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Commentary :: Organizing
Moving Beyond The Religion of Trotskyism towards Real Anti-capitalism
26 Sep 2006
Argues that the political religion of the secular Left known commonly as Trotskyism is failed, outdated and must not be allowed to derrail the anti-capitalist movement.
1. As a precursor to the emergence of Libertarian/Democratic Socialism from below, I am interested in building and organising anti-capitalist SOCIAL MOVEMENTS; and NOT ''socialist parties'' or ''anarchist networks''. My focus and priority as an anti-capitalist who wants to destroy capitalism is in process dynamics and not institutional construction. ''The paper'' is to the neo-Trotskyist what the ikon is to the Orthodox Catholic. In the same manner that the ikon serves as imaginary intemediary between feligresi and ''creator'' (sic.); the neo-Trotskyist newspaper serves as intermediator between the cadre and ''the massess'' (sic.)
2. Trotskyism is a secular religion of the Left. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels are famous for having considered that the criticism of religion is the precondition for all criticism as it concerns political-economy and social questions. In our days this critical approach must be applied to the various secular Leftist cults: The Cult of Trotsky, The Cult of Che, The Cult of Mao and the Cult of Joe Hill. The anti-capitalist movement must work to extirpate these cults from the movement in order to prevent them from derrailing it in its advance.
3. Because I choose out of free will to agree with the subjective premise that Libertarian/ Democratic Socialism would be the rule of virtue (assuming the neo-Platonic premise that Justice is the Rule of Virtue and subsequently that Socialism is that ''Virtue'' that equals ''Justice''); I am interested in promoting the ideal of Libertarian/Democratic Socialism as a positive solution and logical alternative to the system of applied injustice that is capitalism. I am not interested in the sale of partisan newspapers or of branded propaganda materials as raison d'etre. A consistent anti-capitalist cannot be a salesman; rather he or she should be, fundamentally, a persuader. As socialism should not be for sale: I do not wish to participate in the process of commercialisation of socialist ideas. I rather be one of those who gives away the paper and the buttons and the litterature. I am one of those who would encourage the interested to ''STEAL THIS BOOK''.
4. The true measurement of ''success'' for an anti-capitalist activist and proponent of Libertarian /Democratic Socialism (acting in context of actually existing social movements), is how effective they might be at persuading others to join the social movement in question and beyond that convincing them in context of the said movilisation that Libertarian/Democratic Socialism is the solution to the depredations of neo-liberal capitalism in our times. It is NOT about how effective they might be at selling''Anarchist'' or ''Socialist'' merchandise or related branded paraphernalia on the market. Monetarist accounting is not what makes a socialist. My priority focus as an anti-capitalist activist is (1) on the promotion of Libertarian/Democratic Socialist ideas as a solution and (2) on contributing to the organisation and growth of contrarian social movements. Always with a bias towards the economic and the political of course (because ''there'' is where the money and the power are concentrated); but never really dismissing the potential that might exist on the ''cultural'' aspects of the social. And yes, I am clear that ''the cultural'' is socially constructed.
5. As a whole, Trotskyism has failed in the historical field. There was never a ''political revolution'' in the Eastern Bloc. There never has been a ''permanent revolution'' in the neo-colonial world. The ''Transitional Program'' never broke the workers from the social democratic farse in the developed western countries. Keep in mind that Trotskyists have been reformulating THE SAME THEORIES over and over again since the 1930's with no tangible results.
6. There are no ''socialist parties'' or ''anarchist networks''; only very small groups (of committed people no doubt), who think to themselves and tell each other that they are. The only ''real socialists'' are those who practise socialism, and to be a ''real socialist'' one must first be an anti-capitalist. I am interested in the formulation of a new political syntesis, a new praxis. One that might involve the insights of Marx when applicable - and yes maybe even those of Trotsky, other dissident Marxists like Rosa Luxembourg and Andres Nin and the anarcho-syndicalists. But fundamentally, an anti-capitalist synthesis that proposes what is understood to be ''Libertarian/Democratic Socialism'' and that presents itself to a contemporary post-modern public with a brand new language and a psychology of conceptualisations rooted in current events, struggles and conditions. Not a recapitulation of outdated interpretations of Marx, not a cosmetically refinished representation of the postulates of Trotsky, Che or Anarco-Syndicalism. Rather, a brand new synthesis for our times.
Anyone who states that only they or their party or thir network is ''right'' is WRONG. Anyone who claims full knowledge of absolute truth is a LIAR. As I begun, I end with another important quote from Marx: ''Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." - Karl Marx ''Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right'' (1843) .


Semper Indomitus !

p.s. I do not know the whole truth - no one does. I do not claim to be ''right'' - I am willing to admit (along with Marx) that I might not be. Ask your favorite ''Trotskyist'' or ''Anarcho-Syndicalist'' ideologue to do the same... see where that gets you.


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still a marxist
27 Sep 2006
I'm not sure the author of this piece has actually read any trotsky, though he makes a couple of good points.
The ideas that are crucial to understanding history, as well as politics in general, are often portrayed in antiquated terms by Marxists, who still focus too much attention on the Russian Revolution, Lenin, Trotsky, etc.

Yes understanding history is VERY important, but there are better ways to get the ears of the American public than talking about a hundred year old revolution.

For those interested in the writings of Lenin or Trotsky, I would recommend the following:

Lenin: The State and Revolution, Left-Wing Communism

Trotksy: The New Course, the International after Lenin, The Revolution Betrayed