Mass action and the actions of individuals

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at
Fri May 3 00:46:49 MDT 1996

Louis writes:

>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.

Louis, get a bit of proportion into your argument.

Show me where I said 'Society is changed by exemplary actions of
individuals, not by the masses themselves'.

Show me where I have been insensitive to the political questions involved.

Show me where I put down attempts at 'mobilizing the working-class,
including GIs, in mass action against the Vietnam war'.

Then reflect a little on how important 'exemplary actions of individuals'
can be in catalyzing the rest of us into action -- and I'm not talking
about individual terrorist actions out of sync witht the mass movement, but
simple things like standing up to the enemy when the enemy is in a position
to inflict great suffering on you, to break your life or even kill you.

After all these years, Robert is still not allowed back into the States.
Calley walks free. Imperialism as administered by Clinton is the same beast
as imperialism run by Nixon and all the others.

Which, in passing, is why it's so pathetic to see so much energy being
diverted into 'keeping Buchanan and his fascists' out of power, or 'dumping
the Gingrich gang' instead of organizing an independent political
expression of working class interests for the removal of the capitalist
system and the replacement of the bourgeois state by a workers' state.



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