and Poland. Chiang Kai-shek is the executioner of the Chinese workers and peasants. But today he is forced, despite himself, to struggle against Japan for the remainder of the independence of China. Tomorrow he may again betray. It is possible. It is probable. It is even inevitable. But today he is struggling. Only cowards, scoundrels, or complete imbeciles can refuse to participate in that struggle. Let us use the example of a strike to clarify the question. We do not support all strikes. If, for example, a strike is called for the exclusion of Negro, Chinese, or Japanese workers from a factory, we are opposed to that strike. But if a strike aims at bettering— insofar as it can—the conditions of the workers, we are the first to participate in it, whatever the leadership. In the vast majority of strikes, the leaders are reformists, traitors by profession, agents of capital. They oppose every strike. But from time to time the pressure of the masses or of the objective situation forces them into the path of struggle. Let us imagine, for an instant, a worker saying to himself: “I do not want to participate in the strike because the leaders are agents of capital.” This doctrine of this ultraleft imbecile would serve to brand him by his real name: a strikebreaker. The case of the Sino-Japanese War, is from this point of view, entirely analogous. If Japan is an imperialist country and if China is the victim of imperialism, we favor China. Japanese patriotism is the hideous mask of worldwide robbery. Chinese patriotism is legitimate and progressive. To place the two on the same plane and to speak of “social patriotism” can be done only by those who have read nothing of Lenin, who have understood nothing of the attitude of the Bolsheviks during the imperialist war, and who can but compromise and prostitute the teachings of Marxism. The Eiffelites have heard that the social patriots accuse the internationalists of being the agents of the enemy and they tell us: “You are doing the same thing.” In a war between two imperialist countries, it is a question neither of democracy nor of national independence, but of the oppression of backward non imperialist peoples. In such a war the two countries find themselves on the same historical plane. The revolutionaries in both armies are defeatists. But Japan and China are not on the same historical plane. The victory of Japan will signify the enslavement of China, the end of her economic and social development, and the terrible strengthening of Japanese imperialism. The victory of China will signify, on the contrary, the social revolution in Japan and the free development, that is to say unhindered by external oppression, of the class struggle in China. But can Chiang Kai-shek assure the victory? I do not believe so. It is he, however, who began the war and who today directs it. To be able to replace him it is necessary to gain decisive influence among the proletariat and in the army, and to do this it is necessary not to remain suspended in the air but to place oneself in the midst of the struggle. We must win influence and prestige in the military struggle against the foreign invasion and in the political struggle against the weaknesses, the deficiencies, and the internal betrayal. At a certain point, which we cannot fix in advance, this political opposition can and must be transformed into armed conflict, since the civil war, like war generally, is nothing more than the continuation of the political struggle. It is necessary, however, to know when and how to transform political opposition into armed insurrection. During the Chinese revolution of 1925-27 we attacked the policies of the Comintern. Why? It is necessary to understand well the reasons. The Eiffelites claim that we have changed our attitude on the Chinese question. That is because the poor fellows have understood nothing of our attitude in 1925-27. We never denied that it was the duty of the Communist Party to participate in the war of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie of the South against the generals of the North, agents of foreign imperialism. We never denied the necessity of a military bloc between the CP and the Kuomintang. On the contrary, we were the first to propose it. We demanded, however, that the CP maintain its entire political and organizational independence, that is, that during the civil war against the internal agents of imperialism, as in the national war against foreign imperialism, the working class, while remaining in the front lines of the military struggle, prepare the political overthrow of the bourgeoisie. We hold the same policies in the present war. We have not changed our attitude one iota. The Oehlerites and the Eiffelites, on the other hand, have not understood a single bit of our policies, neither those of 1925-27, nor those of today. In my declaration to the bourgeois press at the beginning of the recent conflict between Tokyo and Nanking, I stressed above all the necessity of the active participation of revolutionary workers in the war