Laura K's departure from the list

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Sat Aug 16 09:00:16 MDT 2003

Well, I agree with Louis that, under present circumstances, it is a
good thing that Laura K left the list for now.  She is insufficiently
trained, it appears, as a high-powered political-literary performer to
effectively counter political and personal attacks (and there were
quite a few of the latter, direct and indirect). In addition, while
the list has been making progress in many ways, we are  not yet ready
for a fully reasoned discussion of the politics of the SWP, including
its organizational politics. Frankly, many of us still think of the
SWP not as a political current to be assessed politically, but as the
graveyard of our youth.

I want to note several contribution that, in my opinion,  were helpful
amidst the general dysfunction.  The most important was Jose Perez's
"The SWP, trips to Cuba, and socialist unity," which everyone should
save for permanent reference purposes.  Another was David Walters,
"Re: Moderator's note" which gives a  fairer assessment than Louis of
Laura K's role in the discussion.  Walter Lippmann also made a
contribution responding to Louis' mislabeling of Laura K as a

Lueko Willms call for a recess in the discussion, was well motivated,
although some might question his use of his authority as Thunder God
to enforce it.

Re: Moderator's note by Ozleft is also worth rereading.

And I think Rich Lesnik was right to suggest that the list needs to
focus more on the big political developments, including in the labor
movement.  I am beginning to think that the participation of hundreds
of thousands of US workers, many of them under union banners, in the
worldwide Feb. 15 antiwar mobilization registered an important change
in the situation.  In my opinion, the AMFA victories over the IAM in
rep votes are also part of this.  It certainly would be premature to
proclaim that the working class in the US stands at center stage, but
I think there has been some actual motion in that direction.

And, by the way, the discussion of concrete political questions facing
the whole working class and the whole country and world is the best
framework in which to take up the views of the sectarian left.  And
I'm not sure there really is a nonsectarian left yet, although the
changes taking place, as Jose points out, may have the potential to
produce one.

I was powerfully influenced politically as a youth by Orwell's 1984
(by his observations, not by his analysis), and my copies, like my
copies of In Defense of Marxism and Two Tactics, tend to fall apart
through heavy use.

>From that standpoint, I would like to congratulate the list on not
having a category of "unpersons."  And (speaking ironically, of
course) I think it would be good if we could gradually move away from
having periodic "two-minute hates" about the SWP.
Fred Feldman

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