US Far Left

Armand Diego causebellum at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 13 15:47:59 MST 2002


On the "Solidarity" internal discussion:

Whether the comrades of Solidarity on this list
realize it or not, their exchange and contributions on
the internal discussions in your group seem to
indicate that you're in a process of
"regroupment" without having clarified some of
the ABC of Marxism.

I say this based on your argument and counter-argument
about the labor-based or activist-based organization.
A revolutionary Marxist organization would assign a
very important role to its union work, but also to
their youth and student work.

They are NOT incompatible, they feed each other.  What
is critical is what kind of education both the union
members and the youth receive in the organization. One
in which trade-union activity for workers is not but
one aspect of their struggle, since we are striving
not to have mere shop stewards but "tribunes of
all the people" in the organization.

By the same token, youth and students are to be
immersed in their campus organizing and tasks, in
general political activism, but also in working class
issues and giving the other struggles a working class
orientation.

More importantly, should be the understanding that
labor unions are now less than 12% of the working
class, and what defines a revolutionary socialist
organization is its work in the working class, not
merely the unions.  They should have an orientation to
immigrants, African Americans and other working class
layers not in the unions as well as the shrinking
union membership.

Thought that that was ABC on Marxist organizing.

On regroupment and the US far left:

I think regroupment cannot be talked about in a
vacuum.  Starts by discussing in CONCRETE, regroupment
for WHAT?

To develop a common strategy, and tactics, starting
with some method of united front on the anti war,
trade union, Latino and African American and other
areas of work?  O just some shallow ideological
agreement?

Are we talking about re-regroupment to develop Marxism
in order to "illuminate every practical task"
of revolutionaries to develop the mass movement? Or
just the amalgamation of different groupings to feel
artificially less isolated?

It is appalling to me how little emphasis most of the
left organizations put in Marxist education and, more
importantly, to a critical education that may lead to
update and develop Marxist theory.

About Workers World and regroupment:

Comrade Paulsen may feel they are for it.  I think
not. This is not a crime, though.  There is no
material basis for any kind of "regroupment"
nowadays in the US.  We may want just to try to start
with some "agreements" of what to do withe the
anti war movement to make it broader and more
effective; or how to run common electoral campaigns at
the local level ... WWP would even support and endorse
other socialist and working class candidates on the
ballot, even if those candidates endorsed their own
candidates. About the anti war movement, suffice had
been said in this list about the WWP.

So, comrade Paulsen may FEEL that his party has the
intention of being part of something bigger and
better, but certainly that is not expressed in the
education and praxis of the WWP today.  Therefore, I
do not expect them to be prepared for the moment that
"regroupment" would appear as something more
realistic.

Market competition:

In fact, I would say that there are certain
organizations in the US left that should be together
in one group.  They have no justification for separate
existences since they have very similar politics, look
alike newspapers and are involved almost in identical
areas of work with identical set of tactics.

The main differences among themselves are minor and
the important ones are of leadership and
organizational nature.  But, again, when the left is
so small and the mass movement in the US so
under-developed, the peculiar individual
characteristics of the leaders becomes a central
factor.  Unfortunately, is true.

On Louis, Left Party and Zinovievism:

The Left Party cannot longer be considered an split
off from the CWI.  Since they were expelled from the
CWI last February, they fused with people coming from
other traditions (USFI, Morenists and an independent
grouping) that makes the main composition of the
group, still very small, much different that when they
were expelled.

Some in this list (not you) even went so far as to
predict when it was launched that the Left Party would
be no more than a virtual organization.

Of course, the 35,000+ votes for the editor of our
newspaper in a local election (29% of those casting a
vote in that race)in an important city in the country;
the 4,000+ immigrant rights and Latino action the
co-led last October and the 40% and 39% of the votes
its caucuses got in two important unions recently - as
well as their circulation of 35,000 for their paper
(not online, but hard copy) would mean nothing.

As to Louis assertion that the initial group of the
Left Party got burnt with Zinovievism, he is TOTALLY
WRONG (in jest!); they were burnt with infantile and
backward British bureacratism ... they wished they
had, at least, the intellectual capacity of Zinoviev.

But, seriously, they were burnt with that long before
they experienced it anew.

On re-groupment of the left in general:

In the same vein that self-proclamation leads to
sectarianism, "ideological absolutism" (I
learnt that term very recently in a pamphlet I'm
reading on Argentina) leads to self-proclamation and
sectarianism.

How the US left can regroup if instead of debating
their differences publicly at the same time they
attempt to work together in some areas, they
cannibalized each other DENYING each other the
category of revolutionary or socialist left?

And how the US left can find the road to bigger, less
sectarian, mass-based socialist organizations when
today they won't even recognized organizations like
the Green Party as part of the left?

DA




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