Debate & Discussion: No terror

Submitted by AWL on 22 July, 2005 - 5:36

I do not agree with many of your positions but I found your article on the bombings in London very good, above all the passage: “Political Islam has its own roots and its own logic, and cannot be dismissed as just the ‘bitter fruits"’ of evil US and British policies, any more than Nazism could be dismissed as just the ‘bitter fruits’ of the US/ British/ French carve-up of the world after World War one, requiring no special condemnation or opposition in its own right.”

This line of argument has helped me sharpen my own critique of “Islamic” terrorism. In this context I found the following quotation from Rosa Luxemburg: “The proletarian revolution requires no terror for its prosecution; it hates and repudiates murder. It does not need this means of struggle, because it struggles against institutions, not individuals... It is not a search for a means of modelling the world to its ideal by force, but the activity of the millions of the people...” From What does the Spartakusbund want?)

This formulates with great simplicity and clarity what has been forgotten by many believing themselves revolutionaries: a consequence of the decades-long dominance of Stalinist ideas, even among most Trotskyists, who stick with apologias for the October Revolution and are not ready to undertake an open critique of Trotsky’s terrible book Terrorism and Communism.

Christopher Kulcher

• A long reply by David Merhav to Colin Foster’s “Social Revolution” (letters Solidarity 3-76) is printed on our website at:

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