Fire Ants

Richard Fidler rfidler at
Wed Nov 20 09:14:36 MST 2002

>> Unfortunately, Farrell [Dobbs'] skills would eventually be squandered as
lacked both the party-building methodology and the broader Marxist
framework to move the SWP to a higher level. <<

None of what Lou says in his lengthy rejoinder negates the eligibility of a
major class-struggle leader like Farrell Dobbs in the 1930s for inclusion in
the leadership of a revolutionary working-class party (or caucus or
tendency, or whatever). Which was my point, of course.

Even if one were to accept Lou's version of SWP history - which I certainly
don't - there is no denying that, hobbled as it allegedly was by Trotsky's
allegedly mistaken democratic centralist precepts, the SWP did find room in
its leadership for a Farrell Dobbs, a C.L.R. James, a Fred Halstead and so
many other sterling militants. That some of them ultimately failed to rise
to the lofty standards upheld today by Louis Proyect is hardly reason to
conclude that this "Zinovievist formation" was incapable from "the outset"
(as Lou originally argued) of fusing with the natural leadership of the
class, or that it was inherently oriented to placing acolytes, not leaders,
in positions of authority.


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