[Marxism] Re: Anti-imperialism (response to Yoshie)

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Tue May 10 13:28:03 MDT 2005

Let's be honest: The SWP's model of a movement around "the single-issue
mass peaceful demos" was a good idea that became completely fetishized.

The SWP had no end of troubles dealing with the women's movement until
it found a way to impose on it the model of "the single-issue mass
peaceful demos" around abortion.  We were involved in dissolving
multi-issue women's liberation groups in order to do that...even when
the "mass peaceful demos" were neither "mass" nor "demos"....

...and, while the party was doing a great deal of what I regarded as
very interesting but very internalized navel contemplation over
nationalism, etc., we did almost nothing to engage the black and
Hispanic communities around the issues which already had them in motion.
Mind you, this wasn't because the party was phobic about this, but
because such activities were so localized that doing such a thing would
have required relying on the locals to make their own judgments on a
range of things the SWP leadership wanted to control.  The result was
that we always seemed to be waiting for what one NC member told me would
be "the single issue that will emerge as the unifying force for a
movement for black liberation."  

...and, even in the antiwar movement, most of those of us "on the
ground" in the SMCs and PACs understood the model of "the single-issue
mass peaceful demos" was a "point of principle."  This was so fetishized
that comrades like myself who discussed the bigger issues of imperialism
among SMC members were regularly threatened with disciplinary action
(and this was BEFORE I was in an oppositional tendency).  Indeed, not
one of the SWP's electoral campaigns raised anything on the war other
than that single issue of getting the U.S. or its troops "out now."

Mark L.

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