[Marxism] Re: In defence of Jack Barnes

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Sat Nov 19 18:12:37 MST 2005

Louis: "Actually, at this stage of history, I think that an Internet
mailing list is far more important."

Eli: "Really, Louis? And which demonstrations of 10, 20, 50, 100,000
have been organized by an "Internet mailing list"

Louis: "The purpose of this mailing list is to resolve a crisis in the
revolutionary movement." and later: "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

It was at this point I started to smile. Come on comrades. The crisis in
the revolutionary movement will be resolved by major social
developments, hopefully in the form of mass working class struggle. It
will certainly not be resolved by an internet discussion about "what
Lenin meant" – it's the other way round, major developments in the class
struggle will clarify that too. As for an "eventual" left regroupment
around what somebody thinks are the "lessons of the past", I've been
hearing such talk since the seventies, but it never comes to much – as
evidenced by Solidarity, which Louis mentions, and which has gone
nowhere. Which is not meant as a criticism of them – none of us have
gone anywhere much (although the ISO seems to have regrouped more people
than Soli).  How could we when the class struggle in the States, and
here in Australia for that matter, has been at low ebb for decades.

Social being determines consciousness. So I guess it's natural that
someone totally invested in his e-list should think it's the key vehicle
for resolving a historic crisis. But actually Marxmail is just a handy
place for a motley collection of lefties to debate across ideological
demarcation lines. As such it's a fine achievement, but that's it.

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