Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Mon Jul 24 06:39:23 MDT 1995

On Mon, 24 Jul 1995, Howie Chodos wrote:
> I would want to argue that there is a difference with situations where there
> is an aggressor. And I still hold that the situation in WWII is an example
> of this. The situation in Bosnia seems to me to be more closely analogous to
> the situation which prevailed during WWII than during WWI, in the sense that
> there is one side that is the aggressor. It is also clearly not a situation
> where the chief rivals for supremacy in the international arena are directly
> slugging it out on the battlefield.

Louis Proyect:
You know, Howie, as much as I'd love to give you a lengthy
explanation of why WWII was no different than WWI, I just don't have
time to do the reading right now. I wish there were some other folks
on this list who had a similar point of view so I didn't have to do so
much work. The research on Yugoslavia, ordinarily a topic that I'm
just not that interested in, took 2 days away from work I was doing on
an article on eco-socialism.

Nowadays I have as much use for the politics of the Socialist Workers
Party as a former heroin addict has for the needle. But there is one
little bit of orthodoxy that I still adhere to. The SWP opposed WWII as
an imperialist war, in contradistinction to the CPUSA which
considered it to be a "people's war". For their outspoken opposition to
WWII, the leadership of the SWP was arrested under the provisions of
the Smith Act, found guilty, and received prison terms.

James P. Cannon testimony at the trial is contained in the pamphlet
"Socialism on Trial" which presents the case that WWII was an
imperialist war, not substantially different from the first world war. If
this work is not in your library, I suggest you pop down several
Dramamines and visit your local SWP bookstore where they're likely
to have a copy. Its a point of view that will challenge you and, as
Marxists, political and intellectual challenge is what we thrive on.

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