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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Young Trotskyists on the internet—they are REAL ANNOYING

By SJ Otto
As a member of a Maoist group of blogs I'm used to seeing the need for us to reject revisionist Marxist ideology and groups. However in this country the left is so small it seems counter productive to fight amongst the other left factions.
Lately I’ve been going to a Facebook page on Marxist Archives. I have noticed that many of the Marxist who go there are both Trotskyists ( Лев Дави́дович Тро́цкий) and young. Maybe the fact that they are young indicates they are inexperienced. Maybe I'm realizing that being older affects the way I see things and vice versa. For example some time ago I had to deal with people who were trying to convince me that John Lennon is a reactionary. They were saying the same thing about hippies. I remember the 1960s and 1970s. I can't believe anyone from that time period would say that Lennon and the hippies were reactionary. And when I bring this up with my less political, but friends, the same age as me, they laugh. The ideas that those things are reactionary literally make them laugh.
Either way I’m finding it hard to deal with them on issues of foreign policy.
This is important because I feel a need for a combined effort by all Marxists in order for us to ever have a Marxist movement big enough to have a revolution in the US. I still think that such unity between factions is necessary. But so far these groups are extremely hard to deal with.
One huge problem is their negativity towards Maoism (毛泽东). It goes beyond just “not excepting the need for a Maoist revolution.” It goes into direct and out right contempt.
An article was posted at that site, Maoism as Anti-Eurocentrism, by Redzeal, pointing out that some of the anti-Maoist opinions of Western Marxists are rooted in Eurocentrism. The reaction to this on the site was predictable. For example:

 “Problematic analysis.
Mixes humanism with radical agency perfunctorily, collapses post enlightenment developments in Europe (Hegel, Marx, etc) into imperialist history too simplistically in its critique of European history and the capitalist class developments of the "core".
“The only ones who can counter Eurocentrism is the European working class.” (Really! No need to combat Eurocentrism? If this isn’t Eurocentrism I don’t know what is.)

And then there is this plain and ridiculous comment:

“The author either is ignorant of, or lying about, the anti-Eurocentrism of the early Comintern and its continuation by Trotskyists. What's more I find it hard to take seriously an analysis which upholds Maoism as anti-Eurocentrist when Mao demanded that a billion Chinese act like idiots and worship him as an infallible deity. Plus, how anti-Eurocentric was Mao's betrayal of third world revolutions when it conflicted with his diplomatic goals?”

And some earlier comments said it all:

“I don’t consider Maoism to be Marxist.”

“Mao was not a Marxist and China is just another state capitalist excuse for being commie.”

Note that the last few comments have dismissed the entire Chinese revolutionary experience. It was the largest and one of the most influential socialist revolution and these people have dismissed all of it.
It is hard for a Maoist to work among Marxist-Leninists who are not just “not Maoist” but strongly anti-Maoist to the point of not even willing to accept the idea that Mao is among the many Marxist theoreticians and writers that others read.
Another serious problem is the rebellion in Syria and these young Marxists' reaction to it. Many of these young Marxists are calling for support of the Syrian rebellion and have strongly denounced the Bashar al-Assad/ بشار حافظ الأسد Regime:

“I find it just as surprising that anybody who considers themselves to be a Marxist would support any Islamic fundamentalists as would support Assad. They are all enemies of the working class. As far as al Nusra -- check out Leila al Shami's FB page. She shows protest after protest to this very day against both them and Assad. It's quite clear that the masses of people in Syria don't see them as their liberators.”

But who do they see as liberators? The only organized supporters of the uprising are the reactionary Free Syrian Army and a lot of al Qaeda affiliates. How is that liberating? What good does it do to just support a mob of people because they struggle against a dictator? Without a Marxist or Maoist organization the best we can hope for is a new US puppet of imperialism. How is supporting that Marxism? I am not an anarchist and that is more like what these people support than Marxism.
These people often say: “We should support the working class struggles within countries.” Yet without any organization to represent those struggles we are just the equivalent of anarchist supporting rebellion for the sake of rebellion.
Many of these people have nothing but glowing praise for these crowds:

“Even after over 5 long years, Syrians continue to demand freedom from dictators and would-be dictators in ties or turbans
'Syria protesters brave streets after five years of carnage'
22-04-2016: '...The protests are a reminder that the sentiments that inspired the revolt against four decades of Assad family rule have survived not only the civil war, but an Islamist takeover in which jihadi forces like Isis and al-Qaeda have dominated the armed rebellion.
“[It] created the opportunity for Syrian citizens to go back to the streets and remind everyone how this began five years ago — as a peaceful civil uprising by individuals demanding their basic rights to justice and equality,” says analyst Maha Yahya, of the Carnegie Middle East Center.”
Marxist don’t necessarily support unarmed uprisings. They can on some occasions but we prefer an armed population that is taking on their oppressors. There is little to do with Marxism in these kinds of postings. I like to support resistance that is organize with a clear vision of ideology and future.  To support all rebellions no matter who leads them is more like the beliefs of an anarchist. To not insist on a Marxist ideology is just plain reckless. The Syrian opposition is likely to bring about a US imperialist puppet as in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Strangely enough there is a Communist Party and some other leftwing groups in Syria and they are supporting the Assad Regime. If anyone deserves support they do. People from those groups have argued with the young Troskyists over the support of Assad within that site. It seems ridiculous that those who live in such a country don’t have a right to support the government they have if they choice to do that. The Syrian Communist Party has been attacked by the anti-Assad people.   
They have a right to seek a government that will give them space and allow them to exist. This just makes the young Trotskyists look reckless. Some of these young people sided with an anti-Shining Path (actually Communist Party of Peru) Peruvian against me because she was “from that country and knows better than I do about Peru.” Now they are the ones saying they know better than the people from Syria.
It is possible that these people will provide some use if this country is ever in a revolutionary situation. They may be helpful in organizing people against the bourgeoisie for a new and revolutionary government. But so far, when it comes to foreign affairs they make all the obvious mistakes. They fail to recognize most of the revolutionary experiences from the 20th Century and their importance.
In the short run they are very annoying. In the long run they may be dangerous. But I don’t want to discourage them to the point where they just quit and become Republicans. The road to revolution is a long and dangerous one.  

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