[Marxism] Re: John O'brien's comments ...

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Mon Apr 19 14:53:18 MDT 2004


In a message dated 4/19/2004 9:32:32 AM Central Standard Time, 
e.c.apling at btinternet.com writes:

> Well, how come the other groups persecuted their members and
> conducted with [= witch !!] hunts and we  [i.e. the so-called
"Stalinists"] didn't?
>
> Melvin P.


Extremely well put, Melvin, leaving much food for thought for some on this
list !!

Paddy


Reply

Part of the political and ideological problem on this list, in my opinion, is 
that anyone can scream Stalin or Stalinism as an excuse to dismiss common 
sense or instead of looking at the concrete components of the evolution of our 
working class. I was not part of the SWP on any level, but it is obvious to me 
that its leaders were attempting to come to grips with new aspects of the 
social struggle in the appearance of Gay Liberation. 

Not only do many comrade not understand the history of the American Union and 
the concrete formation of our working class, but they do not think and pose 
problems from the standpoint of Marx. Consequently. they describe history on 
the basis of the subjective attributes of "leaders" and individuals. 

Until the late 1920s the Anglo American proletariat, (that is the proletariat 
in the North of the American Union as distinct from the plantation areas of 
the South and the economically dependent areas or what Marxists generally call 
the "border regions"), was formed primarily from the importation of German, 
Irish, Italian and Slavic workers. It is only natural that the struggle of these 
workers would be couched in the framework of the struggles within their 
Native lands. There is no African American Factor or Question in Germany or Poland, 
so it is totally understandable that these immigrants, many of them 
revolutionary to the highest degree, would misunderstand or even disregard this burning 
social question. 

Something similar took place in regard to the issue of Gay Rights or Gay 
Liberation. The difference was that this movement for political rights was 
generated on the basis of the social logic of the African American peoples movement, 
which altered the political boundary in American society. 

The freedom movement of the African American peoples in the last period 
flowed and assumed its features in the context of the mechanization of agriculture 
or a shift in class factors, that demanded the reform of the political 
boundaries in American society. This is obvious to anyone that calls themselves a 
Marxists. If someone agree with this obvious fact and then purges their 
organization of Gay members, this does not mean the facts are no longer true. 

The political struggle to adjust to the African American factor was a million 
times more sharp and intense than the struggle of revolutionaries to adjust 
to the new aspects of the social struggle presented as Gay Rights. 

In fact the "Stalinists" Comintern threatened to expelled the communists for 
their refusal to adopt a Leninist position on the Negro Question. Even Leon 
Trotsky himself - by no means a hero of mine, castigated the American comrades 
for their ignorance on the Negro Question. 

Well, the revolutionaries ignorance was a historical error and as such could 
not be seen by most of the participants. Today such ignorance is considered a 
crime in real time. That is to say comrades who behave as if it was 1930 are 
wrong. The comrades in 1930 who acted like it was 1930, at best committed a 
historical error. 

The point in comparing the identity movement called Gay Liberation to other 
social movements generated on the basis of changes in the material power of 
production is to assess the social motion in society and interaction of class 
factors and not a subjective desertion of who hurts the most or a refusal to 
fight for political rights. 

This of course is the "backwardness of the Stalinists." Now, the fact of the 
matter is that the CLP was not a Stalinist party and the comrade has not a 
clue about what he is talking about. Loyalty to Stalin was never a condition of 
membership. We are "Stalinists" because of our position on the national factor, 
but then again we have never felt an inclination to allow the Anglo American 
petty bourgeois radical students to define us. 

Were these comrade white chauvinists or what the petty bourgeois leftists 
call "white racists?"  I have very little patience for Marxists who refuse to 
unravel or make an attempt to understand the social process, especially comrade 
over 50 years old. The fact of the matter is that after Montgomery Alabama 
exploded in the early 1950s all political groups in America had to adjust to this 
shift in the social struggle and all of them failed. Their failure was not 
because they were anti-Negro, but a product of history. That is to say the 
previous generation had thrown their efforts along a "line of march" that expressed 
a distinct boundary in the development of the industrial system. Comrades dug 
into the industrial movement as the Slavic workers surged to the forefront 
during a period of transition from crafty unions to industrial unionism. 

None of these comrades can be expected to have a sense of Gay Rights or Gay 
Liberation in say the 1930s, 1940s or 1950s. Were these comrade homophobic? 
Were the next generation of leaders homophobic that emerged in the 1960s and 
1970s? 

Let us assume they were for the sake of argument. 

Now what do we do 30 years later and why would a Marxist not be forgiving of 
the inability of working class leaders to understand the full scope of new 
aspects of the social struggle before these new aspects grip the working class 
and alter its consciousness? 

To avoid misunderstanding I have nothing whatsoever to do with the history of 
political Trotskyism and continue to find it a bizarre eclectic collection of 
petty bourgeois ideology and endless fighting over what some individual 
happens to think at a particular moment. I do not justify on any level the witch 
hunts described by former members of the SWP, which sounds to me like the 
tactics of the political police or those missing a paycheck from the government. 

It seems to me that many "leaders" in the SWP were in historical error. But, 
then again we are the backwards Stalinists who tend to be for forgiving than 
the revolutionary Trotskyites who purge each other over ideas. 

We are the "backward Stalinists" who happen to be primarily minority, female 
and second generation industrial proletariat, at least in Detroit. My 
rejection of ideological homosexuality means the exact same things as my rejection of 
bourgeois/black nationalism or so called revolutionary blackism. I am highly 
political and if assigned to work in an area with the revolutionary blackists, 
my task is to fight along a line of the issues of the day and win the leaders 
and members to the cause of communism. 

I am not going to try winning one mutherfucker on earth to the cause of 
blackism.  I am an open communist. I am not trying to win anyone on earth to 
ideological homosexuality or ideological trade unionism or what in our history is 
anarcho-syndicalism. 

Then there are other factors of our history that need to be understood. 
Sections of the working class often move in different directions - at the same 
time, for a complex of reasons. Gay are trying to get married - a political 
direction, while women as a class are moving in a direction to overthrow marriage as 
a property form.  

Do I understand the Gay Rights struggle? 

Lets assume that I do not. 

I know what political rights are and personal ideology is irrelevant. I also 
understand the communist line of march for this era and it is not alone the 
line of Gay Liberation. A line of march does not mean one is against someone's 
political rights. A clear line of march outlines for an organization why it has 
to leap from one section or sector of the working class to that that is going 
into a political motion against the state. 

The concept of the communist class I have championed on this list is not 
agreed with by many comrades. As this class crystallizes over the course of the 
next two decades comrades can change their political opinion and simply be in 
historical error, because all the features of this new class have not emerged 
full blown. Comrade are still struggling to understand the profound implication 
of the radical changes in the technological regime. These are news aspects of 
the social struggle. 

I understand this is so called Stalinist logic. It is obvious to me that the 
SWP, like the CPUSA got stuck in a previous period of time and fought to shift 
to accommodate new aspects of the social struggle. Political Trotskyism is 
distinguish by explaining material life and the interactions of class factors on 
the basis of individuals. It is always Fidel fault, or Cannon's fault or 
Stalin's fault or a political document or an ideological pronouncement, which is 
why y'all expell each other and conduct with hunts. 

One comrade wrote Fidel and the government of Cuba was like George Bush and 
Mugabe because he does not allow Gay groups. This assertion is political 
buffoonery. 

Any buffoon can scream Stalin or point an accusing finger and put forth the 
most sublime nonsense about the history of our working class. 

Melvin P. 




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