against the imperialist oppressors. Why did I do it? Because first of all it is correct from the Marxist point of view; because, secondly, it was necessary from the point of view of the welfare of our friends in China. Tomorrow the GPU, which is in alliance with the Kuomintang (as with Negrin in Spain), will represent our Chinese friends as being “defeatists” and agents of Japan. The best of them, with Chten Tu-hsiu at the head, can be nationally and internationally compromised and killed. It was necessary to stress, energetically, that the Fourth International was on the side of China as against Japan. And I added at the same time: without abandoning either their program or their independence. The Eiffelite imbeciles try to jest about this “reservation.” “The Trotskyists,” they say, “want to serve Chiang Kai-shek in action and the proletariat in words.” To participate actively and consciously in the war does not mean “to serve Chiang Kai-shek” but to serve the independence of a colonial country in spite of Chiang Kai-shek. And the words directed against the Kuomintang are the means of educating the masses for the overthrow of Chiang Kai-shek. In participating in the military struggle under the orders of Chiang Kai-shek, since unfortunately it is he who has the command in the war for independence—to prepare politically the overthrow of Chiang Kai-shek . . . that is the only revolutionary policy. The Eiffelites counterpose the policy of “class struggle” to this “nationalist and social patriotic” policy. Lenin fought this abstract and sterile opposition all his life. To him, the interests of the world proletariat dictated the duty of aiding oppressed peoples in their national and patriotic struggle against imperialism. Those who have not yet understood that, almost a quarter of a century after the World War and twenty years after the October revolution, must be pitilessly rejected as the worst enemies on the inside by the revolutionary vanguard. This is exactly the case with Eiffel and his kind! L. Trotsky From Writings of leon Trotsky 1937-38). Text from Internal Bulletin, Organizing Committee for the Socialist Party Convention (New York), no. 1 THE ANTI IMPERIALIST ALLIANCE WITH THE ISLAMIC MOVEMENT Some “Marxists” who fail to understand the importance of an anti imperialist alliance that include the Islamic movement try to claim that an alliance with the Islamic movement in Baku was a mistake. Mistakes were made in the Congress of the Peoples of the East held in Baku in September, 1920. But its importance lies in the fact that it was the first attempt to appeal to the exploited and oppressed peoples in the colonial and semi-colonial countries to carry forward their revolutionary struggles with the support of the workers in Russia and the advanced countries of the world. The idea of an alliance with the anti imperialist Islamic was not of Zinoviev as some ignorant would like us to believe but of Lenin. It was expressed in a Congress held in Moscow from November 22 to December 3, 1919, on the initiative of the Central Bureau of Communist Organisations of the Peoples of the East at the CC., B.C.P.(B.). On the eve of the Congress, November 21, a preliminary meeting of the Central Committee members with a group of delegates was held with Lenin presiding he said among other things: “Most of the Eastern peoples are in a worse position than the most backward country in Europe-Russia. But in our struggle against feudal survivals and capitalism, we succeeded in uniting the peasants and workers of Russia; and it was because the peasants and workers united against capitalism and feudalism that our victory was so easy. Here contact with the peoples of the East is particularly important, because the majority of the Eastern peoples are typical representatives of the working people-not workers who have passed through the school of capitalist factories, but typical representatives of the working and exploited peasant masses who are victims of medieval oppression. The Russian revolution showed how the proletarians, after defeating capitalism and uniting with the vast diffuse mass of working peasants, rose up victoriously against medieval oppression. Our Soviet Republic must now muster all the awakening peoples of the East and, together with them, wage a struggle against international imperialism.” V. I. Lenin, Address To The Second All-Russia Congress Of Communist Organisations Of The Peoples Of The East November 22, 1919 : Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 30, pages 151-162 Such an alliance was necessary to win the civil war and later on to keep the Soviet state alive until further socialist revolutions would end its isolation. Those who join the line that it was a mistake simply prove how abstract and detached from the living class reality they are. In 1918, troops of the Tashkent Soviet stormed and destroyed the city of Tokand, where a Muslim People’s Council had declared autonomy for Turkestan. In Kazan, capital of the Volga Tatars, the soviet declared martial law and arrested the