[Marxism] Re: The Militant and Who Cares?

jak barns fukdetrn at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 29 17:30:36 MST 2004


The early 70's saw a recession, which had been delayed by the Vietnam war, kick in as a result of the Vietnam war winding down. As recessions goes, this was a "mild" one, affecting mostly new entrants into the labor force, graduating high school students, and veterans, especially Vietnam Veterans. In the SWP, an obstensibly socialist organization, the most common lament among the membership, with the Vietnam war winding down was, "now what do we do?" Other left groups didn't raise this question, because there were plenty of other issues such as unemployment, working conditions, poverty, and the rise of a militant disident, rank and file fight back in the unions. . Most SWP members who grew up during the prosperity of the 50's and 60's, and for the most part being successful in avoiding military service, really didn't see economic issues as something that socialists should concern themselves with. I remember mentioning issues of economic deprivation to a 10 year SWP member in the late
 70's and his response was those type of issues "should be taken up by the labor leadership, not socialists!" I remember being able to read the "Militant" cover to cover in the early and mid '70's without seeing any mention of Socialism, or even the word mentioned. To the average SWP'er of that generation socialism=abortion, normal relations with Cuba, and the end of capital punishment. While certainly these are cause all socialists should take up, there is a little more to socialism than that, i.e., full employment, decent working conditions, housing, healthcare, etc. It was this type of thinking that caused the SWP in the late 70's and 80's, at least internally to jettison Marx's theory of the "reserve army of the unemployed", in favor of the theory  of "America=full employment and good pay and working conditions". A while back I read on this list, the opinion of a former member of the SWP Political Committee, that the well known analysis that real income has dropped since '73, an
 opinion shared by liberals and social democrats as well as revolutionary socialists,  is false. This person still accepts the US economy as described by the SWP in the late 70's and 80's, of America, the land of full employment and a defacto $30,000 per year minimum wage. Makes me wonder why such people are socialists-JB

 
Mark Lause <MLause at cinci.rr.com> wrote:

>There are a number of assumptions in this discussion that merit
>elucidation.

>Was it a retreat in the 1970s?

NOTE: rest of message clipped-JB


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