Strange ideas, very strange

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sat Sep 8 17:57:47 MDT 2001

Like many ex-SWP'ers (USA), I check in on the Militant newspaper
fairly regularly out of morbid curiosity. This Trotskyist group,
heralded by Leon Trotsky as the best his movement had to offer, has
declined in numbers by about 500 percent since the mid 1970s. On
September 16th, they are holding a public meeting up at Columbia
University where I work. According to the Militant, speakers will

--Growing divergence of anti-imperialist struggles in the colonial
world and radical politics in the imperialist countries

[COMMENT: Divergence? This must mean that they will ask party members
to transfer to Argentina, etc. Nestor, watch out!!!]

--The Algeria youth festival: a step on the road to a new communist

[COMMENT: Only 12 years ago or so, they discovered a new
international based on themselves, the FSLN, the Cubans and the New
Jewel Movement. They eventually disowned just about everybody but the
Cubans after a while for lack of revolutionary zeal. I hope the
participants at the youth festival fare better. I know what it feels
like to be spurned.]

--Energy, science, and agriculture: uniting toilers of town and
country worldwide

[COMMENT: Don't you love the word 'toiler'? It has the musty charm of
a Soviet propaganda poster from 1927. I guess DDT and genetically
engineered popcorn is what will bond town and country together.]

--The disintegration of Stalinist forces and their convergence with

[COMMENT: Hey! Don't let any anarchists know you are saying nasty
things like this. They might come around West Street in balaclavas,
itching for a fight. And never mind the lunatic analysis.]

--The place of Pathfinder books and pamphlets: from Algeria to Cuba,
to factory gates and mine portals, to street corners in workers
districts, to the 'Lumumba' film show

[COMMENT: I actually bought a pamphlet on Lumumba from them at the
film show. It gave me a chance to talk to Dan, who I know from
Houston days in the party. He now works in the print shop. At the age
of 52, this is a job with a future? The pamphlet was written in 1960
by Dick Roberts, one of the most brilliant and most arrogant talents
in the SWP back then. A long-time alcoholic, he dropped out of the
party in the 1980s. He now resides in Los Angeles, where he is active
in one Protestant church denomination or another. Back in 1977, he
approached me at a national gathering and told me to "get my ass into
industry or out of politics."]

Louis Proyect, lnp3 at on 09/08/2001

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