Another interesting piece on the Trotskyite roots of some key Washington neo-conservatives in the National Post.
Jeet Heer traces neo-con thinking from the ‘Third Camp’ position of the revisionist US Trotskyist Max Schactman, who rejected the orthodox position of ‘defending’ the USSR by the novel method of calling for its overthrow. Instead he opted for outright hostility to the Soviet Union. Schactman ended up a leading figure in the hard-line cold warrior wing of the US labour movement and was a supporter of the Vietnam war.
It is an interesting article but it ommits one key component of Trotskyite thinking which I think is crucially also a central element of the neo-con appraoch.
One of Trotsky’s many criticisms of Stalin was that he was not interested in ‘exporting the revolution’ . It was a view which looked a bit silly after 1945 but that didn’t stop British and American Trots from continuing to spout the same line that Stalin was only interested in ‘socialism in one country’ even after the spread of Soviet state socialism to the whole of Eastern Europe (never mind the small matter of China).
The idea was that it was the responsibility of the revolutionary centre (ie Moscow) to promote and support revolutions globally, possibly it seems with the use of force (old Leon was always a bit vague about this latter part, possibly because he spent his exile living on the grace of capitalist governments).
Now, are the neo-cons not taking the US as the centre of the democratic, global capitalist revolution? And are they not enthusiastically supporting the export of the revolution, on occassions by force? Are they not keenly hoping for strikes and uprisings in places like Iran.
In contrast their enemies on the right are the isolationist conservatives who are more content to follow a policy of ‘democratic capitalism in one country’ and to settle for a form of ‘peaceful coexistence’ with anti-democratic regimes?
(thanks to Chris for the link)