[Marxism] FRSO/OSCL

Badili Jones badili at greens.org
Sat Dec 2 15:30:24 MST 2006

Gee Louis, 
  I just read your piece on Stan and Marxism. You'll have to ask him about how what he has to say in terms of FRSO/OSCL. It is also up to him to say what organization or organizations he is talking about. I wouldn't necessarily make assumptions.
  As for the piece itself I'm still trying to digest the whole thing because Stan was never an easy read even though he has very important things to say.  There are some things in it that I agree with and others I don't. The entire socialist left has to take a harder look at how it deals with male supremacy and patriarchy. I agree. I don't agree with the issue on democratic centralism.  Democratic Centralism is a political tool which should be flexible enough to take into account time place and conditions. It should be sensitive to the majority view in the organization. But as a tool it helps the organization to take action at least on what there is unity. I have worked with consensus based organizations and a small minority can stop the work of the whole body.  Often in these bodies it is the voices of working class people, women and people of color that are overlooked(ironically). I think there is a place for building consensus and trying to reach a consensus but I don't
 think it is workable for an organization on a national level trying to make revolutionary change.
   As the person who wrote the piece on the Crisis in Socialism
  posted of FRSO/OSCL's website I just want to say the we never had to reconsider democratic centralism. We were and remain a democratic centralist organization. Our practice has to of course always be considered in the light of the current situation but we are an organization that builds around common work rather than simply being an organization where socialist minded people can gather and talk about socialism, etc.
  Stan brings up some interesting things and certainly if we are to build the left and unite the left some of his points should be considered even if we don't arrive at the same conclusions. It is not necessary or useful to go into an attack mode. What is necessary is to open up the discussion and dialog on all levels not only on listserves and blogs but in public forums and other venues. It is time for the socialist left and the left as a whole to put the need for revolutionary organization at the center of it's discussion.
  While I am not speaking for FRSO/OSCL, I believe it is safe to say that we continue to see the need to develop the foundation for a revolutionary socialist party that can challenge the current hegemony and contend for power in the U.S. No instant recipe for that. We continue to believe that the transformation of what constitutes the socialist left to be essential. Not to denigrate the contribution of the paler, older, and male socialists we believe that the socialist left does not reflect in its leadership and membership the kind of national and gender make up it should have to shift the inertia. Also for the most part with few exceptions socialist identified leftist are a little older than the general population. That too has to change.
  While I believe we are open to comradely debate and discussion with various non sectarian socialists we could not take the organizational steps to come together unless they take the need to transform or membership and leadership as seriously as we do.

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