[Marxism] Internationalism, the main enemy, and what to do next

Brian Shannon brian_shannon at verizon.net
Thu Jan 12 08:27:25 MST 2006


On Jan 12, 2006, at 3:57 AM, James Zarichny wrote:

> Brian Shannon on Sat, 07 Jan wrote
> "Compare this to the U.S. anti-Vietnam war movement.
> It initially started out against LBJ and the
> Democratic Party. As the opposition to the Vietnam war
> deepened, the "part of the way with LBJ" crowd of 1964
> had to fight against the liberal face of imperialism."
>
>
> My comment:
>    Brian seems to have a misconception as to what went
> on in SDS.  I was present at the SDS convention in
> Pine Hill, New York, in the summer of 1964 when the
> "Part of the way with LBJ" slogan was adopted.  The
> slogan came from people who were terrified of
> Goldwater.  Goldwater had said that if he were elected
> president, he would drop atomic bombs on North Viet
> Nam.  It is easy to see how this terrified people.
>    I was also present at the National Council meeting
> in the days after the 1964 Christmas in New York where
> Jim Brook proposed an April march on Washington to
> protest the war in Viet Nam.  The primary supporters
> of the April march were exactly the same people who
> had supported the "part of the way" slogan.
>    There was substantial opposition to the march.  Its
> opponents felt that it would take resources away from
> the ERAP project which was involved with poor people
> organizing.  Actually the march won by a narrow
> margin.
>      Jim

Jim reads too much into what I wrote. I didn't have any specific  
organization in mind. Of course, I did see the button on the Berkeley  
campus and knew that it was an SDS button. But it seemed to be a  
joke, even among the SDSers.  I felt that even those who wore the  
button did it a little bit ironically. So I am not surprised that  
they were the ones who supported the March and that they were the  
more committed and realistic wing of SDS at that time.

When I wrote the above post, I presented "Part of the way with LBJ"  
as representative of a general liberal outlook. Once the liberals  
(for the United States) or social democrats (for most of the rest of  
the world) take office, they now have the burden of running the  
capitalist system. At this point, their real character is exposed and  
some of those who may have had illusions (even ironical ones) are  
more open to concepts to their left, including those of revolutionary  
socialists.

However, as you point out, the SDS wing that wore this button was  
already to the left of broad main-stream liberalism.

Brian







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