Generic Trotskyist Headquarters Contents
Our Favorite Radical Linx
Unnofficial site of ICL (FI) Spartacists
Unnoffical site of the historic Bolshevik tendency now the misnamed New Zealand dominated International Bolshevik Tendency (IBT)
Unnofficial site of CWG documents
Documents on the Russian Questionand other basic position documents of the GTL (40%off)
Documents on early French Socialism, Freemasons and Illuminati
Our Unique Viewpoints on Marx's Historical Materialism
What is Trotskyism, Revolutionary Politics, and Life Itself:
Greetings fellow Earthlings. We live on a big rock rotating around a bigger hot
rock, inside a curved expanding universe. None of us really understands how it is
that we can think and speak etc, yet we have finally devised a computer
intelligent enough to beat Gary Kasparov in a game of Chess, no mere feat. Our
greatest scientists like Edward Witten are still unable to explain the conjunction
of the gravitational force with the rest of the basic forces of the universe
(electromagnetism/ nuclear strong/ nuclear weak forces) and so, we really have
no idea why we are stuck to the planet and don't just fly off into outer space.
In the meantime, we have at least developed industry and agriculture on this planet sufficiently to feed, clothe, and house even the growing population, yet the vast majority of the population slaves away so that a tiny minority can blow their money on bad quality cocaine,garish jewelry, and electronic pets. Is there anything wrong or immoral about this? Most of the media seems to think its great! And who are we to object.
However, Martin Luther Kingsupposedly said that if you haven't found anything worth dying for, then you haven't found anything worth living for. Therefore, in our eternal search of something worth living for, we in the Generic Trotskyist League (40% off) have found a cause worth dying for. On this hideously backward planet, inhabited apparently by billions of excessively intelligent neurotic monkeys wearing poorly tailored business suits, a mere handful of these monkeys are organized into a political association called the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist). We agree with these monkeys which we will hereby describe merely as people or more specifically as the ICL, Spartacist League or better yet to save the agony of typing "the Sparts" -- well, we agree with them about a lot of things.
We agree with them that human history is the result of a long evolution. We agree that Darwin and Marx are intrinsically linked as philosophers and scientists who (respectively) described the evolutionary link of biology and human culture. We agree that the present capitalist system is a class dictatorship which contains an inherent contradiction. We agree, that Trotsky's Transitional Program is the most modern and most germane statement of Marxist politics in the present era. We also agree that the question of how Marxists organize themselves is of paramount interest if you believe that capitalism is the main problem which plagues human life on this planet.
So what is our first cause? We are pissed off at the high membership dues which the Sparts charge. We are offering the Trotskyist Program for 40% off. What a deal. You could already be a winner.
What is our second cause? We are pissed off that all these billions of intelligent monkeys living on this rock (often called "the masses") refuse to grasp that the Sparts have been working their butts off trying to sell their little newspaper for over 30 solar revolutions. After all this laudable back breaking work hawking little newspapers (whose ink smudges like crazy) these masses remain indifferent, they would rather kowtow to Clinton and co.
Furthermore, we are pissed off that the Sparts have degenerated into an
authoritarian nut cult and have recently expelled their editor and several other
veterans of the organization for refusing to fork over their telephone bills. Geez
Louise...talk about giving Democratic Centralism a bad name. Whatever their
heresy, the Norden group should at least have been allowed to circulate their
documents. We demand that the ICL rescind the expulsions and rather expel those responsible for this purge!!!!
We don't wish to take a cheap shot at the Spartacist League as so many on the left do. We are willing to judge them by their own Marxist/Leninist/ Trotskyist standards. And despite everything they remain one of the few semi serious political organizations on this backward planet. Up until recently we have been unable to provide a link to the Spart web site since they didn't have one and have denounced the internet as a place for swindlers. We would suggest that the low price of web access is seen as a threat by the Spart leadership since using the web would eliminate the rational for charging members for outrageous printing costs. Also, since the Sparts seem to be notoriously anti environmental, less trees cut for Spart publications would endanger the industrial base of the planet, ie the future proletarian plum of conquest.
Ironically, the official ICL (Fourth Internationalist) ("Spart") group has boycotted the web, but Spartacist websites are popping up everywhere!! This is an extraordinary example of what new age ideologists call the Hundreth Monkey effect. Please note, there is absolutely no coordination or affiliation between our website and these other sites. We take no responsibility for them, and they certainly don't take any responsibility for us.
First, we ran into the website of Robert Malecki, a Vietnam war era protestor and Spartacist supporter. Hit this link to go to the unofficial Malecki's Spartacist Site. Since Malecki is doing so much work to push their political line in cyber space, we humbly suggest to Spart high command that they might be so generous as to provide Malecki with some diskettes or even Emails with the Ascii versions of their articles (which they of course have archives of) rather than forcing this poor tortured soul to type in each article from the printed version.
