[Marxism] IWW and anti-imperialism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Aug 15 12:17:55 MDT 2005


Calvin wrote:
>That is terribly dismissive, given that you have not read the book which 
>is extremely well researched.

No, I haven't read his book but I have just read a number of books on the 
IWW, including the cartoon book I just reviewed for swans. I have also made 
a study of the CP and the CIO, as well has having read and reviewed Sol 
Dollinger's book on the Flint sit-down strike. To suggest that this strike 
was an effort to "control" Black workers and that it had subterranean Jim 
Crow goals is bullshit of the highest order.

>In any case, the question is not strictly one of the racial demographic 
>composure of militant American trade-unionism (although I suspect the 
>statistics on this score would be salutory), but of strategic political 
>principle. (My questions regarding the Irish or arab membership of British 
>and Israeli trade unions were quite apropos IMO). Were the IWW the party 
>of 'all the way' anti-imperialist revolution in a period of intense 
>working class struggle or not?

As compared to what? Some Platonic ideal? The thing I can't stand about 
anarchism, sectarian Trotskyism and Sakai's "settler" Maoism is that they 
operate in some sort of Manichean universe consisting of absolute evil and 
absolute good, in the latter case a schema based on some sort of peculiar 
interpretation of history. I think it is much more useful to see people and 
groups dialectically. Speaking of which, Sakai told Ruckus that Slobodan 
Milosevic "turned to neo fascism and genocidal ethnic nationalism to be 
'born again' as the local 'lumpenbourgeoisie' under global imperialism." 
For all his radicalism, Sakai seems capable of utterly banal and false 
observations.

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