[Marxism] re: jack barnes

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Nov 20 14:59:57 MST 2005

Josh Saxe:
>So when the SWP adopted a false set of politics and
>approaches the Socialist Union played a heroic role in starting a
>journal to develop new ones.  And thus marxmail can be a major part of
>the remedy - a forum for developing new ideas.

Well, that's not exactly what led to the split between Cannon and Cochran. 
It was not over "abandoning Trotskyism" or differences over the "Russian 
question"--in other words the sort of issues that had divided Cannon and 
Shachtman. Basically, Bert Cochran and Harry Braverman remained Trotskyists 
ideologically after launching the Socialist Union, a point made by Michael 
G. Livingston in a talk presented at the "Explorations in the History of 
U.S. Trotskyism Conference," held at New York University, Sept. 29 to Oct. 
1, 2000. Livingstone said:

"Who was Harry Braverman and what was he trying to do? I can't really 
answer this question in detail, especially given my time limits, but I 
would like to make two claims. First, Braverman was a Trotskyist (broadly 
defined) and Labor and Monopoly Capital is a Trotskyist work. Second, 
Braverman's project, what he was trying to do, was to "save Marxism from 
obsolescence" so that Marxism could be a tool for revolutionary struggle in 
the US (and other advanced capitalist countries). He was also trying to 
build a New (Marxist) Left. Another way of expressing this was that he was 
trying to defend old positions so that he could conquer new ones, 
something, I will argue later, he did brilliantly."


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