Geez Louise, for a Marxist group who published an article on the environment
entitled Land The Concord On Westway (which was a pro-technology slogan
intended to piss off yuppie environmentalists) these guys simply hate using
technology to push their politics. This is fundamentally anti-Leninist. Lenin was
well aware of the latest technology of his day and pushed for the Soviet Union to
be in the vanguard of developments in electricity and radio. Perhaps our slogan
should be Land The Concord On The World Wide Web!
But wait theres more! We also ran into this website published by a humble reader of the Spart paper Workers Vanguard in the Bay Area. Not to be outdone, we have decided to build our own unofficial website dedicated to presenting important Spartacist documents to the internet community. Check out a directory of all the unofficial Spartacist sites at the Unofficial Spartacist website (tended by the Generic Trotskyist League (40%off))now!
However, our complaints with the Sparts didn't start with their expulsion of the Internationalist (Norden) Group. When we/I quit the Spartacist tendency in 1989, I cited primarily cultural and philosophical reasons. Indeed, we still are livid over a Women and Revolution article on the Austrian radical psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich one of our heroes which is poorly researched and quite dogmatic. Other reasons cited at the time for our split included lack of concern for animal rights, the environment, advocacy of traditional western medicine over holistic approaches etc.
Soon after leaving the Spartacist League, we ran into Robert Anton Wilson's rather bizarre book Illuminatus! Trilogy. Wilson, an ex Trotskyist, sets his novel in the late 60's at the height of the New Left led anti-Vietnam war movement. Wilson's protagonist, Saul Goodman, an ageing liberal Jewish New York detective is called upon to investigate the bombing of an anarchist magazine Confrontation. At the demolished offices of Confrontation, Goodman finds a box full of memos - the Illuminati Project memos.
As he reads these memos, Goodman is forced to constantly alter his liberal democratic worldview. Each memo links a major world event, from the rise of Nazism, to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, to the bourgois democratic revolutions of America (1776) and France (1789), to a secret society called the Bavarian Illuminai. As Goodman reads further, this secret society is linked farther back in history. First to the Hashishim cult of 10th century A.D. Arabia, and then finally back to the lost continent of Atlantis in the 11th millennia B.C.
To Marxists like ourselves, it was common knowlege that the Freemasons (a bourgeois democratic fraternal organization) had played a paramount role in the American Revolution of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789. Not for a second did we fall for the typical right wing claim of a secret link between Nazism and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Clearly Wilson's book was a joke. But the question remained, when did the Freemason influence on the Marxist movement end.
An old series of articles on the origins of the communist movement by the Spartacist League dating from 1973 clued us into the lineage of the communist economic program from the left Jacobin (actually Hebertist) Gracchus Babbeuf and his disciple Fillipo Michel Buonarotti (a descendant of the artist Michelangelo.) But had the role of Freemason societies in the communist movement ended with Marx and Engels who emphasized public propaganda? Yes and No.
True, Marx was willing to join secret societies when it came down to trying to get closer to the Blanquist group which was the group most closely associated with the Babeuf Buonarotti heritage. But this is trivial. The legacy of Masonic communism lived on in a few ways -- none of which were really addressed by Robert Anton Wilson's book. One, Masonry survived as an archaic feature primarily among intellectuals of the right wing of the workers movement (particularly in France.) Indeed, Lenin and Trotsky had to purge French Masons like Frossard out of the French Communist Party in 1920. Later, Trotsky had to purge Masons out of his French Fourth Internationalist Group in the 1930's. But rather than being the instigators of history as Wilson and other conspiracy theorists claim, here, the Masons were merely an archaic politically disoriented feature of the right wing of the workers movement -- in short, one more potential reformist obstacle to real Marxism.
Traces of Masonry certainly survived in the iconography and symbolism of the Marxist movement. Freemasonry for Trotsky became an important historical object for study utilizing Marx's method of historical materialism (see Trotsky's My Life.) Furthermore, other left-wing historians wrote interesting pieces on Masonic communism including the anarchist Kropotkin (who quotes from the early French socialist Louis Blanc's Book of Ten Years.)
Perhaps we got a little over-obsessed with this point. Nevertheless, we formed the Epigone Liberation Front and confronted both the Spartacists and a small ex Spart group the Bolshevik Tendency (now the IBT or International Bolshevik Tendency) with our research. The results were predictable, we were laughed out of the room. Indeed the Bolshevik Tendency was certainly willing to admit that Freemasonry had played a big role in the French socialist and even Trotskyist movement. But supposedly the American Trotskyist movement centered around James Cannon and later James Robertson was immune from such quackery.
However, an early Bolshevik Tendency document, The Road To Jimstown, had keyed us in on this question. This document alleges that Jim Robertson founder of the Spartacist League thinks he is the reincarnation of Robert the Bruce. Our researches reveal that Robert the Bruce is the hero of the Scottish Rite Masons.
