Philip Ferguson plf13 at
Sun Nov 5 14:52:37 MST 2000

Adam Levenstein's post is really very interesting.

A few years ago, Adam and I exchanged a series of pretty vituperative stuff
on the apst newsgroup (the place where I also first 'met' Louis).  And a
den I pretty much gave up inhabiting shortly after we started 'revolution'
magazine here in NZ.

I challenged Adam with a number of things about the Barnesites - primarily
the purges of the early 80s - and he defended the Barnesites totally, to
the point of denying any purges had taken place.  I took it that he was
basically a well-meaning young man and that he had been told no purges had
taken place, but just that a lot of more petty-bourgeois elements had left.

I think the fact that a completely loyal and staunch defender of the
Barnesites has now departed and that a crucial element in his departure is
the way in which the Barnesite operation is basically a book-selling
capitalist venture rather than a revolutionary party (even in the sectish
left sense) - something I've said for years - really points up what we are
dealing with here.

Hopefully those well-intentioned people like Jose, who maintain some
lingering (naive) belief that the Barnesites are still basically an
organisation dedicated, in some mixed up way, to the overthrow of
capitalism, will see that this just isn't the case.

I can have deep political differences with all kinds of groups (DSP, WWP)
and individuals (including friends on this list, among them Jose), while at
the same time realising these are differences between people dedicated to
getting rid of capitalism.  But, I'm afraid, that is not at all what
motivates Jack Barnes any more than it motivates Frank Furedi these days.
I eventually had to face up to the latter fact (including getting a lot of
prodding from Louis on the subject); it's about time we all faced to the
reality in relation to Barnes as well.

Philip Ferguson

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