[Marxism] Yes, forming a Trotskyist group is sectarian

Josh Saxe joshsaxe at gmail.com
Sat Nov 12 13:28:44 MST 2005

"that's beyond the current question regarding sectarianism, broad
working class organizations versus smaller ideologically pure
organizations and so forth."

I think this is a good characterization of the current discussion,
let's make it concrete.  Problem is in most countries and places there
is no vibrant mass movement of the working class, only old ossified
social-democratic organizations controlled by a middle-class
professionalized bureaucracy.  Speaking for, Los Angeles, here there
are the unions, the best of which at their meetings can draw 80-100
workers, then there are social-democratic advocacy groups supported by
immigrants, blacks, etc, and anti-poverty groups - most of these
groups draw their funding from liberal foundations.  This is the
closest thing to the "mass organizations of the working class" people
are imagining here, and I'm sure there's more of this in Los Angeles
than in most parts of the country.

I doubt there's anyone on this list who would seriously argue we
should dissolve ourselves into bureaucratic unions and NGOs.  So how
do "Socialist Union" politics apply to the modern U.S.?  Where's the
mass movement that we're ignoring in some sectarian fashion?  The only
way I have found to be active in the way I'd like, even in the
reformist arena, is with a small group of young Marxists - there's
nobody else who wants to do the kind of militant, direct action
anti-poverty work we feel is necessary even to move the _reformist_
movement in L.A. forward.

So my question to the list is if the answer is not to build
ideologically based groups, what, _concretely_ should we be doing -
should our little group in L.A. dissolve itself into SEIU (the biggest
union in the area), or what?

I realize the discussion is also about Venezuela but I think it's
stupid to talk about "what would we do if we were in Venezuela" just
as I think we shouldn't prescribe another course of action for the

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