[Marxism] RE: Berkeley, Bogdan Denitch, YPSL, ISC

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Thu Nov 3 18:23:02 MST 2005


Brian

You’re right that Joel Geier has popped up in the leadership of the ISO,
but that’s an oddity. As I understand it, Joel was out of action for a long
time; then when he returned to activity he felt no enthusiasm for
Solidarity, so he went into the ISO. Apart from him, the ISO today owes
very little to the Shachtmanite tradition. You need look no further than
their embrace of Barry Shephard’s book.

>>Your statement that you don’t see any difference between defending a
capitalist Iraq and a capitalist Cuba is a sign that this is a pure 
abstraction for you. The Cuban Revolution, its historical development, its
relationship to U.S. imperialism, etc., and on and on and on, is
qualitatively different in every category that matters to socialists. It
does and would make a lot of difference to all of them and to millions of
sympathizers around the world.<<

Yes of course. I guess my statement was too compressed. Let me put it this
way: If the ISO can defend a deeply corrupt, viciously repressive
capitalist state like Iraq against US imperialism, why should they have
trouble defending a Cuban state that is obviously more congenial?

>>Now whether or not it “tears” the ISO apart may be debatable. I perhaps
overreached with this expression. But if it wouldn’t tear it apart, given
the scenario that I described (military conflict between the U.S. and Cuba
and an active Defense of Cuba movement in the U.S., while the ISO continued
to call for the overthrown of the Cuban leadership), then your organization
is not nearly as good as everyone reports it to be.<<

Well, not really “my” organisation but never mind. To answer the
substantial point: In a situation where the US invaded Cuba, I would be
surprised if the ISO called for Castro’s overthrow. It would remain as a
theoretical position just as (with all the qualifications noted above) the
overthrow of Saddam remained your theoretical position and mine during the
2003 war, but to raise either position in the midst of imperialist attack
would be cretinous. If the ISO did that, they would indeed be “not nearly
as good as everyone reports them to be”. 

Tom




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