L-I: About Jim Craven's report from Seattle

Craven, Jim jcraven at SPAMclark.edu
Tue Dec 7 14:25:55 MST 1999

Response (Jim Craven) I hope that in praising Julio's response to my post
and also noting his condemnation of LM and RCP, that this person is not
putting me in the LM or RCP camp. I have nothing to do with either.

What distinguishes Marxist-Leninists from rightists and petit-bourgeois
nominal "leftists" is that although we believe in forming broad United
Fronts against Fascism, Imperialism etc, we do not believe in the twisted
and dangerous "logic" embodied in the old saying "The enemy of my enemy is
my friend." Indeed the immediate "enemy" of my strategic enemy may and often
does join in to become another strategic enemy. That was my point in some of
my comments. Some may dismiss this as some kind of "sectarianism" or
"infantile ultra-leftism", but others may call it "principle" and a matter
of tactics complementing rather than sabotaging strategy. And yes sometimes
some odious alliances are deemed to be strategically necessary albeit
disgusting in principle, but that is another matter from what was being

What do I say to the old guy out demonstrating who, when I asked him about
his issues, told me that he was demonstrating against the WTO as part of the
Council on Foreign
Relations/Bilderberger/Illuminati/Jewish/Bolshevik/Bankers conspiracy for a
one-world communist government? Do I say "right on, at least your
demonstrating against my enemy, so as the enemy of my enemy, we must be
friends and allies"? Do I say "you are in the streets taking action so you
must be progressive since action is the thing not the issues prompting your
What do I say to the Pat Buchanan supporters who demonstrate against WTO as
an instrument obstructing the kind of "sovereign" fascist and racist State
they would love to see? What do I say to workers betrayed by the labor
aristocrats parading around as saviours of the American worker?

As a matter of simple logic, if those actions bring people to consciousness,
what prevents those actions from taking people to the "consciousness" of the
Hoffas and the John Birchers rather than the consciousness of
anti-capitalism and socialism? Only a principled differentiation and stand
as to what the issues are really about and who the main enemies really are.
Does anybody believe that the Hoffa types are saying those who stand in
common actions stand as allies? Maybe some of the petit-bourgeois liberals
might be saying that as liberals typically stand for very little except the
veneer over the substance--the de jure over the de facto.

That's just my opinion; that's what I saw and feel. I have hope and I'm all
for hope; but an aspirin for cancer, although possibly giving some relief
and "hope", can be worse than no aspirin as it delays effective diagnosis
and removal of the pathogens.

Jim Craven

-----Original Message-----
From: SMye5 at aol.com [mailto:SMye5 at aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 1999 11:41 AM
To: leninist-international at buo319b.econ.utah.edu
Subject: Re: L-I: About Jim Craven's report from Seattle

My comrade Julio,
          I rarely contribute to L-I, but on reading your refreshing and
genuine communist response (below) to Jim Craven's report on Seattle, I had
no choice. What a world of difference from the 'Living-(dead) Marxism'
analysis which the bourgeois media liked so much here in London. If I ever
see a LM/RCP person on a demo (which never happens nowadays they only appear

on TV or Tory media) in London, it is only my Marxist training that will
me physically attacking any such person, if "person" is in fact the
applicable word to describe this breed of thing that is less than animal!

in warm comradeship, Steve Myers.

In a message dated 07/12/99 12:59:40 Greenwich Standard Time,
julfb at sinectis.com.ar writes:

> Hi, my friends and comrades.
>  I have been very bussy with a film I am producing just now, and this has
>  been the cause of my silence in the lists during these days. But I found
>  little bit of time  today in the morning, too early for my taste, for
>  sending some reflections.
>  The report that Jim Craven has sent is, IMHO, very credible. The
>  of the crowd and the wide spectrum of questions, tendencies, groups and
>  individual manias that he perceived among the manifestants is vividly
>  painted in his report.
>  But by the experience I have about riots, insurrections and revolutions
>  triumphant, it is true, but revolutions in the end) makes that the spirit
>  with which I observe these historical days in Seattle is a little more
>  optimistic that Jim's.
>  I consider that a popular movement moves all the sectors that feel
>  themselves as attacked by the state of things and that find that the only
>  way to modify it is the collective and direct struggle in the streets.
>  it is in this situation when this fat women use to appear. This crowd can
>  not be formed by other thing that the people with the conscience that the
>  society in which they live can produce. Can the american society after
>  Reagan, Bush and Clinton, after the victory on the Soviet Union, after
>  Gulf War and the bombing of Kosovo produce better people that these men
>  women that were fighting in Seattle, with the strange worldview that only
>  the loneness can produce? Why could they have a better comprehension
>  WTO, globalization, capitalism or imperialism? It was very suficient that
>  they were there and not watching at TV. Which would the point of view of
>  Homer Simpson, this extraordinary example of a commun american worker,
>  But, perhaps, Homer was in Seattle, possibbly with his union, and -I
>  that THIS is the only important- his experience, his view, his
>  of this fucking world in which he lives and suffers will be absolutely
>  different when he come back to Springfield. This is the importance of
>  Seattle: the colective experience of struggle in the most individualistic
>  society of the world.
>  When Lenin said "Better Fewer But Better" he was not speaking about the
>  social movement, the mass movement. He was speaking about the
>  organization, organization that had to prepare itself, teoretically and
>  practically, for this revolutionary moment. Only in this sense "Better
>  But Better". But in the streets, in the fight against the cops, the
>  goverment, the system, in the political fight, "Better More than Fewer".
>  Are the leaders not really representative? Among the crowd does some kind

>  people as Lyndon Larouche appear? And so what? An old peruan poet and
>  revolutionary, Lionel Bueno, used to say that many revolutionaries are as
>  some inexpert gold searchers, who think that gold is coined in nature.
>  ignore that gold comes very unclear and mixed with all kind of shit. The
>  masses will be able to replace this unrepresentative and miserable
>  they will be able to discover the false prophets, but only in the middle
>  the movement, only in the most important political practice, those that
>  get in the street with the people.
>  I don't want to sound as some kind of naively optimistic. I know that the
>  system can absorbe this and others movements. But the worldwide show that
>  this people has given us is suficiently wonderful for support our hope.
>  Abrazos revolucionarios
>  Julio Fernández Baraibar

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