two letters

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Mon Nov 25 14:45:40 MST 2002


Fred Feldman writes:
> from the claims  that
> the SWP held that "World War III and global fascism" (what the hell is
> "global fascism," by the way) had already begun which are basically made up
> out of whole cloth


Are you seriously denying that Barnes argued that Desert Storm was the
'opening guns of WW3'?

The poor cult followers here were so sure fascism was just around the
corner they got up a defence campaign, complete with petition and
signatures, when one of them detected (or imagined) that a smear from a
french fry on their office door was a swastika.  When I arrived back in
NZ in 1994, local leftists in Christchurch were still laughing about the
'fascist greasy chip incident'.

Or how about Barnes' view that eastern Europe - you know, the countries
that have just joined NATO - are still 'workers states'?  And that
Russia is still a 'workers state'?  And that there is another workers
state still extant in 'East Germany', which doesn't even exist as a
country anymore?  Or are we making all this up too and barnes has never
said such things?

Are you also going to deny the uncritical cheerleading for the ANC,
which has introduced neo-liberal economic policies to South Africa?
Barnes and co. have gone suddenly quiet about the ANC these days.
What's up with that?

If Sam Farley is helping lead any working class struggles on the ground,
here's what will happen to him.  Either he will be moved to New York and
be given a desk job.  Or he will get his ass kicked out of the cult.

Last year, I met up with Mike Treen, a longtime leader of the SAL here
whom I hadn't seen for almost two decades.  Mike had gone along with the
whole 1980s purges in the States and swallowed everything through the
1980s.  However, Mike is also a bit of fighter from way back and went
and got himself involved in a big struggle at his workplace in the early
90s I think it was.  In fact he was one of the leaders.  This so upset
the CL Barnesite leadership here that they told him to cease and desist
and suspended him.  Leading a struggle in the car plant, you see, got in
the way of selling the 'Militant' (the cult here isn't allowed its own
publications) and 'talking socialism on the job'.

And, btw, Fred Feldman, if you didn't notice - and still don't notice -
anything wrong with the 1983 purges of most of the old working class
cadre, without even the fig-leaf of a convention, then that says pretty
much all I need to know about you.

Philip Ferguson

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