[Marxism] Re: The Militant and Who Cares?

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Mon Mar 29 09:51:48 MST 2004

There are a number of assumptions in this discussion that merit

Was it a retreat in the 1970s?

The anti-war movement, per se, began to recede around 1971 and ended
officially with Vietnamization and, ultimately, the fall of Saigon.  Did
the shrinking of traditional Leftist organizations necessarily mark a
"retreat"?  In some ways, mass confidence in government continued to
unravel after Watergate, the Carter debacles, Reaganite cynicism, etc.
On the other, environmental concerns continued to expand, reaching mass
proportions.  I recall my initial contact and support for that exotic
idea of the late 1960s...women's liberation.  By the mid and later
1970s, my mother, my aunts, and my female cousins were all speaking the
same language as the most radical feminists had earlier been.

Is any organization better than no organization?

Aside from the fact that Friederich Sorge contributed mightily to some
of the formative problems we've faced in the U.S., many of the greatest
deformations we've discussed in organizational terms comes from the
maintaining of centralized closed groups in a time when there would be
little connection to ongoing mass movements.  Of course, organizations
that are not centralist Leninist parties are also organizations.

Mark L.

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