- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Points considered

Posted by: Stoller on December 02, 1999 at 22:02:29:

In Reply to: Sincereity and other points.... posted by Lark on December 02, 1999 at 11:10:15:

: -Trotsky ordered the murder of the Kronstadt sailors, yet decided to ally himself with them following Stalins takeover which is real hypocritical, was he prior to this shift a 'Ceasarist'?

In both instances, the Kronstadt sailors were struggling for DIFFERENT things. Trotsky (like Lenin) picked the sides of issues, not the personalities that represented them.

In the first instance, the sailors were aligned with the SRs (which you'll recall was the political party of the petty-bourgeois peasantry before the revolution) to REVOKE the gains of the revolution; in the second, the sailors struggled to PRESERVE the gains of the revolution (N.E.P., which placated the peasants, ring a bell?).

BTW, if Trotsky was as authoritarian as you claim, why did he CATAGORICALLY RULE OUT the possibility of ousting Stalin while he (Trotsky) still commanded incredible loyalty from the RED ARMY? A question for you to ponder...

: -Trotsky did say that he was impressed by the english imperialist idea of 'right or wrong my nation' and that it should be grafted on to socialism as 'right or wrong my party', now that is hardly consistant with his new found anti-state, anti-dictator sentiments in 'Revolution Betrayed' (by this stage I'm getting the impression that he was either totally inconsistant and incapable of formulating theories that wherent grounded in his own experience)

No, at that point Trotsky was LEARNING as NEW historical trends were taking shape. The thing you miss in Trotsky's work is how his mind was ALERT to historical shifts. The contradictions were the stuff of LIFE.

: - Lenin's 'state and revolution' was written in a specific context aswell, it isnt in tune with 'Can the Bolsheviks maintain power' or any of the other leader centric rants that he wrote so he's very like Trotsky in this respect.

Lenin never said the higher phase of communism would take place BEFORE the civil war determined which class was EVEN IN POWER.

: - Why is it so important to defend the reputations etc. of these people when they where so obviously human and prone to error?

Well, if you'll stop worshipping Plato for a minute or two, you might realize that ALL HUMANS are 'human and prone to error.'

What a dumb question.

The significance of the Bolsheviks is that they built the first worker's state. Much of what they did was brilliant. Much was also flawed. It would behoove us to study their experience. It is also worth pointing out that their sucesses (and there were many)demonstrate that Marxism REMAINS a goal worth struggling for.

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