leaders of the Muslim military council (the Harbi Shuro). Many Muslim forces went over to the Whites (anti-Bolshevik forces). But the situation was confused, and some militias changed sides more than once during the civil war. In Chechnya, for example, the Muslims allied with the Bolsheviks Lenin intervened at this point. He violently opposed the infiltration of Great Russian chauvinism into the Communist Party. The soviet state must in no way be identified with Tsarist imperialism. A Muslim Communist Party, independent of the Russian Communist Party, was recognized, and a Muslim Military College, under the direction of the Tatar, Mir-Said Sultan Galiev, existed for a short time. Half of the Red troops facing Kolchak’s Whites on the Eastern front were Muslim. Waqf lands were returned to the mosques and Sharia courts allowed to operate, within the framework of soviet law. Basmachi revolt But the damage had been done. Islamic “Basmachi” (bandit) militias declared a jihad or holy war against Bolshevism. Based originally on the nomadic Tadjiks and Uzbeks, they attracted both the traditional Islamic-feudal and tribal elements and the White defenders of Tsarism. Central Asia, cut off from European Russia by the White armies, became the arena for a bloody civil war between the socialist state and the self-styled “army of Islam”. Lenin known Thesis on the national and colonial question: Thesis 11: (3) third, the need to combat Pan-Islamism and similar trends, which strive to combine the liberation movement against European and American imperialism with an attempt to strengthen the positions of the khans, landowners, mullahs, etc.; is referring to this force not to all the Islamic movement. This is true today as there is a real difference between Hezbollah and Hamas on one hand and Al Quida and other paid agents terrorists acting in Iraq and Lebanon on the other hand. The Bolshevik policy reflected the changing needs of the workers’ state, isolated, impoverished, invaded by more than twenty imperialist armies. The Muslim victims of Tsarist imperialism needed to see their fate as tied in with the new workers state. Insofar as they saw the forced secularising actions of the soviets as an extension of Russian imperialism, they would be driven to identify with their own native oppressors.. The imperialists, led by Great Britain, wanted to destroy the soviet state .in this situation, it was urgent for Lenin to get the Muslim masses on the side of the Soviet State, and if that meant concessions to the mosques, that was a price that had to be paid.. There is no doubt that a parallel legal and education systems existed as a transition with the intention of eventually replacing Sharia law, and soviet law always had the final say We do not suggest, we can or should, imitate the Bolsheviks, we do not have a state power nor are we fighting a civil war for our survival. We do suggest however that in the real world you can not sit in the space between two chairs for a long period. Those who are not able to stand on the side of the oppressed people of the East, may end standing with the oppressor side of the West. CG Yossi Monday, September 03, 2007 How are you? We are very pleased that you sent the article I wrote one month ago to all the members of the IS. I just want to mention as it seems from your letter, you are not aware of the fact that I asked comrade Francisco two weeks ago at the center while you were away whether you got my article. For reasons I ado not know he did not reply. Thus I did sent it to the center. Thus,I am very surprise as to your comment.”In future in such situations it would be good policy to send a copy to the IS email address as well.” This however, is a minor point. We should so I hope have a rich and fruitful discussion over the question of the Leninist anti imperialist front, and the perspective of our work in Pakistan, as we are very concern about this question. We really oppose the continuation of the work in the PPP at a time the leadership of the PPP have stroked a deal with the military dictatorship and the White house. I hope as well that the article will be circulated among the members as well. We held another schools on Marxism dealing with economy and are doing every thing we did before. Comradely Yoss Fred Weston wrote: Hi comrades, I’ve read the article and have now forwarded it to all IS members for their comments. We will need some time to deal with this, considering all the other commitments as well. In just over 2 weeks’ time we have a full IS meeting and it will be put on the agenda. As I explained in a previous email to Yossi, while I was away I did not have the access to my email as in other years (the Internet cafe’ has had its licence removed!!) so I only saw the article when I got back Thursday evening. In future in such situations it would be good policy to send a copy to the IS email address as well. In the meantime, how are things at your end? Look forward to hearing from you. Comradely, Fred Sent: Friday, August 17, 2007 7:17 PM Subject: ARTICLE DEAR FRED