Philip Ferguson plf13 at
Thu May 18 17:30:31 MDT 2000

The ISO bulletin dealing with the dispute is viewable at:

Unfortunately, it is very poor quality on the screen, and very difficult to

Someone who was in IS in Britain in the 1960s and early 70s, before it
became the SWP, remarked in an email to me:

>"Since we have reason to believe that the SWP has shared its assessment of
>the ISO with other groups of the Tendency, we are making this document
>available to those groups as well as the membership of the ISDO and SWP".
>p.5 ISO bulletin
>In other words discussion within this international organisation is not
>automatically shared across international boundaries or once again a
>Zinovievite practice with which all the Trotskyist groups are infected. The
>international organisation is designed to restrict rather than encourage

When I emailed a prominent SWOer in NZ with information on the Sverdlov
site he was rather indignant that any documents were being made publicly
available and said he would be carrying out any discussions within his

In a current with such an anti-democratic history as the IS tendency, all
this left-wing scrutiny must be incredibly uncomfortable.  Imagine then,
what it would be like for the working class in a state run by these people.
I can't imagine it would be much different than Stalinism!

Given that the Bolsheviks had out most of their differences in a public or
semi-public way, it is rather difficult to understand why our latter-day
'Leninists' are so freaked out by such an idea.  Unless, of course, they
aren't Leninists, but just tin-pot pretenders and
bureaucrats-in-the-making.  Moreover, with the internet, it just seems
downright bizarre for the sects to imagine they can behave in the same old

It's all also an interesting comment on how technology can improve
democracy!  One would expect the left to welcome this rather than be
freaked by it!

Philip Ferguson

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