Jose G. Perez, the Barnesites and Class

Philip Ferguson plf13 at
Tue May 16 17:56:21 MDT 2000

Prompted by Jose's posts, I took a visit to Planet Barnes last night,
namely their website, and read Steve Clark's diatribe against Jose which
appears in the May 22 issue of the 'Militant'.  It was difficult to stay
awake reading Clark's wooden prose, but I struggled valiantly, supported by
several cups of very strong coffee.

I thought it was kind of interesting that the Barnesites, who almost never
respond to ex-members, felt it necessary to have a lengthy article
attacking Jose's views on a number of issues.  Although, as list members
will recall, I have had plenty of disagreements with Jose myself, including
quite sharp ones, I found parts of the Barnesite piece quite dishonest and,
frankly, just plain crazy.

When Clark comes out with a line such as,
"Like so many of his class, Pérez. . .(Blah blah)", who is going to take
this seriously?

They even head the article, including on the front page, as 'Two class
views' on a number of questions.  They, of course, have the 'proletarian'
class view, Jose apparently representing some other class view, although
what class this might be is never stated outright by Clark.  It's also
interesting that the stuff by Jose which they attack is all stuff which is
posted on this list.

One of my favourite bits of the 'Militant' article is where Clark states
that US imperialism lost the Cold War and that the east European countries
are still workers' states.  He then notes, "Production has been cut in half
in Russia since the beginning of the 1990s. The official poverty rate has
shot up from 2 percent to almost 50 percent. Life expectancy for Russian
men has fallen from 64 years to 58."  Well, if imperialism lost the Cold
War and the Russian working class is still winning, and this is still a
workers state (ie a higher form of social organisation than capitalism)
these are odd results indeed!

In fact, these statistics are a measure of the scale of *defeat* inflicted
on the working class in Russia.  That the Barnesites can mention these
statistics and use them to claim the imperialists have lost shows that the
part of the brain that allows even small children to join up dots has been
mutated out of existence in the Barnesite camp.

Never mind, I see that their global tendency has only managed to sell
530-odd introductory subs to the Militant worldwide in their annual
subscription drive.  It seems the less impact they have in the real world,
the more 'proletarian' and 'correct' they consider themselves.  This is one
very sick puppy.

Philip Ferguson

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