[Marxism] In defence of Jack Barnes

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Nov 19 17:19:47 MST 2005

>how are 'we' articulating this crisis such that it
>might be addressed by a listserve?

This discussion about what Lenin meant, etc. has been going on for 25 years 
or so. It started in earnest off the Internet when Peter Camejo launched 
North Star Network, a regroupment effort that eventually coalesced with 
people who had liquidated Against the March. All in all, it was an effort 
of ex-Maoists and ex-Trotskyists to come to terms with the implosion of the 
left in the late 1970s and early 80s. As somebody who had worked closely 
with Peter Camejo in this period, I saw the Internet as an opportunity to 
continue this discussion. Besides myself, there are others who have 
contributed to this effort, including Joaquin Bustelo who is a member of 
Solidarity. Although I have some criticisms of their work, they are in the 
forefront of trying to rethink these problems. So are the comrades in 
Freedom Road. Eventually, the scattered independent Marxists in the USA and 
the saner of the party members will find a way to launch a new party that 
has absorbed the lessons of the past, which basically involve overcoming 
sectarian errors. These errors can be understood as idealist flaws in the 
application of Marxism, which usually revolve around fetishizing the 
"correct program". They also involve schematic understandings of the 
Bolshevik party. 

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