Pablo etc

Sol Dollinger soldoll at
Fri Jan 28 09:44:07 MST 2000

It is rather amusing to read that Dick Fraser agreed with us on our policy
in the UAW but remained a steadfast supporter of Cannon in expelling us in
1953.  What he did subsequently was a matter of irrelevance.

Sol Dollinger
-----Original Message-----
From: Philip L Ferguson <PLF13 at>
To: marxism at <marxism at>
Date: Thursday, January 27, 2000 7:37 PM
Subject: Re: Pablo etc

>Louis writes:
>> All the minority leaders were dealing with a similar problem,
>>namely Stalinophobia. Bert and the Detroit/Flint comrades discovered that
>>James P. Cannon, the long-time leader of the SWP, could not accept their
>>tactical support for a UAW candidate in union elections who was seen as
>>having "Stalinist" connections. Cannon preferred Reuther's candidate, who
>>had been a red-baiter for a number of years.
>Richard Fraser made the point, in an Open Letter to US Trotskyists around
>1974 which I posed on the list a week or two back, that Cochran (and
>Clarke?) saved the SWP from a near-disaster in the UAW/this election.
>Fraser pointed out that one of the specialties of the SWP in union politics
>was anti-Stalinism and this was quite dangerous as it frequently led them
>to align with people who hated the Stalinists for all kinds of reasons and
>usually went off and became right-wingers.  In the Letter Fraser quoted
>something which Cochran once said, about how sometimes the SWP fought the
>Stalinists just a little too well in the unions.
>He mentioned that Cochran and co. had to argue extremely hard in the
>leadership to get them to withdraw from supporting the Reuther candidate
>and go with the CP-backed one.
>There and elsewhere Fraser also notes the absurdity of the SWP leadership
>position, derived from Cannon's comments after the SWP was founded in 1938,
>that they were now THE party in the USA and no further regroupments were
>needed.  As a result the SWP largely lost out on the opportunities of the
>late 50s/early 60s, and of the opportunity of intersecting with the best
>elements of SDS in the mid-60s.
>Philip Ferguson

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