[Marxism] : Joaquin re ISO, SWP, and Cuba (a ketter to Wakter Lippmann)

Joaquin Bustelo jbustelo at gmail.com
Tue Nov 20 05:14:01 MST 2007

Fred writes to Walter: "I want to thank you for your response to Joaquin's
loony take on ISO vs. SWP on Cuba, a purely theoretical burst which ignores
the simple fact of which side they are on."

"Which side are they on" is not a matter of ABSTRACT POSITIONS but
engagement with real social layers and forces in motion.

Is the SWP contributing to the antiwar movement? To the immigrant rights
movement? To building the Green Party? No, they simply abstain on ALL
political and social struggles of the day. 

It is not a question of having a BAD LINE for these movements. It is that
their real line is that these movements should not exist at all -- their
real line, not as expressed in the blah blah blah of the Mutant, but on the
ground, in real life, where it counts. 
Except of course on the Green Party, where even the line of their propaganda
is that it should cease to exist.

Fred writes: "The fact is that from the Dobbs and Hansen trip to Cuba in
1960 on, the SWP -- small and irrelevant as it may seem in general today --
has been an important defender of the Cuban revolution in the United

Yes, in the 1960s the SWP was an important defender of the Cuban Revolution
and even more so at the end of those years and following because the most
important thing that could be done to defend Cuba was to build the U.S.
antiwar movement and help the Vietnamese win. The SWP of those years was a
contradictory phenomenon, in some ways acting like a sect, in some ways not.

That contradiction was largely resolved at the end of the 1970's and
beginning of the 1980's with the "turn to industry," which I am amazed that
some comrades can still see their way clear to defending. The essence of
this "turn" was to turn away from the real struggles of working and
oppressed peoples and towards the purely imaginary, non-existent social
movement of the working class as expressed in the unions. 

To speak of the pre-1980 SWP and post-1980 SWP as if it were just the same
thing, with the same general poetical approach, is bonkers. 


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