AS WE AGREED I AM SENDING YOU THE ARTICLE CG YOSSI i To Yossi Schwartz Dear comrade, Comrade Fred has brought to our attention some articles and emails that you have been sending to the centre during the summer. In our view both in tone and in content these constitute a series of unacceptable provocations and insults directed against the IMT and its leadership. This is a method that is entirely alien to our tendency. The sole reason for this conduct is the fact that at the IEC and summer school you got no backing for your position of support for Hamas. All the comrades saw it for what it was: a clear capitulation to Islamic fundamentalism. If you persist in this error it will inevitably lead you to one mistake after another, and finally to a break with Marxism. To confuse revolution with counterrevolution is the most serious mistake a Marxist can make and you have made it by confusing the black flag of fundamentalist reaction with the anti-imperialist struggle. This position, if it were taken as the position of the IMT, would wreck any chance of us building among genuinely revolutionary elements in the Middle East and particularly in Israel. Your refusal to correct this fundamental error is what is leading you to adopt the line of senseless provocation instead of comradely discussion. This road leads nowhere. At the summer school, you were answered very firmly by comrade Lal Khan of the Pakistan section, The only reason you have suddenly taken an interest in Pakistan is because you were annoyed by Lal Khan’s reply. You have decided to launch a scurrilous campaign against the Pakistan comrades, while praising the so-called Labour Party led by Farouk, an enemy of our International and the worst sort of opportunist who is in a bloc with the bourgeois Muslim League. This is yet another provocation. You demand that we reply. Comrade Yossi, we will always reply to serious political discussion but we will never reply to provocations. You demand we publish your articles. But our website is the website of the IMT and puts forward a definite political line that is decided by our international congresses and the organs of leadership democratically elected by the congress. It is not an open house where every sectarian can express his views. You joined our organization approximately four years ago after you split from the PO’s group in Israel. Since that time you have not succeeded in building an organization or even a single branch in Israel. On the contrary, those people who were around you have all left. We now have two comrades in Israel, yourself and Alon. We understand very well the difficulties of work in Israel and are prepared to make allowances and to help you. For that reason we gave you the opportunity of attending IEC meetings as an observer. This is a privilege for someone who does not have a section and has not been elected by a world congress or any other body nationally or internationally. It is a privilege we have never extended to any other comrade in the International. Attendance at these meetings is not an automatic right except for comrades elected by the world congress. Visitors are invited exclusively at the discretion of the IS and the IEC. In our view you have abused our invitation. At the last IEC and World School we received a number of complaints about your conduct. These related, among other things, to the following: 1) At the IEC you interrupted and heckled comrade Alan Woods during his summing up. It is true that such things do not worry comrade Woods, as he apparently indicated to you in a private conversation, but this is not a matter for him to decide but is a question for the whole IS and IEC. 2) At the school you walked out of the commission during the reply of comrade Lal Khan, in which he criticized your incorrect position on Hamas and Islamic Fundamentalism, an act of intolerable rudeness. 3) You were involved in an unseemly verbal brawl with comrade Razi of the Iranian section. This took place in public at a bar and ended with comrade Razi walking away from the table. We do not know whether behaviour of this sort was tolerated in other organizations to which you have belonged in the past, but we wish to make it clear to you that it is not acceptable in this organization. We are not worried about discussing political differences of any kind. But in our ranks discussions take place in a comradely manner. We do not permit the kind of hysterical behaviour that is the trademark of all the sects. To allow this kind of behaviour in any meeting of our organization would be unthinkable. It would not be allowed in a half-decent trade union branch, let alone on the leading body of a revolutionary international. As you know, our International is engaged in very important work on many fronts and we are achieving very important successes. The IEC is the highest leading body between world congresses and we must ensure that its meetings maintain a high level of Bolshevik discipline and that a correct and comradely tone is maintained at all times. The time of the IEC cannot