[Marxism] In defence of Jack Barnes.

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Nov 19 15:26:54 MST 2005


Joshe Saxe:
>This is no measure of "proportions" - to put it mildly, the SWP is
>still much more important than an internet mailing list, and the
>organization may yet have an important role to play if their analysis
>proves correct and the next upsurge takes place within the industrial
>proletariat.

Actually, at this stage of history, I think that an Internet mailing list 
is far more important. As the post from Counterpunch should indicate, we 
are going through a sea change involving politics and technology that is 
analogous to that which took place when Gutenberg introduced the printing 
press. Politics in our age are being defined on the Internet, not on dead wood.

>  The important thing is that it is a disciplined grouping
>of people who demonstrate their commitment to the working class not
>just through words but through their life decisions and actions.  In a
>period like this when that is by no means easy, that is always to be
>taken seriously, however much we think their politics are wrong.

Marxism requires fiercely independent thinking of the sort described by 
Marx in a letter to Ruge: "If we have no business with the construction of 
the future or with organizing it for all time, there can still be no doubt 
about the task confronting us at present: the _ruthless criticism of the 
existing order_, ruthless in that it will shrink neither from its own 
discoveries, nor from conflict with the powers that be." Any group that 
suppresses ruthless criticism of itself, which is by definition part of the 
existing order, operates in violation of Marx's stricture. 





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