slogans

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Wed Jul 23 15:23:46 MDT 2003


Richard,

Pushing aside the weeds, what I see is the core of your argument comes
down to: "In Berlin, Moscow, London, Paris, Warsaw, Vienna in 1914 the
correct line was no war! Context was irrelevant because the war
transcended local history and sensibility.  Everyone was sharing the
same moment."

If "bring the troops home" isn't radical enough, "no war" is a tune we
can sing between rounds of Kumbaya with the Unitarian clergy.  I suspect
that the "fuck the army" faction will find your "no war" rather tame.

It's not 1914.  Our wars are underway.

The context in 1914 was, in fact, not the same in all these places.  The
course of the war and the socialist movement turned out differently in
all of those places.  In places the slogans needed to go much farther.

Where it didn't fit the context--then or now--abstractly "right" slogans
don't get off the ground if you can't build a movement around them.

People in a movement aren't restricted to the slogan around which it has
coalesced.  There's no reason why we should not be discussing those
questions of class, power, etc. within a movement.  I always did.  We
are capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time.

Best,
Mark L.





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