My attention was recently drawn to an article signed by Luis Oviedo, entitled The Counterrevolutionary Position of Socialist Appeal. 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 claim to defend. By Alan Woods (December 17, 2003)
See the translation in Spanish:
Marxismo frente a sectarismo - Respuesta a Luis Oviedo

In the three articles that Luis Oviedo has written in answer to my article published on January 7 (Marxism versus Sectarianism - Reply to Luis Oviedo) a number of very important issues are raised. These questions deserve the most careful consideration by Marxists in Britain, Argentina and internationally. However, in order to clarify the issues raised and to educate the cadres (which ought to be the aim of every polemic) it is necessary to avoid heated language, distortions and personal attacks that only serve to divert attention away from the political questions. Such an approach will only confuse matters instead of clarifying them.

We continue this reply by taking up the question of the 1982 Malvinas/Falklands war, explaining what the real position of the British Marxists was at the time. In answer to Oviedo's blatant distortions Alan Woods explains that they opposed the war as an imperialist war on both sides, and adopted a genuine internationalist position.

How did Lenin and Trotsky pose the question of war? What emphasis did they put on the right of self-determination? In replying to Oviedo, Alan Woods puts the record straight. He also explains how countries like Argentina, Turkey, Pakistan, etc., are weak imperialist powers, subject to the domination of the major imperialist powers while at the same time having their own imperialist ambitions locally.

How to solve the Malvinas question – and how not to solve it. Alan Woods concludes his analysis on the Malvinas posing the question from a class point of view. And in response to the scandalous accusation that we are somehow apologists for British imperialism, he also explains the position of the British Marxists on Ireland, explaining that we were the only ones who opposed the sending in of the troops back in 1969, and have always maintained a consistent class position throughout. This is the last part. recently published an article by Celia Hart in Havana. It has a very great significance, because the author, who is the daughter of two well-known leaders of the Cuban Revolution, calls for a discussion about Trotsky’s role and ideas. It immediately caused a controversy on an international scale. One of those who attacked Celia was a certain Israel Shamir, who raked up all the old Stalinist myths about the great role of Stalin. Alan Woods comments.

In Part Two of this article we deal with the statements of G. Zyuganov published in Rebelion under the title Stalin y el Partido Comunista Ruso hoy (Stalin and the Russian Communist Party today). Zyuganov attempts to revive the authority of Stalin. Alan Woods sets the record straight.

In Part Two we concluded with how easily the old Soviet bureaucracy accepted the passage to capitalism. Comrade Zyuganov sings the praises of the Stalinist bureaucracy in the economic field. But contrary to what comrade Zyuganov would like us to believe the Stalinist bureaucracy, and Stalin himself, were actually preparing the conditions which would eventually lead to the collapse of the state-owned planned economy.

An article by Israel Shamir, La saga de Woods, appeared on October 15, on the Spanish language web site Rebelión. Shamir brings out all his Stalinist venom against genuine Marxism – i.e. Trotskyism – but he also adds some of his own novel ideas. Alan Woods, basing himself on the classical writings of Marx, Engels and in particular Lenin, shows how Stalinism and Marxism are opposites. In Part One he deals mainly with the question of ‘Socialism In One Country’, stressing that this represented the narrow nationalist outlook of the bureaucracy and was in total contradiction with the internationalism of Lenin.

In the second part, Alan Woods explains that far from playing a revolutionary role, the ideas of Stalinism were disastrous for the world Communist movement. They led to the defeat of the 1926 Chinese Revolution. Stalinism was also steeped in racism and nationalism, an example of which was the terrible treatment of the Jews in Russia. The “two stages” theory led to a series of disasters in the colonial revolution, and the official Communists in Cuba, instead of backing Castro actually supported the Batista regime, all in the name of supporting some imaginary progressive national bourgeoisie. Today, these same ideas, if followed in Venezuela, risk the derailment of the revolution. Israel Shamir understands none of this.

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