[Marxism] Re: Fwd: Chavez praises Marxist.com and backsHandsoffVenezu,

M. Junaid Alam junaidalam at msalam.net
Sun Apr 25 10:34:00 MDT 2004

For a couple years I was affiliated with the youth website in the US 
identifying the Grant/Woods tendency, which was www.newyouth.com. That 
eventually became a recruiting ground for the American branch of the 
tendency called WIL [www.socialistappeal.org], which a couple years back 
had about 40 members nationwide, but last year there was (surprise) a 
purge of some West Coast people, so I don't know how large it is now. My 
guess is it's basically insignificant in terms of on the ground presence.

By "affiliated" what I mean is I wrote a couple articles for them and 
spent a lot of time reading Grant/Wood material and being on the 
discussion boards (often getting booted or moderated) debating and 
discussing everything Marxist under the sun. Then I made a website for 
the Pakistan branch [www.ptudc.org] before I disassociated myself with 
them completely. It was definitely a very formative learning experience.

 From what I remember of a few years back, they have several hundred 
members in Pakistan and Italy, maybe a couple hundred in Greece and 
Iran, don't recall the rest. The interesting thing is that the American 
face of their group appeared in 1998 or around then, just this one guy, 
paid fulltime by the organization, out in Minnesota, Peter Johnson or 
John Peterson, who was convinced to join up when he was just touring 
England and heard one of their members at that speakerbox corner place, 
wherever it is that people apparently stand up on this thing and say 
whatever they want.

My experience and that of a few acquaintances who were on the American 
NC is that the group has _extreme_ enforcing of the party line and lots 
of social/peer pressure. So the US branch at least was very dogmatic and 
cultish internally, it was like bizarro world.

That said, I always like to read what Alan Woods writes (Ted Grant is at 
least 90 and is not in good enough health to do much anymore). And the 
CMI is definitely the most disciplined Marxist organization around, 
which has its bonus points regardless of all the problems it entails. I 
think Chavez's openness toward Marxism of any kind is a good sign, it's 
not like he's going to be infected by the internal atmosphere of the 
group itself anyway.

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