Friday, 12 June 2009

Revolution betrayed?


I have recently started reading a new biography of Ernest Mandel by Jan Willem Stutje, 'A Rebel's Dream Deferred'. Ernest Mandel, as some of you may know, was a Trotskyist leader, part of the International Secretariat of the Fourth International from the mid 1940s onwards.

Stutje describes an amusing anecdote about a meeting between two leading members. In 1947 Mandel met with Livio Maitain in Milan, having recently attended the congress of the French socialist youth organisation at which they were first introduced:
Maitan never forgot how Mandel, seeing chalked on walls everywhere the slogan 'Viva Internazionale!', delighedly exclaimed, 'Absolutely incredible! So many internationalists in Italy in spite of the Stalinists and the reformists.' Mandel hadn't realised that 'Internazionale' was simply the name of a big Milan football team.

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