[Marxism] Socialist Alliance in the US

Stacey Barber emusis at adelphia.net
Wed Jun 16 16:13:12 MDT 2004

Message: 11
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 14:40:19 +1000
From: glparramatta <glparramatta at greenleft.org.au>
Subject: Socialist Alliance in the US? Was Re: [Marxism] Fusion in NZ
To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Message-ID: <40CFCF33.6060707 at greenleft.org.au>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

Dear friends,

I have have periodically attempted to spark a discussion on this list
about the prospects of socialists in the US attempting a Socialist
Alliance/Scottish Socialist Party-like formation. I am still interested
in your views on the subject. Would members of Workers World, the ISO
and other US parties on the list, as well as non-aligned socialists,
care to comment on the possibility of greater left unity?

Revo regards,

Jose G. Perez wrote:
> I think this development in New Zealand --the fusion of
> post-Trotskyist and post-Maoist (or New Communist Movement, as U.S.
> terminology has it) groups, along with a number of individual
> activists-- is a very important achievement that should serve as an
> inspiration to revolutionaries in other countries, and especially in the
> United States.
> I hope the documents of the founding of the RWL soon become
> available on line, and I, for one, would urge the comrades to include
> their *organizational* provisions, if possible.
> José

Somehow, "left unity" sort of strikes me as being a mental masturbation
question.  It's not something that can be talked about in the abstract or
based on sort of Forest Gump simplemindedness about life just being a box of
chocolates.  I'm not saying it doesn't sound like a good idea, but who,
when, where, how and WHY?

 I see very little reason why Maoists or Stalinists or Trotskyists or what
have you shouldn't at least be able to work on practical campaigns together.
Besides, they all claim to be revolutionaries.  Why should the major
theoretical questions get in the way of doing practical work?  I'm not
saying that the practical and the theoretical are disconnected, just that I
don't see why every Maoist, Stalinist and Trotskyist wouldn't know that a
picket line is something that isn't crossed.  At least I hope there are
things that are common to every form of communism.  Internationalism would
be another one, although I really don't know how good Stalinists are on that
score, or if the American CP would be going along with the whole fury over
"they're exporting jobs!  Buy American!  " and this sort of crap.  Then I'd
say they're confused about the basics.

I know what first attracted me to Trotskyism was thinking that just because
someone was a communist, it didn't mean chucking away democratic norms.
It's a good question as to how much of a working example Trotskyist
organizations, at least in the U.S., are in living up to those ideals.

But this is a fusion between two post-whatevers.  Then again, I'm not really
sure why the lines are drawn over things that happened 70 or 50 or 30 years
ago.   I'm not exactly saying forgive and forget, but basically the USSR's
met it's end.  China's met it's end.  Nor am I trying to be defeatest about
it, but I'd think that the waning of these attempts at socialism would spark
some sort of reevaluation.  I'm not inclined to think that there aren't
Stalinists who aren't critical of Stalin, or Maoists who aren't critical of
Mao, or people who started out that way and turned to other theorists to
explain things they thought were gapping holes, or even people who used to
be Stalinists who think Trotsky offers a good critique.  If there's any sort
of unity to be had in these classical pedigrees, then it will probably be
among people who are questioning them, but I don't think that'd be something
that would proceed in a thoughtless, simple minded way.


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