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Marxism versus Sectarianism - "The dogs bark: therefore the caravan is moving." (Arab proverb) - An alien method.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

��ࡱ�>�� �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������[email protected] ��0�bjbj�2�2 (��X�Xu���������������tttt8� �ttuv88888888�������$�R= ��88888��88/���8�8�8��8�������8, �����t8d��E0u�� �� ���b����� �� 88�88888�Marxism versus Sectarianism By Alan Woods "The dogs bark: therefore the caravan is moving." (Arab proverb) An alien method My attention was recently drawn to an article signed by Luis Oviedo, entitled The Counterrevolutionary Position of Socialist Appeal (in Prensa Obrera n� 826). Having read the article, I could not decide whether it was the product of bad faith or simple ignorance. Certainly, the method used is contrary to every basic principle of Marxism and above all Trotskyism, which comrade Oviedo and the Partido Obrero (PO) claim to defend. The Argentine PO has had some success in recent years. In its ranks there are good militants who sincerely wish to advance the cause of Trotskyism and the socialist revolution in Argentina and Latin America. Its members have undoubtedly done some good work in developing the movement of the piqueteros. All this merits our sincere respect, and we believe that in our past polemics with the PO we have always maintained a scrupulous and respectful attitude. This is not a little detail. The inability to answer criticisms and differences in a democratic and comradely way will undermine the party and prevent it developing beyond a certain limit. All internal differences and criticisms will be stifled and silenced. This means that all the good work done by the members will be undone sooner or later. The reason for this is not at all diplomatic. We are not liberals but Bolsheviks, and we maintain the genuine traditions of the party of Lenin and Trotsky, which we have defended against revisionism for more than seventy years, nationally and internationally. It should be added that revisionism comes in all the colours of the rainbow, and contains not only a right but also a "left" colouring. Why were the great Marxists so scrupulous in answering the ideas of their opponents? ...read more.

Middle

on "How to work in the SP" when he says the following: "So far as the criticism of the centrist leadership is concerned, it is very important to pay attention to this: that this criticism should not lose itself on side issues which can only irritate the Socialist following, but should be concentrated upon well chosen and important questions. There is a certain danger that our comrades will react in meetings with mockery and contempt to the centrist superficialities and platitudes. From the very beginning this may create an unfavourable atmosphere for us. For the simple member who does not have the necessary political training, it is difficult to raise himself to the level of our criticism, and therefore irony (even the most deserved) can have a disturbing, suspicion-arousing, and exasperating effect upon the rank and file. This gives the centrist leaders the opportunity to mobilise these sentiments against us. Therefore, the greatest patience, a calm, friendly tone is indispensable." (Trotsky, Writings, 1935-36, p.268.) From the same letter, it is clear that Trotsky was unhappy with the way the French Trotskyists had carried out work in the SP: "Besides in France, also, far too much energy was expended upon the frequently purely phraseological 'exposure' of the leaders, and too little for a more deep-going work at the base, especially among the youth." (ibid, p. 267.) All these criticisms can be levelled at the PO and the other ultra-left groups. They have not understood a single line that Trotsky and Lenin wrote. Luis Oviedo does not like our article. Why does he not like it? Because it criticises the leaders of the COB in a constructive way - in a way that could actually find an echo in the rank and file of the union. It does not call them traitors or inform the rank and file that their leaders are the same as the bourgeoisie! ...read more.

Conclusion

We invite all members of the PO, and all others who wish to fight for the ideas of Lenin and Trotsky, to enter into a comradely dialogue with us. Do not depend on the false interpretations of your leaders! If you wish to know the truth, contact us and find out for yourself! London, December 17, 2003. 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