Some comments on revolutionary unity

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Fri Nov 22 18:35:25 MST 2002

>>In recent years, for instance, I have found myself
talking to people on the left whom I wouldn't have bothered with ten or
fifteen years ago, and I'm certainly not the soft, warm, fuzzy type of
traditional unity-monger.<<

I think this point that Phil makes should be taken to heart by all
revolutionaries, especially in the United States.

How MUCH things have changed was really brought home to me by a discussion I
had with a younger comrade (okay, it was Adam) after our regular Soli weekly
meeting here in Atlanta this week. In the by-now-traditional post-meeting
bull session, Adam referred to how a few moths ago, after some demonstration
or other activity, he'd gone to shoot pool with, if I remember right,
someone from ISO, another person from WWP, himself and an anarchist or
perhaps it was indymedia person.

And it struck me, the very same thing Phil points to here, fifteen years ago
that would not have been possible. It simply wouldn't have happened.

It would not have happened because of the state of ideological war that
existed on the Left during the Cold War period. That war was predicated upon
the existence of two monstrously massive currents *opposed* to socialist
revolution functioning as part of the *workers* movement and the Left,
social democracy and Stalinism.

We've recently discussed here the evolution of "traditional" social
democracy. The trend has been for social democratic and labor parties to
fuse with and become part of the capitalist state, as components of
two-party systems. They are no longer an "anti establishment" current with
whom leftist compete to attract people profoundly disaffected with the way
things are.

The collapse of Stalinism, based as it was on the Soviet Bureaucracy, needs
no comment.

So THAT war, to all intents and purposes, is OVER.

That it was carried out poorly, that there was no need to treat other
currents on the revolutionary left as the enemy, all the rest of it, leave
aside for now. FOCUS on this one thing only: the main problems our groups
were set up to combat, social democracy and Stalinism (or as other comrades
call it, Revisionism) no longer exist.

At least, not in the kind of form that led to the creation of groups that
tried to function like the moral equivalent of armored divisions on the
level of political/ideological combat.

Hence the increasing *fraternization* between soldiers in the rival armies
(which are actually more like platoons or guerrilla columns). And insofar as
the masses are concerned, to the degree they see us AT ALL, they tend to
view us all as "the left" or "the socialists" or "the reds."

I forget who said it, that the masses are to the left of the party, and the
party to the left of the central committee.

And as political events have continued to unfold, more and more we are
converging towards a common understanding, a common set of positions, and
even largely overlapping or complimentary tactical approaches.

That was not yet so true even a few years ago, for example, if you think
back on some of the discussions around Yugoslavia.

The fact is there is probably sufficient common practical agreement between
WWP, ISO, Solidarity and other groups, to allow us to begin functioning
within a common framework such as a Socialist Alliance. And there are three
or four times as many active people outside all organizations right now that
would welcome and become part of such a movement.

I think NOW we should turn and focus on the PRACTICAL problem: how to DO it.


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