Rejoinder to Prof Carlo Fonseka
Dialectics aside, every sane reader will agree with both my formulations: the Age of Socialism is indeed dead; Socialism no longer exists as a global challenge to capitalism either as a rival system, an alternative social formation, a world-wide movement or an ideological force. However, in Fidels Cuba, socialism does remain alive. Now if that twin, dualistic (contradictory, dialectical) reality is not comprehensible by Prof Carlo or acceptable to his logic, well thats just too bad.
The fact that my analysis does "not imply that the [i.e. socialisms] defeat is temporary" (DJ, Sunday Island December 16th p 9) does not mean that I have concluded that it is permanent ("dead for good and all" - Carlo Fonseka)! That latter interpretation is either sleight of hand oh Carlos part, or more likely, simple incomprehension. On the permanence or otherwise of socialisms defeat, I am agnostic. Whats important is to figure out what really happened; to set the record straight.
As for the LSSP and Trotsky, far from having been right, now that the dust has settled on historical communism/socialism and the jury is in, all the evidence proves that they were plumb wrong. The core thesis of Trotskyism ( and the LSSP) was the impossibility of Socialism in One Country. And that was asserted about vast, resource-rich Russia. Socialism has survived in the little island of Cuba 90 miles from historys mightiest power (a hostile one), economically blockaded, with no support from elsewhere, with no socialism elsewhere, for a whole decade after the collapse of socialism in the USSR (its ally and patron). If that is not Socialism in One Country, what on earth is?
Even my most astringent critics would concede that false modesty is not one of my more manifest character flaws. So when I do confess an inability, its in all sincerity. It is outside even my capacities to educate Carlo Fonseka on Marxism, contemporary history and international political realities. (And I would dearly love to see anyone do this within the space constraints that the editor of this paper will obviously face). Therefore, I quit.
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