From email@example.com Fri Jul 21 08:25:19 2000
Rebuttal to Clarence Ellis' "The Importance of Radical Marxist Views for Contemporary Caribbean Societies" (Rodneyite, 30 mar 2000)
By Dave Silver, 13 July 2000
Ellis reveals his anti-communism in a left disguise when he alludes to "Communist-Party-directed socialism or what Noam Chomsky referred to as state socialism." His lack of a class analysis or a historical materialist approach becomes apparent when he cites the "failed socialist experiments" in Guyana and Jamaica.
Ellis totally ignores the role of U.S. and British imperialism-its destabilization, threats and military pressures on these countries. Ellis conveniently omits the example of Socialist Cuba.
In particular the role of the C.I.A. which provided money and the opposition political puppets such as Forbes Burnham, Guyanese president who was determined to "exterminate the forces of opposition" finally led to the assassination on June 13, 1980 of the martyred Marxist scholar and activist Dr. Walter Rodney who always made a clear distinction between capitalism and socialism. Development for Rodney meant either you travel one road or the other. No hybrids.
Before his death Rodney noted the "remarkable advance of socialism over the last 50 odd years" which the apologists for capitalism ignored. (How Europe Underdeveloped Africa Howard U. Press 1982) Or as the great dramatic poet and Communist Brecht said they are "the intellectual pimps for the bourgeoisie."
Michael Manley president of Jamaica, was not a Marxist nor committed to Socialism. His social democratic views precluded this option. In addition he increasingly bought into the so called "new thinking" and the "market economy." (which provided the ideological underpinning for the counter revolution in the Soviet Union)
Not using a class analysis Ellis naively calls for "democratic control of the corporate sector", which is like demanding that Transnationals put people before profit. Again Ellis refers to "the colossal failure of state socialism." The unparalleled achievements of the USSR and Cuba despite unheard of destruction of its infrastructure and loss of over 20 million of its citizens in the former and the weapon of mass destruction called a blockade of the latter is not mentioned. In spite of this "colossal failure" made colossal achievementsin health, education, full employment, housing, literacy, culture and sportand where you can witness unchained bicycles in Moscow or Havana. Failed experiment indeed.
Ellis invokes the name of the Polish revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg as having a "revolutionary vision." He demagogically calls for a "Radical Marxism" which will "incorporate the classical liberalist emphasis on inner impulse", which he believes will change "human values and behavior." Contrast this ahistoric, idealist view with what Luxemburg advocated and published in Leipzig in 1899 in her article Social Reform or Revolution. "But since the final goal of socialism is the only decisive factor distinguishing the Social Democratic movement (later to be called the Communist Party) from bourgeois democracy and from bourgeois radicalism, the only factor transforming the entire labor movement from a vain effort to repair the capitalist order into a class struggle against this order. It is no wonder that in his list of References the names of Marx, Lenin or Rodney fail to appear