[Marxism] Re: US SWP participation in UK anti-war protests

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Nov 23 10:25:43 MST 2003

Peter Evans wrote:
>Lastly, there are the small forces of communist activists who attempt to
>explain, by what Walter Lippmann seems to think is nasty sectarian activity
>as selling books by such as Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara
>etc, by raising such slogans as demanding the withdrawal of Britain from
>Ireland, that to be successful the anti-Bushism of the demonstrators has to
>be converted into opposition to British imperialism.

I don't think that Peter understands how the mass movement operates. They 
are not debating societies. The main purpose of demonstrations and other 
forms of mass participation like picket-lines (in Trotskyist jargon, this 
is sometimes called 'proletarian methods of struggle') is to trigger a 
dynamic that will generate larger and larger actions that will ultimately 
draw in the working class. In the USA the Vietnam Moratorium Committee was 
explicitly created in 1971 in order to co-opt the antiwar movement and 
provide a springboard for Democratic Party politicians. Instead of turning 
their back on this development, revolutionaries supported the Moratorium 
and pushed it in the direction of independent mass action. Rather than 
being seen as a rubber stamp for the Democratic Party "peace campaigns", it 
was one of the first actions drew in millions of Americans who had never 
marched against the war before. This powerful demonstration gave GI's the 
impetus they needed to begin to challenge war policies on the ground in 
Indochina. Many GI's actively debated whether they should be involved in 
the Cambodia incursion that year. Selling Marxist tracts at antiwar 
demonstrations is harmless, I suppose. Some dozens of people might be 
exposed to the 18th Brumaire, for example--a very fine explanation of 

Louis Proyect, Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org

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