[Marxism] Forwarded from Anthony (reply to Marvin)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Aug 31 06:40:56 MDT 2004

Reply to Marvin Gandall ( Re: [Marxism] Organizers and NYC cop agree: 
500,000 marched From: Marvin Gandall Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 21:28:22 -0400)

Marvin, and the post from Fred Feldman which he quotes from, are 
profoundly wrong about both the history of the 1960’s, and the current 
political situation in the USA.

Marvin wrote,

“It is certainly true, as Fred Feldman points out, “that the 
anti-Vietnam War movement never managed to get even a tiny fraction of 
this kind of antiwar mobilization in the heat of a presidential campaign.”

While this is true on the surface, it is profoundly wrong in its 
essence. Why? Because the sitting presidents in 1964 and 1968 were 
Democrats, and most of the leadership of the antiwar movement then, as 
now, supported the Democrats.

A correct comparison, or a more accurate comparison, would be the size 
of the demonstrations at the Deomcratic Party national convention in 
1968 with the size of the deomnstrations at the Democratic Party 
convention this year. In fact the anti-Viet-Nam war movement mobilized 
an immensely larger crowd than this antiwar movement has.

Marvin continued,

“In any case it seems evident to me that 1) a powerful mass movement was 
on view in the streets of New York yesterday, 2) it is composed 
primarily of people who support the Democrats, 3) they are alienated 
from their leadership on the issue of the war, 4) they appear even more 
alienated from the Nader-Camejo ticket which they see as an obstacle in 
pursuit of their aims, and 5) they are consequently less rather than 
more open to influence by that part of the left which supports the Nader 
campaign – to the detriment, unfortunately, of both.”

I think Marvin has entirely missed the lessons of the 1960’s. The SDS – 
which supported Lyndon Baines Johnson for President in 1964, despite his 
leadership of the war in Viet Nam, lost the leadership of the antiwar 
movement in the following 4 years to the SWP and others – who opposed 
LBJ in 1964 despite the fact that it momentarily isolated them. The SDS 
self destructed in the year following the 1968 elections.

By maintaining a position of principled opposition to Kerry and the war, 
the Nader/Camejo campaign has placed itself in a position to become the 
leadership of the antiwar movement after the presidential elections – 
especially if Kerry wins.

The ABB leaders will be proven to be pathetic supporters of war and 
torture – because they will have helped elect the chief warrior and 
torturer (which is what kerry will become if he wins)– even if some of 
the ABB leaders didn’t know that’s what they were doing. (being charitable)

All the best, Anthony


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