Defending the essentials of Revolutionary Trotskyism

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29/03/2018 by socialistfight


Viriato Lusitania is a comrade from Chile who escaped the Pinochet dictatorship in the late 70s and fled to France. There he encountered the Lutte Ouvrière and others who claimed the heritage of Trotskyism. This is a comment he made to a Socialist Fight reposting of Gerry Downing’s reply Nick Davies’s repudiation of Trotskyism, both of which were published in Bob Pitt’s What Next Journal in 1998.

It is enormously encouraging to see that one from my generation, just two years older, has politically evolved in the same direction, towards genuine revolutionary socialism, Trotskyism, since first we met at the Lutte Ouvriere Fete in 2012 or 2013 and saw we took the same line on Libya and Syria in contrast to neighbouring stalls, also claiming to be Trotskyists, who were hailing the jihadist uprisings funded by imperialism as genuine ‘democratic revolutions’.

He is from a Maoist background in Chile and I am from Gerry Healy’s WRP via many other groupings since, but both of us always developed our own independent critical political faculties no matter who we engaged within united front struggles. It is true that my first political awakening was in defence of Mao’s Cultural Revolution in Cork in 1969.

Gerry Downing – 29-3-18


Image result for viriato lusitanian warrior images

Viriato, 23/11/2017

As ever, clear and just.

But, the question remains: Why so many so-called Trotskyists has taken it so wrong? Trotsky which I am reading is so clear that it is difficult to understand why their epigones were so wrong.

Why were/are they so far from the real working class? Of the real class fight, the political national life where the working-class lives?

Thirty years after the fall of the URSS, many of them have transformed themselves into auxiliaries of the US imperialism and/or indirect supporters of the bourgeoisie in their own countries. It could be supposed they will profit the collapse of Stalinism but…they have given the proof of their uselessness.

What is wrong, my view or “Trotskyism”? Can you ever trust a Trotskyist more than some months without finding yourself with some “new developments” that goes direct into an opportunist way? And this because of some “liberty of tendency” coming from petit bourgeois membership, the most of them?

That was my explanation but, reading Trotsky, which is so far from “Trotskyists” I could not but agree fully with his analysis. This after reading the biographies of Vyacheslav Molotov, Lavrentiy Beria, Nikolaï Ivanovitch Iejov, Pavel Sudoplatov, Andrei Gromyko, and others who, in the essential, confirm completely the Trotsky point of view.

How can, such a clear and correct point of view as the one upper written, the SF, could be so scarcely followed? What this means?

I am near 70 and all my life a “Marxist-Leninist” militant (the ones who are perhaps in a larger decadence with no sound theory to have a future albeit their support for Lenin, but they do not understand IMHO) but now I can agree mainly with Trotsky. In fact, he was the one who was right, in the essential after Lenin. It is perhaps too late, I have not the force to become a Trotskyist (what that means today?) but I should say, in behalf of the truth, that it is as it is.

But, again, can the real Trotskyists (SF for the moment) be trusted? LO in France get into an indirect support of imperialism, LCR just capitulated, Lambertism is a divided mess and the other are a bunch of ultra-left with no audience at all. And it can be said worst on all of them.

How and where an old militant can do other than discuss on Internet (which I abhor)?

Perhaps too much confusion on my part.


Introduction to Why We Must Defend the Essentials in Order to Condemn the Errors: A Reply to Nick Davies

NICK DAVIES HAS placed many historical question marks against Trotskyism in his article “Trotskyist Regroupment” in What Next? No.8. The article represents a national-Trotskyist degeneration because he does what all bourgeois commentators do: he analyses what happened in the USSR as a product what happened within that state alone. I would most strongly contend that it was the fate of the international class struggle that determined the outcome and that it was Trotsky’s orientation to that international struggle, despite the mistakes and hesitations of the mid-1920s, that is the Trotskyist heritage today. Nick’s is an essentially negative and deeply pessimistic contribution which looks on failed historic struggles with petit bourgeois scepticism and concludes that the whole thing was probably not worth the effort. It is written by someone who has become what Trotsky called a “worshipper of the accomplished fact”. He questions everything from this standpoint.

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