be wasted by petty conflicts, squabbles and brawls. We are therefore left with no alternative but to withdraw the invitation to attend the IEC meetings. We consider that your time will be better spent working to build a section of the IMT in Israel. When you have a functioning section, you can apply for affiliation to the IMT and, if accepted, you are welcome to stand for election to the IEC, as any other member of the International. We wish you every success in this work and look forward to hearing some positive news in the future. Comradely greetings, The IS, September 21, 2007 Our reply . . Dear Fred, Would you please forward this e-mail to the IS. To the IS: We wish that we could say that we were surprised by the cowardice you have exhibited by expelling us for opposing your open capitulation to imperialism. However, after the truly impressive range of opinions we have heard in the last summer school, including your discussion about your refusal to defend the right of Lebanese refugees, supporters of Hizb Allah, to demonstrate with the European lefts of a type similiar to yours, we are not surprised at all. On the other hand, we must admit that we enjoyed very much how you repeatedly stated that you are not afraid of replying to our political arguments, while at the same time you do not reply at all! Twice in your strange reply, reflecting your state of mind, you wrote: “You demand that we reply. Comrade Yossi, we will always reply to serious political discussion but we will never reply to provocations.” “We are not worried about discussing political differences of any kind. But in our ranks discussions take place in a comradely manner. We do not permit the kind of hysterical behaviour that is the trademark of all the sects. ” We never asked that you be afraid of us. We have asked that you behave like the Bolsheviks, who replied to political arguments with political arguments. The reason why Marxists argue is to raise the level of knowledge of those participating in the discussion in order to change this world. For you the purpose is to say: “We are righteous and you are sinners,” the kind of response that we can expect from ministers of the church. The method of avoiding political debates and expelling those who raise political questions is very familiar in the history of the so called Socialist and Communist parties, and even among the so-called “Orthodox Trotskyists,” reflecting their degeneration and decay. Luckily for us, you will never have state power. As Trotsky wrote: “If the centrists, according to a general rule, do not raise themselves to imposing crimes, it is only because they forever remain in the byways of politics: they are, so to speak, petty pick-pockets of history. For this reason they consider themselves called upon to regenerate the workers’ movement with a new morality.” (from Their morals and Ours) Thank you very much for saving us the embarassment of explaining to revolutionaries and anti-imperialist militants around the world, and in particular in the Middle East, what we were doing with “a Marxist International” at a time when its main section in the word, the Pakistani section, remains in the PPP and supports in deeds its leadership, even though it is a bourgeois party led by Benazir Bhutto, who has agreed to a power sharing deal with the military dictator General Pervez Musharraf, a deal motivated by Bush’s fear of an uprising of the workers, the poor and the lower middle class, a deal which will preserve Pakistan as a pro-imperialist local power supporting the American occupation of Afghanistan. Clearly Madam Bhutto is playing in Pakistan the same role that Abu Mazen, Seniora, Mubarak and King Abdulla are playing in the Middle East. You claim that the Pakistani group is “a section which is building a mass revolutionary force under the most difficult conditions and conducting a struggle against both imperialism and fundamentalism.” We assume that you have heard from the many different so-called “Orthodox Trotskyist” International tendencies that their sections are building a mass revolutionary force under the most difficult conditions, and yet Marxism teaches us that political parties and tendencies are to be judged not by what they claim about themselves, but by what they do in the real world. In the real world the IMT section in Pakistan has crossed the Rubicon that separates those who act in the interest of the ruling class from those who are struggling for the social transformation of society led by the consciousness working class. In reality, the IMT’s great section is playing a very similar role to that which the LSSP, another great “Marxist” party, played in 1964, when it supported Bandaranaike’s widow, Sirimavo Bandaranaike of the SLFP, that later on allowed the LSSP to join the Popular Front government. This brand of “Marxist” parties like the LSSP, which also claimed to be a revolutionary party, building a mass revolutionary force under the most difficult conditions, turned out to really be parties that have crossed the red line separating