Mother Jones on SF's Anti-War "Radicals"

Mike Friedman mikedf at
Mon Mar 31 11:04:05 MST 2003

I wish someone who has used the term "more radical" -- whether Lou,
or you, Nadal, or viveka -- would define "more radical." The Mother
Jones article painted those who carried Mumia signs as "more
radical." It also pointed to those who advocate (and engage in)
disruptive actions, as "radical." In the former case, where folks
raise other critical social issues in the context of an anti-war
rally and attempt to raise consciousness of the links, say, between
racism at home and the war, they are to be defended tooth and nail.
Among the latter, one's political perspective indicates whether a
demonstration, bottle-throwing or CD are "radical". In the case of
"radical actions," as Marxists, I would hope that we would base our
assessment of what actions are currently appropriate or not on the
basis of what will advance our strategy of building a mass anti-war
movement. As Lou said, CDs that mainly hinder the movement of working
people to and from their jobs, kids' schools, etc., are a poor choice
of tactics.

At 11:56 AM -0500 3/31/03, marxism-digest wrote:
>4.Why our we so worried about  radicals and alienating the "masses" , when
>such radicalization is exactly what we desire and require for our goals?
>Why are we worried about alienating masses, when more and more workers, city
>councils, ex chairman of stock-exchanges, find the direct confrontation with
>the war so essential?
>And why would we label those more radical as troublemakers?  What are we,
>elementary school teachers?  Troublemaker should be a term of honor. We want
>to make trouble. Nothing more troubling than an actual class struggle.
>5. Those who talk about ultralefts, shrillness, anachronistic vocabulary,
>etc. have been unable, historically, to move the "mass" of the movement
>forward.  Indeed, many do not even see a need to transform the movement into
>a class struggle.

Michael Friedman
Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior
City University of New York

Molecular Laboratory
Department of Invertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY  10024
(212) 769-5608

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