From the latest "Militant"

David Altman altman_d at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 28 09:56:16 MDT 2001


I know some people are tired of some list members' obsession with Jack
Barnes's little cult, the SWP (US), and I know I really should do something
useful with my life, but here I go, flogging a dead horse again:

Has anyone else happened to read an article in the latest "Militant" online
by Patrick O'Neill entitled "Did September 11 mark 'new stage of world
history'?"  It can be read at:
http://www.themilitant.com/2001/6538/653851.html.

This, I suppose, is a "line" article giving the SWP's take on the recent
events. Frankly, I haven't managed to plow through the whole turgid thing
yet, so I can't really tell you what their "analysis" is (it seems to be the
usual Barnesite boilerplate about how U.S. imperialism has lost the cold
war, etc.).

Most left groups, and in the old days the SWP, putting forth a "line"
position, state their case, back it up with some choice quotes from the
bourgeois media, throw in some statistics, and for good measure offer some
citations from Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin or whoever.  What I found
interesting about this article is that it has none of these.  Rather, it
bolsters its arguments SOLELY BY QUOTATIONS FROM JACK BARNES AND MARY-ALICE
WATERS!

I think the typical person, reading this, would say, "well, who the hell are
Jack Barnes and Mary-Alice Waters, and why should I care what they think?"
But I suppose to the average member of Jack's zombie clot it's perfectly
logical.

It reminds me of those old articles around the early '70s in "China
Pictorial" and "Peking Review" where every other paragraph was a quote from
Mao, in boldface type, of course.  I suppose that's next for "The Militant,"
with a little Pathfinder book of selected quotations soon to come.

David Altman



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