The SWP is finished
albatrosrojo2000 at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 24 18:36:03 MST 2002
I agree with Jose that the SWP is finished. But I
differ with him, Louis and others on the reasons of
I agree with Jose that, from a historical perspective,
today's left groups are finished if they believe they
could be the main component of a revolutionary party
with mass influence.
But I disagree with his and other theorists of what I
would call the pessimistic trend of not-party
The SWP was finished as a revolutionary organization
long before Jose, or Louis or even David Walters were
out of it, and long before their turn to industry.
They were dead as a revolutionary organization when in
the 60s they failed to raise a working class and
revolutionary program in the antiwar movement and led
the struggle for a limited, democratic, almost liberal
They further killed themselves when they thought that
the momentum of a movement they helped build and which
was limited to very low level programatic aspirations
was continuing, when in fact collapsed because its
Never were transitional demands raised during the
antiwar movement days and thus when the "boys started
to come home" and the movement saw its main aim
fullfilled, simply folded its tents on top of the
The "turn to industry" was not bad in itself, only bad
in the way it was implemented and the characterization
upon which was based.
The SWP accomppanied some of the democratic struggles
of African Americans, but never approach them to fight
for transitional and socialist demands and trying to
understand their oppression beyond the superficial.
The SWP paid lip service to the Latino community, but
never learnt anything that would have allowed them to
actually do any concrete politics there.
A party without understanding of transitional demands
and lack the skills necessary to build a movement
beyond immediate and democratic demands is no longer a
In the US, lacking understanding of the democratic
demands of African Americans, Latinos and immigrants
and how to mobilize, and more important, how to
recruit among them and form cadres, cannot be
considered a serious revolutionary organization.
In the US, an organization that does not understand
that unions represent 12% of the working class, and
overwhelmingly its more conservative layers and that
88% of the workers, including the most oppressed and
the unorganized are the key question to address is
lost in the fog of confusion.
A party that still confuses labor unions with the
entire working class does not even deserve to be
called a revolutionary organization.
The bureacratic measures, expulsions and purges of the
SWP were no more than the organizational expression of
the lack of revolutionary strategy and theoretical
I would not lose my sleep by an organization like the
SWP that lost its bearing 30 years ago and that in ten
more years no one will remember outside its ranks.
Let the footnote be just that.
As I said above, I agree with Jose in his assesment
that most, if not all organizations of the US left who
believe they are the basis for a future
revolutionary party with mass influence are
dellusional. But I disagree that the solution is to
get everyone aboard and form a happy family of the
Organizations should not be artificially built. If
they are very similar to existent ones, they should
join together. DSA with CofC; Solidarity with ISO and
WWP, etc But it should be based on a serious program,
a serious apporach and a common methodology. Not o the
desire to get armer by sticking together. Unity could
be as artificial as fragmentation.
If they are different that others, they need to
justify those differences theoretically, politically
and methodologically. Ideological debate is good, not
bad, clarifies, does not confuse, provided that is
done in a way that is educational and not just an
attempt to differentiate your group from others,
I would not suggest people not joining existing
groups, but on the contrary, I think anyone is better
off in the WWP or the Left Party or the ISO than
outside them or being cynical in the sidelines.
That is preferable to sit in the sidelines and
depreciate everything others do. I don't trust people
who do not build anything to intervene in the class
I guess that is not the position of Jose since he
joined a group. I say, good for him. Otherwise, your
talent get lost in the anti-organizational diatribe.
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