Militant takes a break

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Fri Feb 21 19:26:47 MST 2003


I've been trying to get some pix and details of global protests, so I
checked the Militant site.  Silly me, I had momentarily forgotten that
they don't cover middle class pacifist events. . .

Jose writes:
> In a way, it is unfair of me to castigate Jack Barnes for the murkiness of
> his crystal ball. It's simply failed, gone dark, and he thinks what he sees
> is the road ahead. In this, he is only following the time-honored SWP
> tradition. If anything, his optimism pales in comparison to the over-the-top
> triumphalism of Jim Cannon's post-WWII "American Theses," which the SWP
> stuck with through the fall of 1953, where it was again debated and
> reaffirmed at a plenum.


In fairness to Cannon, he and his co-leaders did have to come to terms
with the reality of the end of the post-WW2 radicalisation and recognise
the existence of an unprecedented economic boom and the conservatisation
of much of the US working class.

What is incredible about Barnes is that, as Jose says, he just keeps
repeating what he said in 1975 every few years, regardless of the
objective circumstances.  My own take is that Barnes is actually crazy,
like Healy.  What is less easy to explain is how the rest of them go
along with it, especially as they continue to shrink to minor-cult
status and be bypassed by the masses - and much of the rest of the left.

(And, yes, since I largely agree with Louis' view of 'Zinovievism', I
know there is a solid political explanation; but what non-plusses me is
the *psychology* of the people involved.  How they reconcile what they
are told with the reality around them.)

I'm also still waiting to hear what's being done with the $US20 million
(plus) from the sale of the Pathfinder building.

Philip Ferguson

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