[Marxism] New tO tHe LISt, Response to M. Junaid Alam

Carlos A. Rivera cerejota at optonline.net
Thu Mar 31 07:43:59 MST 2005

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Russitano" <itsrevolution at gmail.com>

> To me it sounds like you are extremely pessimistic about the
> possibility of actually creating change.

Why is it that all the self-described vanguards, from the ISO to the RCP, 
respond with criticism with this very same subjective appeal?

There is indeed a difference between believing in the possibility of change 
(which I bet you 100 bucks that to a person everyone here who describes 
themselves as a marxists believes in) and not buying the millerianist crisis 
immediacy or the schizofrenia between sunny Barney caricature that passes 
for political culture in most organizations

> Also, being a member of the
> ISO myself I would like to respond to some of the things that were
> stated.

My organization in PR is full of former ISO people, some even leading cadre 
of the local PR chapter. We get along fine with the ISO, and agree on many 
practical and some ideological questions. The full timer is a valued 
comrade, and I have fought, literally and figuratively, besides him in many 
occasions, not the least because he is built like a war elephant and 
fearless to boot. I have actually seen riot cops in full gear retreat upon 
his onslaught.

Yet, face it, the ISO has more turn-over than McDonalds in August. And this 
is not because of the nature of class conciousness, but because of the 
objective incompatability between the workerism of the ISO and the reality 
of college students that constitute their base. I always find it hilarious 
when I see ISO'ers from say, Georgetown University or some other sort of 
expensive elite university talking about working class power and some such. 
Sure, campaings for living wages are an excellent way for college students 
to help the working class, but students are not the revolution, never will 
be, and can never be it.

In all honesty, the Puerto Rico chapter is probably the most proletarian 
chapter of the ISO, in that at least most of the members tend to be from 
working class backgrounds, even if they are college students, and in that 
they organize in a State college famous for working class student origin 
(has been changing in the last 10-15 years but still a predominant reality). 
Still, when they graduate college they either go on and sell out or join the 
existing Puerto Rican left, mostly my organization. Takes some time to 
deprogram them from the vulgar internal DC of the ISO.

As to organizational democracy, well, lets just say that that when you 
finish college, unless you become a full timer (ie have sone financial 
and/or social incentive to stick), you will leave ISO in disgust. At least 
my money is on that. And this is not cyncism as you seem to imply, simply 
about 12 years of on the ground experience with the ISO. All of the members 
of my college/high school group of my organization are still in my 
organization (or in the Socialist Front) and the only person left in the ISO 
from 12 years ago is the full timer.

The rest of your post i'll leave the departed to deal with.


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