Despite being blown off by the Sparts and BT, we continued to find strange references to Freemasonry in the Spart paper Workers Vanguard including photos of Afghani trucks with the Masonic compass on the front, references to Freemasonry in France, and the Masonic compass on the East German state emblem all with nary and explanation. Notably, the 1973 series of articles on the origin of French socialism mentions the word Masonic lodge only one solitary time, although this entire 8 part series of articles is focused specifically on an epoch when virtually all leftists were organized in the Masonic movement! A more recent series on the French enlightenment by Joeseph Seymour again has so far mentioned the word Freemason only once and only because he quotes from a book in which the word Freemason is in the title.
For the Bolshevik tendency who considered themselves to be the pinnacle of the James Cannon/Spartacist League school of organizational thought (who understand little about Marxism than the Russian question and the organization question) Masonry takes on an entirely different importance. Here, the disdain for conspiracy theory is simply a sham to cover up their lack of understanding of all of the higher ends of Marx's theory which is the product of European thought.
Here Masonry is a code word for intellectuals and European intellectualism which is deemed anti-worker and anti-Bolshevik. What nonsense! These so called Spartacists (and post Spartacists) think they are named after the communist group led by Rosa Luxemburg (the Spartakusbund) which was supposedly named after Spartacus the Roman slave rebel. But these so called Spartacists are behind even our poor Saul Goodman of Robert Wilson's novel. They don't realize that Rosa Luxemburg clearly named her organization after Adam Weishaupt founder of the Illuminati. All of the revolutionaries of the French Revolutionary (1789) era took names based of heroes of the Roman Republican times. There was Gracchus Babbeuf, and Adam Weishaupt (Spartacus.)
Hit this link to check out our writings on The Freemasons and Early French Communism
Finally, we were cured of our obsession with Masonry for two reasons. One, we finally had to admit that the BT had a reason for its existence. True, they were just a dry, formulistic and dull as the Spartacists (perhaps more so.) However, their early documents (the bulletins of the External Tendency) clearly showed that the Spartacists had intentionally! destroyed some of their own trade union caucuses, particularly in the highly strategic longshore union (ILWU.) This was hard for us to swallow, because to us, the Spartacists we THE workingclass centered group on the American left, and the Spartacists (to their credit) had fought hard to win us to a working class centered perspective. However, it was clear throught he documentation, that the Spartacists had essentially abandoned a working class focus, and here and there had actually taken up the orientation and slogans of their Stalinist and New Left opponents... Well, it would be one thing if they had just taken up that program, unfortunately, when it came to dealing with their ONLY serious critics on the left (the BT) they also took up the Stalinist methods of agent baiting and (thankfully primarily verbal) intimidation.
Unfortunately, the BT soon afterwards fused with one Bill Logan, pseudo Marxist dogmatist, organizational jerk, liar and general shmuck. Logan, an ex-Spartacist leader, had been one of the worst elements of the Spartacist's bad regime. He had been expelled under somewhat questionable circumstances. However, on the whole, we think his expulsion was probably just. The BT had certainly never been perfect. While defects in some of the BT's slogans and articles certainly did not make the Spartacists any healthier or the BT's criticisms of the Spartacists any less true, the BT quickly developed a pronounced rightward political motion. First they claimed that the Soviet workers state collapsed in a single day (this was primarily a question of method -- we say it took two years from 91-93). Then they purged their Bay Area branch. The expelled minority formed the Communist Workers Group. We actively supported the minority and tried to build the Communist Workers Group but were never actually accepted as members.
Unfortunately, the Communist Workers Group while containing several intelligent, dedicated and sincere cadre, was never able to come to grips with the Russian Question. Without this essential political compass at a time when events in the ex-USSR were creating thorny theoretical problems for orthodox Trotskyists, members of the Communist Workers Group constantly fell back on the organizational question -- this time in an organization that had no Bill Logan as a potential dictator. The result was a series of 4 debilitating splits which more or less wiped out the group. Our split was actually the smallest, but we are the only group emerging from the Communist Workers Group to persist and build a website. We continue to stand on some of the basic documents of the Communist Workers Group.
Hit this link to check out Communist Workers Group documents.
In the meantime, we had discovered that Karl Marx actually made a mistake in his schematization of the epochs of world history. This mistake did not show up at all until the famous 1940 faction fight between Trotsky and Max Shactman. We pointed out, that Trotsky, although formally correct, used a finer measure of the epochs of world history than Marx had. This was a bit unfair to Shactman. Shactman had insisted that the Soviet Union was a never before seen form of class society, namely bureaucratic collectivism, ie it was neither a workers state nor was it capitalist. In truth, two of the earliest epochs of class society, The Asiatic Mode of Production and the Greco Roman Slave Epoch could be empirically termed bureaucratic collectivist. Shactman was asserting that despite its modern industrialized features, the Soviet Union was essentially similar to these pre-capitalist societies. Trotsky asserted that the political form of the Stalinist dictatorship was a mirage, and given the modern idustrialized state of the society, the internal contradiction which beset all modern industrialized countries would eventually cause the bureaucracy to spin apart leading either to a Proletarian Political revolution ie socialism or a capitalist counterrevolution. Hit this link to check out our unique interpretation of Marx's Historical Materialism