Adam Rose on vanguards (fwd)

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Wed Oct 25 06:16:31 MDT 1995


On Wed, 25 Oct 1995, Mark Goudkamp wrote:
> 
> Nevertheless, having a clear analysis of Stalinism is important. For
> example, when Vietnamese refugees arrive on our shores and are locked away
> or deported, should the left turn a blind eye to such
> "counter-revolutionaries"?; when Kim Il Sung died last year, should we have
> rejoiced or mourned?; when those struggling to set up independent trade
> unions in China are locked away or tortured, do we support them?; when
> Castro says that opposition to his rule is CIA-inspired, do we
> automatically agree?
> 
Louis: People can have all sorts of opinions on historical and 
international questions and should speak their mind. I am opposed to 
building parties with a "line" on the sorts of questions you allude to 
above, however. I belong to an organization which includes people who think 
that WWII was a "people's antifascist war" and people like myself, who think 
it was an interimperialist war, a war against a worker's state and wars 
of national liberation all at the same time. So what? I want belong 
to an group that has the potential to become larger. Groups like the SWP, 
ISO, etc. will never become large because they require intellectual 
conformity around a host of peripheral questions.

Also, you will find disagreements in the CofC around "American" questions 
as well. They will be debated out in public, just the way the Bolsheviks 
used to. Angela Davis has one position on the MMM, Carl Davidson another 
and I a third. We don't have a "party line" decided by some guru or gurus 
somewhere in a national office and then passed down to the ranks through 
a party newspaper. If a socialist party is built in the United States, 
the newspaper must function like Lenin's Iskra: a place where different 
tendencies *within* Marxism can argue out the developing program for an 
American socialist revolution.

All that is needed is discipline when the time comes for mass actions, 
strikes, etc.


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