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Today, when US warships are steaming towards Syria and a conflict with
Russia seems even more likely, it is even more necessary to understand the
background, including why so much of the "socialist" left has joined forces
with the far right in at least giving Assad/Putin/Rouhani a pass if not
outright supporting him.

Blind to Syria?
• Why the Syrian revolution matters to the world workers’ movement
• How and why Putin is drawing together the many racist and chauvinist
forces in the West
• How an alliance of some of the most racist and chauvinist forces supports
• Why some socialists are tending to get drawn into this right wing web


We have to combine the drive to “do something”, the drive to change the
world, with an equal drive to understand the world. Otherwise, we just end
up running up one blind alley after another.

During the 1930s and onward, Stalinism came to dominate the socialist
movement. That was inevitable, given the bureaucratic domination of the
Soviet Union, as represented by Stalin. Not only did Stalinism dominate the
socialist movement organizationally, it also did so politically; it was
responsible for a total perversion of the ideas of revolutionary socialism,
of Marxism. It was left to Trotsky and a small group around him to fight
for the real ideas of Marxism. Although they remained in a small minority,
the task of continuing the real traditions of Marxism for future
generations to learn from and utilize was a vital one.

Today, despite the fact that the bureaucracy upon which Stalinism was based
is gone, many of the basic ideas of Stalinism still remain and are
influential. As we explain in this pamphlet, they have become just as
pervasive but even more damaging. Even many of those who consider
themselves to be supporters of the ideas of Trotsky have been influenced by
these false methods. For example, they (maybe unconsciously) discount the
very idea that there is a class struggle in Syria, and that our task is to
support the working class – international working class solidarity, in
other words.

This situation may continue for some time, and might get even worse. It is
very possible that it will take giant and even stunning events to shake up
and transform it. But exactly such shocks are inherent in the present world

Meanwhile, we can – we must – continue to struggle to apply the Marxist
method to the present crisis – a crisis not only in capitalism but in the
socialist movement. That method starts with struggling to understand the
nature of this situation and how we got here, based on understanding actual
concrete events.

We hope that this pamphlet makes a contribution to that task.

We also hope that this pamphlet can help the movement take a practical
first step: In the context of the attacks on immigrant rights, we should be
fighting for the US to admit the Syrians who are refugees from the brutal
attacks of Assad and company, as well as from the attacks of the Islamic

Read entire pamphlet here:
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