revolutionists from counterrevolutionists. It is very interesting and quite amusing to read the latest article by Lal Khan on Pakistan. On the one hand he tells us, for the first time, and only after we in Israel raised the issue, that “this is not the first time that Benazir Bhutto has struck a deal with a military dictator. In 1984 she left Pakistan through a deal with General Zia-ul-Haq that was negotiated by her friend and important associate of the US administration, Peter Galbraith. Similarly, her return in 1986 and subsequent assumption of power in 1988 were brokered through “deals” with the Military establishment conducted under the auspices of US imperialism. With every deal she has dragged the PPP away from its founding socialist principles and tried to present herself as a statesperson more capable of diverting the mass movements and protecting the interest of imperialism and finance capital than others.” Then he tells us that the PPP is an empty shell: “The situation within the PPP is at a low ebb. The little internal political life left has shrunk. Most activists and leaders have been indoctrinated and programmed with the perception of attaining personal gain, financial benefits and other perks and privileges by the Party coming to power and it matters little at what cost and with what shameful compromise. Hence there is not much activity in the ranks of the party at the present time. But with Nawaz Sharif deported by force of the state, a smooth homecoming of Benazir, facilitated by the same state apparatus, would not build up any political fortune for the Party. Benazir would be further discredited in such a scenario.” Any thinking Marxist would expect the leaders of the great section to conclude that it is time to leave this decaying, rotten party, and join the mass struggle outside the PPP. But not in the IMT. For you, the friends of the working class in Pakistan, the conclusion is to remain in the PPP. “It is true that PPP has been the traditional party of the toiling masses of Pakistan since the 1968-69 revolution. But sometimes the tradition of the workers, in the words of Marx, “weighs like an Alp” on the consciousness of the proletariat. This tradition has somewhat decayed and rotted but due to the lack of a revolutionary force on the country’s political horizon the masses still have no alternative. And although Benazir’s compromises and conciliations with capitalism and its military state establishment have created political retrogression and some confusion, the PPP remains the only mass expression of the Pakistani workers and peasants.” (from Whither Pakistan?) It is the mass expression of the Pakistani workers and peasants as much as Abu Mazen is the mass expression of the Palestinian workers and peasants, or as much as the Zionists are the mass expression of the Jews. Had the renegade Karl Kautsky lived today, he would have definitely sympathized with your kind of Marxism. Do you really believe that you can convince people who want to change the world that your theory, which is no more than the expression of theoretical thinking in a bubble detached from reality, the expression of a capitulation to imperialism, is “Marxism”? In reality the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was formed only in 1967. Its program was a nominally socialist program written by a Stalinist leader by the name of J.A. Rahim. Bhutto himself was never a socialist. He was a feudal lord and a bourgeois politician, who served the dictatorship of Ayub Khan in the capacity of Foreign Minister and was smart enough to raise the slogan of socialism and join hands with some reformists and centrists to form the PPP. His role, in spite of his leftist phrasemongering, was to prevent the working class from taking power in the the 1968-69 uprising. It is not surprising that the PPP became a mass party at that time. In the colonial and semi colonial countries at the time, only parties with a declared socialist program could attract the masses. But to portray him as a socialist is a vulgar misunderstanding of Marxism and strengthens the illusions of the masses in the “progressive” bourgeoisie. Instead of organizing the revolutionary struggle, those who politically supported the leadership of the PPP helped to feed the working class’ illusions in Bhutto and the other misleaders of the PPP. They compromised with feudal lords and capitalists in the PPP, and even presented them as leaders of the working class. In reality the PPP was never organized on the socialist program. It was organized on a bourgeois democratic basis, which led to a right-wing turn by the party. When the PPP came to power in 1972, many Stalinists joined the government, but the PPP could not bring any fundamental change despite some radical reforms. This demoralized the working class. The proletariat took to the streets during the period May-September 1972. The movement was especially strong in Karachi. The government decided to crush the movement. A demonstration of workers was fired on in Gandhi, Karachi, leaving dozen

