Jon Flanders 72763.2240 at
Thu Feb 29 19:32:30 MST 1996

 >>  in my view there would have to be
 more action in the labor movement than there
 is now to provoke the officialdom to do anything
 other than go through the motions. That's what
 they're doing now.
   Why is it that Labor Party Advocates remains
 small? Because the mainstream bureaucrats
 don't see the necessity for a labor party now.
 They're not going to do it in the present conditions.
 If they were somehow forced to form a labor
 party now, what would it really amount to? Not
 much. Why would they even do it?
   And suppose some breakaway sector of the
 officialdom launched a labor party? It would
 be seen as splitting labor, and probably would
 not go far. <<Jim Miller

 This is a circular arguement. The labor officialdom doesn't see the
conditions, so there won't be a party, therefore the conditions are not ripe.

 Yet at the same time, the conditions are just fine to send Pat Buchanan to
the head of the pack in New Hampshire.

 How would you see a labor party emerging? Do you think that Sweeney is going
to wake up some day, slap his forehead, and say "Gosh, why didn't I think of
that? Let's do it!"

 The split you are talking about is starting to happen now, with the LPA. Of
course it only involves a few officials. How could it be otherwise? Do you
think there will be a labor party without a split?

 And the union leaders that there are, are trying desperately to have it both
ways, to avoid alienating the Sweeney's and Trumkas. The fact remains however,
that there is going to be a convention this year, and a lot of things will
probably happen there that the labor officials won't like. Do you think that
the Republican leadership likes what they see going on in their primaries?

 There are no guarantees that this thing is going to take off, but I think
that generally speaking, the political situation is very favorable. When I
read in the Militant that we are well along the road to fascism and war, I
have a hard time understanding why the SWP has a problem with the conditions.
The only rationale that comes to mind might be that the somehow things are so
bad that we are going to skip any messing around with a labor party and
proceed directly to the sudden emergence of a mass communist party. Is this
what you think?

 Obviously a socialist approach to the labor party question is tricky. I have
learned a lot from this l*st already about the British situation. We in the
United States though have to start from our history. While there are parallels
between what Scargill is doing and Mazzochi, the fact remains that we have
never had a mass party here that sought to take power in the name of the
working class. This is different than Britain, where they are battling over
the nature of the fight for power, will it be administration of capitalism or
a socialist transformation?

 Workers in Britain and other countries with mass workers parties take it for
granted that political power must be fought for. It will be a great leap
forward...when the US working class absorbs this idea, even if the current
leadership of the working class party is reformist. Once there is such a
party, then we will start a more advanced discussion in the working class in
which the fight for socialism will become central and the weakness of
reformism more obvious.

 Best, Jon Flanders

  E-mail from: Jonathan E. Flanders, 29-Feb-1996

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