: (UK)SWP, CANF - spot the difference

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Sep 5 07:31:07 MDT 2002

>But José, aren't there a lot of people in the organization you just joined,
>Solidarity, who hold views on Cuba similar to those of the British SWP?
>This is not to say that I think you were wrong to join Solidarity. But I do
>look forward to your campaign within that group to clarify their position on
>Cuba. Good luck!

Of course. That being said, a "state capitalist" analysis in of and by 
itself should not be a split question. One of the greatest Marxist thinkers 
of the last 50 years held such a theory--I am speaking of CLR James. The 
problem is that the Cliffites have made that theory a litmus test, until 
recently at least. When Alex Callinicos and Daniel Bensaid met to discuss 
possible collaborative efforts, that was a good sign. In general, the focus 
for party-building must be immediate questions in the class struggle. For 
example, there is little doubt in my mind that Cliffites and Mandelistas 
would have the same general orientation in opposing a war against Iraq, etc.

There should be room for varying ideological and theoretical 
interpretations in the Marxist movement, especially over questions that do 
not have immediate relevance. The only problem with Solidarity, in my 
opinion, is that those with the most vociferous anti-Cuba perspective tend 
to dominate the pages of Against the Current, their monthly publication 
that I have been extremely critical of over the past 2 years or so around a 
range of questions. You have people contributing to the magazine who are 
hardened long-standing Stalinophobes, who were either trained in the 
Draperite movement (David Finkel) or who have developed those kinds of 
politics in academia (Susie Weissman and Sam Farber).

The ex-SWP'ers who ended up in Solidarity tend to be less emphatic as a 
group and much more interested in questions that are in their immediate 
bailiwick. For example, Malik Miah focuses on Indonesia and Alan Wald on 
black or leftwing culture. I think it is extremely good that Jose has 
joined Solidarity. I would hope that he writes a long article refuting some 
of the garbage that Sam Farber has written in ATC.

Louis Proyect

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