In Defense of the SWP/anti-war mov't

David Walters dwalters at igc.apc.org
Mon Oct 14 11:19:32 MDT 1996


Bob,
 a few things.
First of all the pamphlet which you site "Stalinism and Trotskyism in
Vietnam", published by the Sparts, is a good pamphlet but hardly deals
with the anti-Vietnam war movement, but rather on the relationship
between the mass Trotskyist movement vs. the Stalinist sell outs of the
Vietnames revolution at the end of WWII. It is worthwhile for this alone.

You refer to the anit-War movment as "popular frontist" with out
defining what a popular front is and how popular fronts, first and
foremost, are electoral/governmental formations designed from the
get-go to hold back the mass movement in general and prevent a workers
siezure of power specifically. You offer no evidince that the anti-war
movement fit this criteria. You don't state what the level of the class
struggle was is the US at the time or what would of been NOT popular
frontist to do at the time and who was doing it. But you don't. You
just flippantly call the movement and the role of the SWP in it
"popular frontist" hoping, perhaps, that the reader wold buy this
simply because you're stating it as fact. Your wrong, IMO.

The Usec Majority wasn't anymore "left" than the Maoists were here.
First of all, the position held by the SWP at the time and the slogans
rasised were supported by close to 40% of the Usec membership, insofar
as the old Leninist-Trotskyist Tendency (and later Faction) represented
this perscentage of the Usec. At any rate, their position was "Victory
to the Vietnamese" and "Support the NLF" and similar slogans. Of course
the anti-war movement in Europe was from the point of view of Europeans
looking at what the US imperialists were doing. Even so, their slogans
failed to address the main enemy and what to do about it: US Out Now!
was, IMO, the only REAL anti-imperialist slogan during the anti-war
days of the 60s and 70s.

Now, what the SWP could of done IN ADDITION to its principled anti-war
work could fill the entire bandwith of the Interent....

David Walters


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