"loons in RCP"

Justin Schwartz jschwart at freenet.columbus.oh.us
Thu Apr 20 12:53:32 MDT 1995

My dismissal of the punk-anarchist style of organizing and presentation is
a question of style here, not political ideology. Anarchism is a
respectable contender among the varieties of socialism, and nothing Noam
Chomsky accepts can be dismissed out of hand. What I refer to, though, is
the in-your-face childishj maximalism of the young punk-anarchists and the
RCP which is designed more to shock their parents and reinforce group
identity than to win broad support for socialist politics (anarchist or
other). As people on the list will know I do not believe in hiding my
politics, but presentation is very important. We need to win the respect
of those among whom we organize and to do coalition work which requires
sober, plain, understated rhetoric and civilized dress and behavior.

In this respect I guess I owe something to the Maoism _I_ was trained in,
that of the now-defunct CXommunist Workers Party. Just try to get a
hearing from the workers in your UAW or AFSCE local carrying on in the way
the RCP or the punk-anarchists do--much less getting elected to union
office or organizing a rank-and-file militant caucaus like the Teamsters
for a Democratic Union. A Maoist princiople: to live in the sea, you have
to swim with the fish. I shouldn't have to say this.

--Justin Schwartz

On Thu, 20 Apr 1995 glevy at acnet.pratt.edu wrote:

> I don't know that calling the RCP "loony" is a very useful political
> description.
> The "style" of the RCP, justifying the designation "loon", was
> described as "punk-anarchist."  I don't believe that either punks
> or anarchists are loony.  The punk movement represents a counter-
> cultural movement that has many different components and ideologies.
> Anarchism is a social movement and ideology which Marxists need to
> take more seriously and stop "dissing" as "loony."  Of course, it
> is alot easier to dismiss a social group with a well-chosen negative
> (and apolitical) term, but I don't believe such an approach is very
> useful or analytical.

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