[Marxism] Re Solidarity/Against the Current

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Aug 20 23:01:58 MDT 2004


Ilyenkova:
>So is this simply a screed against Soli? Bigger fish are frying here I think.
>Paulson has a point, though he doesn't drive it hard enough: Where is the
>dividing line? How big can the united front umbrella be? Are we willing to 
>toss
>Lenin (and Luxemburg on the Mass Party as well) overboard in favor of some 
>kind
>of least common denominator coalition of social democratic mush? For all
>their faults I think the best work in the antiwar movement of the last 3 
>years was
>done by two Leninist tendencies: WWP and the ISO. I don't think I'll get much
>argument on this from list readers. If true, what are we to make of this?

I wouldn't make too much of it. The ISO has done interviews with Sam Farber 
as well and was supposedly extending feelers to Solidarity over merger (I 
don't think it went anywhere.) I personally don't have much use for David 
Finkel, the editor of ATC. Over the past 10 years or so, I have written 
articles for Marxmail answering highly suspect ATC articles on Colombia, 
Yugoslavia and Cuba. I always cc Finkel, who never deigned to reply. I 
don't think that I am all that special, but in the past I have had useful 
(and some not so useful) exchanges with Colin Leys, Ellen Meiksins Wood and 
Leo Panitch over matters we disagreed with. They carry much more weight 
than Finkel but were not above mixing it up on the Internet. I have a 
strong sense that Finkel views the Internet as an upstart affair and would 
prefer to air his views and views he is comfortable with through a print 
publication, which can ignore the untutored mob.

I have much more of an affinity for the WWP politically and they even 
cribbed from something I wrote on Yugoslavia a while back. I just can't 
stand the notion of a small group of socialists all saying exactly the same 
thing publicly in the name of "democratic centralism". As I have tried to 
make painfully clear, the Bolsheviks did not function that way. Seen 
through the prism of today's "democratic centralist" groups, they would 
appear as a hopeless talk shop.





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