Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, No. 25. October 8, 1968
Sir-This whole correspondence seems rather pointless so long as Messrs Fyson attribute to me-and the Spartacist Club-views, we do not and have never held I find it imposible to work out how they, or anybody, came to the conclusion that the Sparacist League broke with the Pabloite Fourth International over the issue of guorilla war. This is simply not true, as those members of their group know who have been supplied with the documents about the origins of the Spartacist League.
The other reason why this correspondence is pointless is that the Fysons not only misrepresent our position, but also their own. They deny being 'Pabloites' because the organisation with which they solidarise has expelled Pablo; but in fact their entire tactical position is based on a declaration by Michel Pablo that the epicentre of World revolution is in the Third World, accepted by the 1951 conference of the Fourth International. It is this resolution which constitutes the revision of Trotsky's political thinking and this revision on which the Fysons base their position; it is this revision which the Spartacist League opposes. Pabloism involves, first a refusal to recognise that without the Western working class securing socialism the workers' revolutions elsewhere must inaugurate regimes whose degeneration from the basic norms of Marxism will slowly lead to their abandoning the objective of socialism, either voluntarily, or as a consequence of defeat in a war with the capitalist world. Second, Pabloism rejects working class revolution in the countries outside the heartland of Western capitalism and believes substitute for the working class-such as, but not only the guerilla movement-can achieve the same objectives. Thirdly, it refuses to recognise that the Chinese and Cuban revolutions, because they have involved the working-class only peripherally, have led to the creation of states even more deformed at birth than Stalin's Russia, more vulnerable to imperialist attack, more inherently unstable, and with a far greater distance to go to achieve socialism. Fourthly, Pabloism, by tailending Stalinist movements which have refused to realise the deformity of their Marxism, have been accomplices in the betrayal of the Indonesian, Ceylonese, Algerian, Greek and now the French revolutions. The Stalinist group they are tailing along behind now-until it sells them out as Castro has already sold out Czechoslovakia—is the Cuban ruling party.
I confine this letter to a clear statement of the Spartaeist and Pabloite positions, because the Fysons' misstatement have made people confused about the issues, at stake, and their misstatements, whether intentional or not, should not be allowed to stand. Their position should be stated as what it is-the view, in the words of Australian Pabloite Nick Origlasse that 'to accept at the present time the views of Trotsky expressed in his theoretical works would be to adopt a disastrously wrong political position'. The Fysons do show in the style of their letters, if not in their content what they believe in: a Marxism which is only expressed to calumliever'. whose hallmark is the niate someone not a 'true beroutine villification heresy hunt and the announcement that 'so-and-so (never the National or Labour Party, but a 'deviationist') must be exposed'. It is to cleanse Marxism of this kind of puerility that Trotsky worked throughout his life, and this that the Spartacist League still stands for. If their concent conceptions of Marxism did not disqualify the Fysons from any pretence of Trotskyism, their methods of controversy certainly would.
Owen Gager, Chairman, VUW Spartacist Club.