Fwd: [Marxism] RE: The Militant and Who Cares?

Tony Abdo gojack10 at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 30 17:12:23 MST 2004

<<Tony, you need to take a couple of deep breaths, and chill. no I am not 
defending the turn. I am quite critical of it. The SWP did indeed move to 
the right as a result of the turn. They began to trash members who were not 
the best job hunters in the world.>>

Ok, Jak, I took some chill pills here, as you suggested. You are alright by 
me just from the fact that you changed your name legally. So I can hardly 
stay too hot under the collar for too long with you, about stuff that went 
on a hundred years ago or so. And hell, the SWP began to trash everybody, 
now didn't it?   So I'm sure you got your fair share of manure from that 

<<A person's ability to secure jobs, in areas, which they had no interest or 
aptitude in, became more important than their committment to builiding a 
better society. So don't go throwing accusations of workerism at me. It's 
not an either or thing, (1) things were great in the SWP before the turn-no, 
they weren't, or (2) The turn was right on-That concept is to dumb to even 
respond to.>>

Well, it did appear that you were attacking the SWP pre-turn for not having 
gone where 'The Turn' supposedly was pushing the SWP to.

<<In my previous post I didn't even take up to SWP's capitualation to 
Islamic Fundamentalism in Iran.>>

But the SWP never 'capitulated' to Islamic fundamentalism, now did it? They 
did many things quite wierd, but last I remember, Jack Barnes had not become 
Iman Barnes.  Or has he now?   I don't read The Militant so I'm not up to 
date on this anymore.

<<There are a couple of groups today that are doing a great job of labor 
solidarity work, and single issue work,  who don't have a policy of 
"industrialization", and are able to tie it in quite well. I'm not going to 
name names, lest I induce another tirade in you, in case you disagree.>>

Sorry for the 'tirade', Jak. But if you go around making bizarre charges 
like that the SWP capitulated to Islamic fundamentalism and that the SWP had 
too luxurious a life style fo its members compared to other workers, then 
expect some slight response, see?

<<While hindsight is great, there were warnings about a conservative trend 
in the working class, in spite of the claim of the SWP leadership of a 
workers" radicalization". The late Tony Clift of the British SWP pointed out 
that the British and US working class were moving to the right. No Tony, the 
SWP did not implement my program. One thing about the SWP you haven't lost 
Tony. Take what someone says completely out of context, then make an 
argument based on that. Well done. They taught you well-JB>>

Well, I always tried to be a good party member, Jak. How about you? There 
was no hindsight involved in opposing workerism though.  Tony Cliiff was no 
great genius to see the US and British working class movin rightward post 
WW2!   In fact, the working class in those 2 countries has just drifted, not 
even so much rightward.... but just drifted apolityically.  The US working 
class is a lot less gung ho to fight wars its capitalist class than it was 
in the late '30s, for just one example.   So in some ways it is now far 
leftward of where it was in the glory days of trade union formation.

Oh, and one word about the corageous Jack Lieberman.  He was an inspiration, 
he was.  Many of us relatively young recruits out of the antiwar movement of 
the time, opposed 'The Turn', but not in any disciplined manner.  But Jack 
Lieberman had both the experience and discipline to do so, and did.   His 
fate was the same as the rest of us who just kind of drifted to the side of 
the SWP and continued to try to do joint work with their comrades, until 
maybe common sense might have returned somewhat.  It never dd, of course, 
and the reason why is that so many of those who were expelled in the '80s 
had essentially agreed totally with the workerism that had been introduced 
into SWP life starting in the mid- '70s. They were as gung ho about 
workerism as the workerist party they had been expelled from!

Sorry to have opened up this pandora's box of exSWP cadre reminiscing about 
our lost youth and what naught.  It's just that discussions that might 
involve the need to make anitwar/ anti-militarism work central TODAY to 
political organizing, usually somehow always begin to drift in the direction 
of discussing the case of the Lost Tribe of Trotskyism here in the US.  And 
where might their tablets be?

We could go back to discussing 'The Passion' of Mel Gibson again, if it 
seems more productive?   Was Jesus less flagellated than the exSWPer was 
inside 'The' party, Jak? How was Jesus on the anti-imperialism question?  He 
formed an 'International', but was that really a good thing?  What if he had 
just tried to get better pay for carpenters back then, etc.?

Tony Abdo

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