    yossi schwartz

    August 1, 2008 at 8:39 am

  26. Comrade Yossi,
    you are throwing mud to cover your own tracks. Our tendency was never part of the IC nor the IS. You are like Don Quixote trying to rescue the working class from our imagined stalinophilic windmill.
    I write to you to convey my agreement with that section of From a Scratch to Gangrene that you quoted at me, and you still reply that I slander the author of that article and accuse me of extreme cynicism. You repeat that I along with Shachtman attribute to Trotsky the position of a ‘bureaucratic revolution’ as apposed to a ‘bureaucratic impulse’. Trotsky explains the difference, maybe you should read it again to clarify your thoughts and cease to throw mud.
    But really I don’t look forward to all these long nursery stories about what Trotsky really meant when you obviously thought he was wrong, and that the SU by 1939 was capitalist and imperialist.
    To me you break the most important test that Trotsky applied to the 4th international cadres at that critical time, unconditional defence of the SU. That says it all really, and your lengthy diatribes just continue to subtract from that principle.

    Re you discussion with Renegade: I don’t object to you posting your discussion with the Grantites here, but this is not the best place for it. Why don’t you put all your documents on your own website and then post links to it to blogs such as this.
    Raved

    raved

    August 1, 2008 at 9:20 am

  27. Comrade Raved
    I can only repeat what I wrote to you.
    Your claim that the counter revolutionaries Stalinists transformed capitalist societies into workers states albeit deformed is the opposite of what Trotsky stood for. Trotsky stood on the tradition of Marx’s Communist Manifesto that only the working class can liberate itself not counter revolutionary’s middle class. In Poland he did not take your position but opposed it as disloyal. For Trotsky the defense of the SU even when he believed it was a deformed workers state was part of the strategy of working class world revolution that for him was the main principle. For you regardless of reality turning the Stalinists into revolutionaries is the supreme principle. Was Trotsky alive after the war he would conclude like his loyal wife and comrade that the SU is no longer a workers state and those who take this position to tail the Stalinists have nothing to do with the Marxist revolutionary method.!
    To hold your supreme principle and to appear as an Orthodox Trotskyists you revise all the achievements of Marxism.
    1/ you find a substitute for the working class in the form of other classes like the peasantry in China.
    2. You revised the need for a revolutionary working class party and find a substitute in counter revolutionaries.
    c. You revised Lenin’s theory of the state.
    d. You revise the meaning of a workers state and turn it from a transition to socialism into socialism.
    E. you turn the SU under Stalin to a society where the law of Value is not in operation-Which can mean only socialist or a communist society.
    F you revised even the nature of the period we live in. For Lenin we live in the epoch of decay of capitalism. For you who claimed that so many additional workers state existed we lived until the 1990s in the epoch of the transition to socialism.

    Yes you hold to Trotsky one mistake of failing to understand that the workers state was destroyed by 1939 in order to destroy all the fundamental discoveries and achievements of Marxism.
    With this I finished this particular debate.

    yossi schwartz

    August 1, 2008 at 11:09 am

  28. Comrade Raved
    I understand that you opposed the Popular front political line in Bolivia which raise a wuestion in my mind to your political orgin. I understand that your opposiiton began in the middle or late 1940s
    can you tell me what is your hisory

    yossi schwartz

    August 1, 2008 at 11:54 am

  29. Comrade Yossi,
    You can find that information on the CWG website
    http://www.geocities.com/communistworker/
    On the index page will find Jose Villa’s article on Bolivia 1952 which we agree with.
    On the CWG archive you will find information on our origins in our 1983 CLNZ program
    and our split with Workers Power in the Declaration of the Proletarian Faction
    Raved

    raved

    August 2, 2008 at 12:25 am

  30. I have a post on the Georgia situation, you might want to comment on.

    Renegade Eye

    August 15, 2008 at 10:26 pm

  31. Many years have passed since Lenin raised his revolutionary slogan:” the less evil is the defeat for imperialist Russia. He did so because even though other countries on the other side were imperialists, he lived in Russia and the enemy first of all in an imperialist country at home.

    The war of Russia against Georgia is a clear indication of an end of a period when the US was the only super power of the world. Many supporters of the US “new order” are now in tears.
    Those who fail to see that imperialism is a stage of the advanced capitalist states that include Russia, Japan , Australia –New Zealand Europe and Israel in addition to the US and not simply the US, must well come the victory of Russian imperialism as a step in the right direction. For those of us who are Leninists the defeat of Russia in this conflict with the non imperialist state- Georgia is the only correct line.
    Most of the left groups correctly do not side with Russian imperialism in the war. However, wrongly they do not side military with Georgia because of its right wing regime in alliance with the US. Confusion between regime and a state leads to reformism . For example siding with Western imperialism against Nazi Germany rather than struggling for a defeat for both as imperialists was already during WWII a symptom of reformist pressures.
    To have the correct position from a Marxist perspective: siding military with Georgia against Russian imperialism without any political support for Georgia, Marxists have to differentiate between military and political support.
    Lenin in 1917 did differentiate between the two when he defended Kerensky’s government military but not politically.
    Would US and NATO step in and fight Russia our position will change to revolutionary defeat for all imperialist sides. This in essence will be the beginning of WWIII.
    However mean time the US and NATO are not involved directly and for this reason most people who support US imperialism are in shock.
    It is a reformist mistake not to take the position of Revolutionary defeat for Russia and Revolutionary defense for Georgia.
    To understand this question even in a more clear way is to remember Iraq. Sadam was the instrument of US for many many years including in his war against Iran. He tried to occupy Kuwait with the assumption the US gave him green light. He was wrong. Now in the war of the US against Iraq the revolutionary position was and is Revolutionary defeat for the US Revolutionary defense of Iraq.
    Georgia has been acting for many years as US instrument against Russia, yet in this war the US deserted Georgia and so is Israel.
    There are many implication for the desertion of the US its weak ally-Georgia. It means among other things that If the Israeli ruling class want to attack Iran they are not likely to get the US actively on their side.

    RCG
    YOSSI

    yossi schwartz

    August 16, 2008 at 1:58 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: