Where and maybe why the debate on ANSWER goes off the rails

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at juno.com
Mon Nov 4 14:12:19 MST 2002

On Mon, 04 Nov 2002 16:51:46 -0500 Yoshie Furuhashi <furuhashi.1 at osu.edu>
> Fred Feldman wrote
> >ANSWER is not accountable to the broader left and to the broader
> >antiwar movement, nor is there any particular reason why it should
> >be.
> I wouldn't go so far as to say that ANSWER _should_ be accountable
> to
> the "broader left" and the "broader antiwar movement," but wouldn't
> all three -- ANSWER, the "broader left," and the "broader antiwar
> movement" -- be stronger than now if it were?

Yes, it would as Project explained in his post on the limits
of the type of Leninist vanguard model that WWP and
other groups (i.e. CPUSA, SWP, RCP etc.) embrace.
Now there is no denying that despite the limitation of
model as a mode of political praxis, that the WWP, IAC,
ANSWER have scored a big success in antiwar organizing
with the October 20 demo.  I think it was significant that
David McReynolds, after having first condemning the Oct 26
demo, was subsequently forced to backpedal and
endorse the demonstration.  And it is of some significance
that folk like Nathan Newman backed the demo as well.
One might say that this shows what can be accomplished
with enthusiasm and hard work, despite a flawed political
model (and it doesn't hurt that the WWP has some intelligent
and articulate people like Lou Paulsen either).

So ANSWER is deserving of credit for their hard work.
However, what is of concern is whether over time as the
antiwar movement develops the political model followed
by WWP, IAC, and ANSWER might not become a fetter on
the development of the movement despite the best intentions
of the activists in those organizations.  On that issue, one
almost feels that anarchists like ChuckO might have a
legitimate point, even though they don't really have anything
better to offer in its place.

Jim F.

> Yoshie

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