Bernie Sanders Info Wanted

Scott Solomon ss341 at columbia.edu
Fri Mar 3 08:09:39 MST 1995



I must confess I don't know too much about Bernie Sanders.

At any rate, I can't disagree more with Tim Wohlforth's ideas about
working within the Democratic Party.

I don't think the problems with the "ultra-left" are really due to its
"ultra-leftism".  The CLA/SWP in the 1930s was able to grow, lead large
struggles . . . were they really any less ultra left than say The Workers
League???   (Not in tactics, I mean in program)

One big difference was that the CLA/SWP *did* try to organize
large numbers of workers.  If you were to invent a brilliant method for
organizing five thousand workers and called up the WL or the Sparts and
offered to put together a massive network together for them, they'd tell
you to forget about it.  They don't *do* that!  I suspect the CLA/SWP of
the '30s would definitely go for it.

Maybe if Farrell Dobbs hadn't been pulled out of the Teamsters and made
National Secretary of the SWP, the SWP, with some creativity, could have
taken over the whole union.  Then again, maybe not.  But in today's
climate in which union bureaucrats sit back while entire unions are
destroyed (i.e. PATCO), a climate in which only 12% of the workforce is
organized, the possibilities for an "ultra left" group seem to me to be
boundless.

I like the fact that Tim Wohlforth has mellowed out over the years from
when he was National Secretary of the Workers League, but I wish he
hadn't mellowed out quite so much.  Working inside the Democratic Party
is a huge waste of time for the left.

I don't think the left should allow the incompetence of figures like
James Robertson, Jack Barnes, David (Greene) North, and others to
demoralize it into the arms of the Democrats.


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