File spoon-archives/marxism-general.archive/marxism-general_1997/marxism-general.9707, message 304

Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 17:03:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: M-G: Re: greetings

On Thu, 31 Jul 1997, Rolf Martens wrote:

Just some very few lines, Bruce, in response:

> >Frankly, I see little difference between the Stalinism of the Soviet
> >Union from 1928 on, and your Maoism. 
> Medicine didn't work! A dificult case. Like many others, here
> in Sweden as well as in US. What shall I say: Please read my
> "ERROR..." stuff not 10 or 20 times but 30....?
>  And I see little difference 
> >between the economies of China and the United States, other than a
> >superficial claim to communist ideology on China's part.
> For Chris' sake, the *present* China of course has nothing to
> do with Mao Zedong; did't you knos that? The whole Cultural
> revolution 1966-76 was in order to prevent such things as the
> later restoration of capitalism, 1976/78 - wich succeeeded because
> of the strenthg that the bourgeoisie still had, internationally -
> from happening. 

OK, I'm not sure I agree but will read up on Mao before I continue
in this segment of our debate.  

> >A Marxist is someone who adhers to the ideas of Marxism, regardless
> >of their background or party affiliation, or for that matter, their
> >political activity or inactivity.  So a person who calls herself a
> >Marxist will usually at least have some idea of what Marxism is, I
> >think.
> No, no, no, no, NO! BIG mistake. In 0.01 percent of the cases,
> or something, today. Rest will be mainly shit. This is basically
> because the bourgeoisie today *must* camouflage itself as "leftist",
> or must have very important forces that do so - also because it
> takes a certain education to become a Marxist.

Bullshit.  If I subscribe to the ideology of Marxism, I am by
necessity a Marxist.  Your idea that the ruling class is pretending to
be wolves in sheep's clothing is totally paranoid.  I certainly don't
see Bill Clinton pretending to toe the Marxist line, or even Tony
Blair.  Who's pretending?

> There were bloody *none* "residual forms of socialism" in
> SU in 1990. The 1989-91 transition was one from *fascism*,
> or a sort of feudal system, to another (and also brutal)
> bourgeois one. Towards the *end of the 1950s* - *at the
> very latest*, there was a *bourgeois* dictatorship in
> the Soviet Union. I know - a certain trend of thought denies
> this. But (and I'm not blaming you all that much for falling
> for it) that trend is basically *very* reactionary, and
> mendacious. A piece of advice: Be *very* sceptical of those
> people who're saying this.

You're forgetting that "socialism" is a broad term.  There are 
many forms of socialism.  The question for Marxists today is,
which form should be supported and promoted?

The forms of socialism line up under two categories: socialism
from above (USSR/China) and socialism from below  (Cuba,
Russia from 1917 until 1928).

> One example: Primitive small Afghanistan was invaded by big strong
> Soviet social-imperialism in 1979; for almost a decade a war
> was fought there (with US imperialism providing *some* but not
> that much help or "help "to the defenders). There was *no*
> socialist power in the world at that time, no power that
> could help the Afghan people in any consistent way. What happened?
> Despoite their modern weapons, massive air power and everything,
> the social-imperialists got *licked*. A good example of that
> *strength of the people' (in one country and in the world) that
> you don't understand, Bruce - which is one reason you're
> falling into the trap of "supporting yourself" on *gangsters*
> or advising the peoples to do so - not seeing or not wanting
> to see that they *are* gangsters.

What trap?  I never argued that Cuba should support itself on
the USSR or any other power.  The fact remains--which you have yet
to disprove--is that establishing primary trade relations with the
USSR was a move Cuba needed to make, in order that the revolution
not be crushed by U.S. imperialism.  I think your Maoism has the
wool over your eyes on this one.

> >> That propaganda negates the fact - which is often not clearly
> >> visible, which is only there "under the surface" but which *is*
> >> there, of the strength of the people in the world. *That* was
> >> one thing the Chinese communists in Mao's time, and also one
> >> small party in Germany that used to be *very* cood and which
> >> I had close contact with from 1974 to 1990, always stressed.
> >> A very important fact! There *was* a "third" way for Cuba!
> >> I'm not saying it wasn't difficult. But it was there.
> >> 
> >
> >What, the maoist-stalinist way?  Nope, again.
> >
> >
> >> >Che did support diversification of agriculture, but that didn't
> >> >happen--I think--until the 1980's or so. 
> >> 
> >> OK, it would still be a sound an necessary road to follow.
> >
> >It has been followed.  In addition to its main crop--sugar--Cuba
> >grows a wide variety of other crops as well, in particular
> >tobacco.  Interestingly enough, Cuba has integrated its agricultural
> >system with a system of environmentally-friendly "ecological
> >tourism."  You'll never see that happen in a Stalinist society.
> Oh yes, that's true. I saw in one paper how that old (in fact)
> big-power lackey Fidel had recently turned into a "green2,
> which is a phoney, arch-reactionary line too. But more on
> this some other time.

Fidel is the recognized leader of the Cuban Revolution.  Every
revolution has its leaders; that is part of the glue which holds
the revolution together.  Your criticism of Fidel on the eco-
tourism policy is unfounded; has it never occurred to you that
perhaps the Cuban government actually CARES about the
environment?  Or are you so cynical that everything is mere
propaganda to you?

> >Cuba was--and is--a sovereign nation and had its own
> >volunteer standing army.  They simply shipped it to Angola and
> >won.  Why is it necessary to attribute that effort to the
> >Soviet Union?
> To believe this is pretty much as naive as believing that
> the US had *nothing to do with" the various puppet governments
> in southern Vietnam in the 60s and early 70s and sent troops
> there to "defend liberty".

Two words:  Cynical drivel.

> >I'm not blaming Stalin, but StalinISM.  And Khrushchev only continued
> >and worsened the status quo put in place by Stalin.  By the way,
> >I'm still wondering why Maoism ought to be thought of as any better.
> >
> >Bruce Burleson
> "Stalinism" again. Probably you'd need to read that stuff I sent
> not 30 but 40 times, Bruce. Or, to be more precise, a form of 
> information addition on many different points would be needed to 
> make you see how things are. I wrote "from now to eternity" in the
> beginning of that "medicine" stuff, and that's about the time
> perspective for (e.g.) our debate on this, eh?
> Rolf M.

Well it appears that on some issues, i.e. Cuba, you and I will
never agree.  

Bruce Burleson

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