Mass action and the actions of individuals

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at
Thu May 2 18:13:33 MDT 1996

On Thu, 2 May 1996, Hugh Rodwell wrote:

> Robert also shows the way the Vietnam war is not over yet and not a 'dead
> issue' in any sense. Maybe the fact that American imperialism is still in
> fact keeping an American opponent of the war (unjust, remember?) in exile
> can't be faced by people who are more patriotic at heart than they would
> like to admit. To call for and work for and put your life on the line for
> the defeat of your own imperialist state is not a trivial commitment - and
> a lot of the snide carping about Robert is making a mockery of this
> commitment. Calley got let off and let out for his crimes against humanity

Louis: Hugh, some of us tried to mobilize the working-class, including
GI's, in mass action against the Vietnam war. I have no problem saluting
people who took actions as individuals to make a moral statement against
a criminal war, but on a Marxism list we should be a little sensitive to
the political questions involved. Society is not changed by exemplary
actions of individuals, but by the masses themselves.

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