Doug Jenness

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Apr 11 08:15:25 MDT 2001

Adam wrote:
>Weird...This iimpression that Doug was a full-timer
>(i.e., on the s stuff I never heard about, though I
>was under the SWP payroll).
>The car thing - the SWP does not, to my knowledge, own
>any cars. That's the responsibility of the individual
>comrades. I can see them organizing to buy one if it's
>necessary, but I'm having trouble seeing a situation
>where the Party would kick someone out for not
>surrendering theirs.

This is not about cars, etc. It is about political beliefs. Since 1980,
there have been successive waves of expulsions from the SWP. Never was
anybody expelled for disagreeing with the sect leader. They were always
expelled for "indiscipline". In the early 1980s those who were fighting to
retain Trotskyist orthodoxy were expelled for communicating their ideas
with each other outside of the allotted time for preconvention discussion.
This was horseshit obviously, since during this period party conventions
were held less frequently than usual when the opposite should have been the
case. After the dissidents were dealt with, you had one or another maverick
who was uncomfortable with the drift of the party. One showed up here
indirectly a while back, reflected through private correspondence with Phil
Ferguson. I am speaking of Fred Feldman, another 40 year veteran, who was
expelled for implying in a preconvention discussion bulletin that unless
the party related to the Mumia defense, comrades might decide to
"freelance". While Fred was obviously against freelancing and simply
warning the party about negative consequences of abstentionism, they threw
him out for "threatening" the party. The CP, during the worst days of the
1930s, never threw people out on such flimsy grounds. Fred was not guilty
of "indiscipline", only weariness with belonging to an abstentionist sect.
Of course, he would not admit this openly but the defense mechanism of the
human mind is impressive. Who, after all, would openly admit that they had
wasted 40 years of their life. Not everybody is like me.

Louis Proyect
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