[Marxism] Re: The Militant and Who Cares?

Red Net dwalters at igc.org
Tue Mar 30 10:46:24 MST 2004

I can't imagine what this discussion is like for those of you who were 
not in the US SWP! Ha!

Hopefully, lessons for leftists (a term that whose value I question) 
could be drawn obviously, from this discussion ...

Is there anyone on this list that defends the SWP or it's "turn to 
industry"? Really? When the turn was made the only opponent of this was 
Jack Lieberman from the Miami Branch who got up denounced it at the '76 
or '77 convention. He was spot-on about this since he realized what it 
was before any of us did...an abandonment of any orientation toward the 
social issues that helped distinguish the SWP from other groups and how 
many of us were recruited in first place. Of course everyone tore Jack 
an new asshole and that was that for Jack. People around Jack ended up 
with Peter Camejo when he was 'dropped from membership' in the 
ill-fated Northstar Organization.

In my view the fact that the SWP abandoned...that is they stopped doing 
trade union work in the early 1960s was a problem. The should of 
maintained a more balance approach throughout the anti-Vietnam war 
movement. Of course that's all water under the bridge now.

On Mark Ls' statement about the 1974 expulsion of the IT (for 
non-SWPers here, these were the supporters of the majority of the USec 
Fourth International lead by Earnest Mandel at the time, but were a 
minority of the SWP in the US). It's conceivable, but highly unlikely, 
that the IT had 'most of the trade unionists'...there were not that 
many to begin with, most were in the AFT or other public service 
unions. Maybe 100 at most? So it's not really saying anything. But one 
statement that is most definitely wrong is that the IT had "most 
verterns"...not by a LONG shot. Certainly no one from the 30s and maybe 
some like Tom Leanord and Bill Massey from the 40s and 50s but that's 
it that I can think of. If you look at those expelled in the early 80s, 
almost all of whom were not ITers (many ITers were let back in the SWP 
later) you'll see most veterans from this period were LTFers (as the 
majority of the SWP described themselves for "Leninist-Trotskyist 


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