Fw: Fw: Socialism from below.
soldoll at SPAMinreach.com
Tue Nov 9 21:23:05 MST 1999
From: Sol Dollinger <soldoll at inreach.com>
To: swan keyes <swan at photon.net>
Date: Tuesday, November 09, 1999 6:37 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Socialism from below.
>Socialism from below is enscribed in the program of Solidarity the group to
>which I suggested you attend their educational meetings. It is all over
>net and I recently saw it on the Red Leaf page. Its roots go back to the
>Stalin conquest of the Communist party, the abolition of democracy and the
>free contest to debate by the ranks as well as the leaders.
>In the United States the group has been identified with Hal Draper a
>leader at Berkeley now deceased . His followers led the fight for free
>speech in the 1960's. They went on from there to form Solidarity by
>combining with a more orthodox Trotskyist group. The positions they take
>are similar to Chomsky on Yugoslavia and East Timor. I hew closer to the
>positions of Michael Parenti whose Marxism I counterpose to Chomsky's
>anarchism. There is an anti-leadership position that riles me. Unlike
>of those who have lived under the banner of working class retreat, I had
>opportunity to see the class move forward under the leadership of Roy and
>Victor Reuther, Bob Travis, Genora and Kermit, Bud Simon, Walter Moore and
>countless others in the sitdown strike era. In 1948 I, personally led a
>movement of 40,000 GM workers for Cola. It was top down not bottom up. I
>had the idea and had recruited the people who were the instuments in
>carrying the proposal forward.
>Those who think ideas are created on the bottom are glamorizing the
>individual and are anarchists. Chomsky does it alone by his writings and
>speeches. The writings and speeches are fine but it is the interaction of
>people in the class struggle, the mutuality of purpose, the forging of
>comradeship as they contest with the enemy that produces new leaders who in
>turn are elevated and from commanding heights see the road ahead for the
>others to follow.
>From: swan keyes <swan at photon.net>
>To: Sol Dollinger <soldoll at inreach.com>
>Date: Tuesday, November 09, 1999 2:07 PM
>Subject: Re: Fw: Socialism from below.
>>hey there. i hope all is well with you. what does this mean "socialism
>below?" i've not heard this term so i don't understand what this post is
>>>From: Sol Dollinger <soldoll at inreach.com>
>>>To: redleaf-owner at onelist.com <redleaf-owner at onelist.com>
>>>Date: Monday, November 08, 1999 9:33 AM
>>>Subject: Socialism from below.
>>>>Dear list member:
>>>>As a socialist for over six decades I have seen struggles waged by
>>>>socialists as the role of leaders and from the rank and file. I
>>>>object to the phrase socialism from below. The phrase indicates an
>>>>inferiority complex regarding the relation of socialists striving to
>>>>leaders and infers that they will never achieve this position.
>>>>Let me cite an example that will make my position clear. In the period
>>>>leading up to the sit down strikes in Flint Michigan, Genora and Kermit
>>>>Johnson, were Socialists. When the strike began because of superior
>>>>knowledge gained as socialists in discussion and readings of labor
>>>>they became strike leaders. Kermit led the capture of Plant 4 Chevrolet
>>>>that produced all engine motors for Chevrolet. As a leader he proposed
>>>>strategy for the capture of this plant of 4,000 that ensured the
>>>>It is the class struggle that produces radicals. The interplay of the
>>>>struggle shoves to the top the ablest members of the class who in turn
>>>>propel the movement forward. Socialism from below smacks of anarchistic
>>>>philosophy that was prevalent in the IWW and in the Proletarian Party.
>>>>Keracker the leader of the PP believed that officials of the unions were
>>>>"Labor lieutenants of capitalism" and opposed his members holding office
>>>>less they get corrupted. We want to be leaders we want to strive to
>>>>the best into positions of leadership. Our socialists are not
>>>>the perks that go with the job but with the opportunity to take the
>>>>to the next stage of struggle.
>>>>Years ago, during World War II, Paul Silvers, president of a small steel
>>>>products UAW local, was surrounded by a group of auto workers who wanted
>>>>definition of a leader ( As you see from this illustration it was
>>>>openly at the time and not artificially) and he told those assembled
>>>>him that a leader is a person who sticks his neck up from the crowd so
>>>>all the others can take pot shots at him. It was a simple, crude way of
>>>>putting it but participants inthe class struggle understood him.
>>>>There is a relation between leaders and followers that cannot be
>>>>and for this reason I reject the concept of Socialism from below. It
>>>>to the basest instincts of the young who are not aware of the relations
>>>>developed based on long experience. Socialism from below grew out of
>>>>distrust of the Stalin bureaucracy. That relationship is not the final
>>>>answer to workers and leaders and we should confidently project a more
>>>>323 931 5496
More information about the Marxism