[Marxism] RE: What is the function of a revolutionary party?

Tony Abdo gojack10 at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 24 11:37:41 MDT 2004

There are lots of big issues for a revolutionary party.  Struggling against 
racism in the national context is very important, but I disagree with your 
statement that "imperialist war is but ONE issue, one pillar of the existing 
order", Mike.

A revolutionary party in this age has to be an international party, and not 
just a party for socialism in one country.  No more so than in the 
imperialist center, the USA, must socailists see this internationalism as 
the center and key for their struggle.  Unfortunately, most US socialists 
act as if what they are stuggling for is socialism in a solely national 

Maybe the Swedes, the Australians, or even the Brits can continue looking at 
socialism as being a movement for national liberation for workers in the 
home country(as often do comrades in the imperialist oppressed countries)?   
But this US is an empire, not just a country.   And getting the yoke of the 
US capitalist war machine tied down is the essence of what socialist 
struggle here is about.  It is the key to international working class 
solidarity, and the struggle to tie this war machine down will often be 
carried out with active opposition from the US working class itself.

So we need to have a strong realization that socialist internationalism 
within the US will be most often strongly opposed by the majority of the US 
working class, no matter how much we talk about raising the minimum wage, 
increasing employment, bettering the health care system, and decreasing 
racial and sexual discrimination and so on, ad infinitum.  We cannot respond 
to this by simply not being active in building the antiwar movement, unless 
and until some small sector of the US working class begins to doubt some 
small part of the international warfare that the US capitalist class is 
going to wage continually until beat.  We have to do more than that, or we 
are not internationalists but rather we have made ourselves Left Wing, 
national social democrats.

One of the grand problems amongst us socialists, is an idealization of the 
supposedly benevolent and just character of the working class.  In fact, we 
have just seen a raging debate on what the middle class is, as opposed to 
the supposedly more pure working class.   But truth be, us workers around 
the planet make up a pretty sordid and motley crowd, and no more so than 
within the US working class itself.  US workers are often a big collection 
of total assholes, if truth be said.  Almost half seem to be religious nuts. 
  We cannot organize well with this lot.

Our working class will support prisons and soldiers, wars and incarceration 
until they are concretely offered better employment over a period of time.  
This we are not in a position to do, short time.  And so, no amount of 
preaching about 'interests' and 'morality' and pretending that the war will 
hurt, more than it will harm us is going to convince the millions upon 
millions of US workers that are part of the security apparatus, or 
intimately connected to it in some form, that they will gain more by 
opposing US government terrorism than by supproting it.   Most will not see 
it this way, and will not actively participate in an antiwar movement.  We 
cannot just cater to their inactivism on this issue, but must actively build 
this movement, even when it remains unpopular to do so.   The workers will 
stay with their jobs, and in the US much employment is military and 

Let's be clear now.  Many comrades propose anti racist and trade union work 
simply because that is what they think the national working class will 
actually move around.  And they oppose spending that much effort on antiwar 
internationlism with the international working class, through building 
antiwar movements that are opposed by both the trade union offcialdom, and 
also by the ranks of workers these hacks claim to represent.  These comrades 
want to buddy up to both the worker and the hack, to a great degree, and 
find it useless to work on anti military projects, where often one might 
come into contact with the petty bourgeois impure (translation= student), 
and be unpopular with the woikers and their nominal agents.

Once again, how a party defines itself to the issue of seeing the 
international working class as its true constituency rather than just trying 
to 'lead' the national one is all important.   The function of a 
revolutionary party in the US is to try to assist the workers who are most 
under the gun, and those are the workers under US military assault and 

Tony Abdo
Mike Friedman..
<<This is why what Lou said regarding goals of a party is true: I think
imperialist war is but ONE issue, one pillar of the existing order. The
other is oppression, at home and abroad. Racism, chauvinism, sexism,
homophobia, etc. Even now, in the throes of Bush's "eternal wars," at this
moment, in our society, I believe that racism and white skin privilege
impose the greatest burden (and feminists will, perhaps, disagree...) on
and for any movement for social change. It is central to untying the
gordian knot that is our capitalism.>>

<<How can you separate racism from any
major issue of our time? Imperialist war? Environmental destruction?
Assault on democratic rights? Prison-industrial complex? Even more than
justifying all of the above and imposing horrors on its victims, it divides
us and turns some of us into proprietors of the existing system.>>

Express yourself instantly with MSN Messenger! Download today - it's FREE! 

More information about the Marxism mailing list