Dan Styron, Barnesites

Jose G. Perez jgperez at netzero.net
Sun Apr 22 17:22:02 MDT 2001

>>They told me a year or so later that there had been a special
party there one night for 'leaders' only, and even then it might have been
special invite, and that there were some strange stories about what went on
at that as well.  They left the Barnesite faction in Britain not long after
their return from Oberlin.<<

I hate to disappoint you, but I believe all this stuff is strictly bullshit.
I was at Oberlin 84 (and previous ones) as well as in the post-convention or
conference sessions which went on for anywhere from a few days to a couple
of weeks. Never, even in my entire time around the SWP leadership or in it
did I ever hear of anything like this. All sorts of people did hold private
parties and get togethers at Oberlin, but if there ever one was held "for
leaders only" I never heard of it -- and I would have.

I am especially sure this is the case as the SWP had an explicit policy at
Oberlin and other large gatherings of --I'm not sure if discouraging or
prohibiting is the right word, in the cases I was involved with
discouragement was all it took-- all large exclusive parties (i.e., all
those held somewhere else than someone's room). By "exclusive" is meant
those at which some subset of the membership were welcome but not others.
The kind of event you describe *could not*  have taken place unless it was a
small gathering in a dorm room, which could hardly have been an event
inclusive of the leadership (or some significant section of it) given the
size of the rooms involved.

As for Jack getting together with M-A being to blame for Dan Styron's death,
or somehow having contributed to it, I think that speaks more to some
people's obsessive Barnes phobia than anything else.

The story about the partner swapping in the mid-60s I can't speak to
first-hand, I wasn't around then, but, having gotten to know the people
involved quite well, I doubt anything like this happened. A lot of couples
who joined the movement together, or got together shortly after joining, did
break up within a few years. This was quite typical of relationships among
young people at the time, and especially among those who rejected the
hypocritical morality inculcated into people by society. By and large,
though, SWPers as a whole, on average, were among the more "socially
conservative" radicals of those times, and that was especially true of the


----- Original Message -----
From: "Philip Ferguson" <plf13 at it.canterbury.ac.nz>
To: <marxism-digest at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2001 6:01 PM
Subject: Re: Dan Styron, Barnesites

Juan Fajardos asked:

>HWho's Dan Styron and how did he die, that he might of interest in the
>way alluded to here?

My friend, whose original post to me I posted on the list, mentioned Dan
Styron's death at the end as an aside.  Fred knew and liked Dan Styron,
although he had some fairly basic political disagreements with him.  Fred
was involved in the SWP in New York when Styron and his wife, Mary-Alice,
were brought to New York, as part of the Carlton set who were moving into
the central leadership of the YSA and SWP.  Barnes was already in New York,
I think he was the first of the Carlton set to move into the centre of

More information about the Marxism mailing list