Slander on Tim W.

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Aug 17 07:59:11 MDT 1995

On Thu, 17 Aug 1995 TimW333521 at wrote:
> In the 1960s I certainly did get up at anti-war conferences and urged the
> left to turn to the labor movement and, as a political expression of that
> turn, I advocated a labor party.  I believe that my concern with the ties of
> the anti-war movement to the Demcratic Party was rather widely shared by
> others on the left.  My way of expressing this viewpoint could very well have
> been shrill and sectarian.  Yet, as I look back on those days,  I can think
> of far worse positions the Workers League took.


Tim, I think that "The Prophet's Children" is the most profoundly
honest account of the whole 1960's "Marxist-Leninist" experience that has
been written, and I once again urge list members to read it. However,
there just a touch of "apologia" in the remarks above. The problem of how
to engage the labor movement in political action gets to the heart of
socialist politics. I believe the way to get people activated politically
is by involving them in a living mass-movement, not by propagandizing to
them. This was the approach of the SWP and the CP when they collaborated
on building the mass antiwar movement. The SWP of course has abandoned
this approach and now looks almost identical to the Workers League of
1970. Revolutionary parties (and I still believe we need a revolution)
emerge out of mass movements, not by assembling a cadre around a bunch of
books and announcing yourself as the vanguard. This method is the method
of religious fundamentalism, not Marxism.

> Today I propose that genocide in the former Yugoslavia  --perpetrated by ANY
> side -- should be stopped.  I advocate the use of force to stop it as no one
> is listening to anything else.  I support a call to the UN --imperfect tool
> that it is -- to use such force, as there is NO OTHER TOOL!

I'm glad you raised the subject of the UN, Tim. I am done with my
research on the questions that have been posed by the discussion on the
former Yugoslavia. One of the items I found helpful was Gabriel Kolko's
study of the origins of the United Nations in his "Politics of War
1943-1945". Part of my report to the list will involve a class analysis of
the UN, which is badly needed.

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