[Marxism] selling papers qnd cults.

Lance Murdoch lancemurdoch at gmail.com
Tue Feb 14 00:16:04 MST 2006


On 2/13/06, Ggregray at aol.com <Ggregray at aol.com> wrote:
> The daily and twice-weekly were potemkin village like achievements and
> an end in themselves rather than anything remotely like the party papers
> that Lenin advocated.
[...]
> I have become more and more convinced with the passing of time that my
> experience of paper-selling had less to do with breaking bourgeois norms
> than with further inducting me (and I in turn inducting others) into a
> semi-cult existence with a political front.
[...]
> My simple conclusion is that whole practice had nothing to do with really
> buiding a socialist leadership in the working class.It had to with propagating
> and solidifying something much more like a cult.

Often when I go to a labor rally, or to hear some speakers at an event
or whatnot, outside the entrance to the venue are a swarm of people
trying to sell me the Militant or 1917 or Revolution or Workers
Vanguard or Socialist Worker or People's Weekly World.  Aside from
selling newspapers, these groups seem to look at mass movements not as
agents of radical social change, but as recruiting grounds for their
newspaper-selling cult.  The newspapers (Workers Vanguard, Revolution,
The Militant etc.)  and cult leaders names (Robertson, Avakian, Barnes
etc.) may be different, but in many ways these groups are all too
similar.

In 1999 David Barsamian asked Noam Chomsky about someone at a recent
talk who yelled at Chomsky that Chomsky had to, ORGANIZE THE WORKERS,
so as to, SMASH CAPITALISM!!!  Chomsky told Barsamian that the person
was part of "the usual fringe of sectarian left parasites whose main
function for years has been to disrupt popular movements".  I think
that is the perfect description for some of these groups.

-- Lance




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