[Marxism] Re: Latest Left Hook Release Online

Tony Abdo gojack10 at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 27 22:59:19 MST 2004

Lou criticizes Bailey and says that there is a lot of confusion in his 
analysis of the antiwar movement during the Vietnam War era. I agree, and 
would cite this passage below as being most illustrative of Bailey's 
confused mindset. Here, Bailey accuses SDS of being mired in what he calls 
'moralism', as contrasted to what he considers to be  a superior mindset of 
not rejecting 'the centrality of the working class and an integrated class 
fight against racism and imperialism'. But isn't what Bailey actually doing, 
is he is making class and race a form of super-Trotskyist moralism that must 
be injected into the movement against imperialist war at all times? He 
criticizes the SWP for not doing enough of that inside of SDS!

It is this hyper radical dissatisfaction with the  supposed backwardness of 
JUST 'morally' rejecting the  US killing machine, that Bailey sees as having 
to be absolutely overcome by an even more moral Trotskyist zealot political 
line, which will inject an awareness of class and race oppression into a 
backward, one-issue, anti-military movement. In the US, this helps one 
understand why the majority of the SWP of the mid '70s, was in such a all 
damned fired up rush to stop its antiwar work with primarily students much 
of the time, and go rushing off into a supposed "Turn to the Working Class'. 
The SWP had itself come under the sway of this hyper-zealot moralism of the 
multi-issue crowd, and its single issue approach to building a movement 
against the US military machine was no longer enough for its NO people. 
Something bigger must be launched! So they launched the disintegration of 
the SWP as a viable organization.....

Tony Abdo
<<Also, the history of SDS shows how that radicalization developed initially 
from politics based on moralism. Yet even at its height, SDS shared many of 
the assumptions of the far left of the day--Third Worldism, the rejection of 
the centrality of the working class and an integrated class fight against 
racism and imperialism. One legacy of the New Left is the prevalence of many 
of these ideas today.

Still, we find ourselves in a different environment than the activists of 
the 1960s. Today, the Stalinist regimes that claimed the mantle of 
international socialism for 50 years have largely been discredited. We are 
not organizing at the tail end of the longest sustained boom in capitalist 
history, but in a period in which working-class living standards have been 
under relentless assault for 30 years. Many new activists see the working 
class as, at the very least, an ally in social struggles. The current period 
presents new challenges--not the least of which is rebuilding a left from 
very tenuous strands. However, the possibility of rebuilding a left on the 
ideas of workers' struggle and socialism from below are greater than they 
have been in two generations.>>

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