[Marxism] SWP and the turn to industry

howard beeth beeth.howard at excite.com
Wed Mar 1 09:42:02 MST 2006

I'm sorry to learn from this thread that John Sarge was expelled from the SWP in 2000. Sarge did good work in Houston. I'm sure he is still doing good work. 

 --- On Mon 02/27, Joseph Callahan < JOEANDCAROLINE at MSN.COM > wrote:

From: Joseph Callahan [mailto: JOEANDCAROLINE at MSN.COM]

To: marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu

Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 22:03:57 -0600

Subject: [Marxism] SWP and the turn to industry

In my recollection of the motivation for the<br>turn, I don't recall predictions of imminent upsurge<br>so much at least in the written materials.  Perhaps<br>at plenums etc. the rhetoric was more frenzied.  <br>Certainly any talk of immediate upsurge had to be<br>reduced in the early 80's when Barnes used the term<br>"route" to describe the unchallenged offensive of the<br>capitalists.<br><br>To me the role played by industrial workers in the<br>Russian revolution was a good reason for some<br>colonization.  The elimination of teachers' fractions<br>etc. was not necessary or helpful.  <br><br>For me personally I didn't mind blue collar work as opposed<br>to being in an office where you probably have to <br>play office politics.  Ironically, if I had remained in the<br>SWP one more year I would almost certainly have shared<br>the fate of John Sarge who was expelled in 2000 for being<br>an autoworker in the city of Detroit, Mich. and not wanting <br>to be a meatpacker.  
Supposedly the meatpacking industry<br>is the center of the "sea change" in working class<br>consciousness.  <br><br>I concur with Fred's suggestion that maybe those who<br>were unjustly expelled got the better end of the bargain.<br>The last 9 years or so I spent in the SWP were rough.<br>I remember in 1991 after I had pointed out in pre-<br>convention documents that U.S. imperialism did not <br>lose the Cold war or "break its teeth" in the first Persian<br>Gulf War, Steve Clark and Greg McCartan wrote, "the<br>despairing voice of Joe C., while maybe not from another<br>planet, is not the voice of workers who want to fight."<br><br>This from someone (Clark) who I don't think ever worked <br>a day in a factory or carried out any kind of activity in unions<br>or among ordinary workers.  <br><br>"Fraction activity" consisted mostly of literature sales.<br>When some comrades at the Tarreytown GM plant in NY<br>carried this to its logical conclusion and carried out a<br>truly 
frenzied sales effort the last several months that<br>the plant was open, sending in some more people<br>just months before it was scheduled to close (including<br>Fred F.), they were castigated as if the leadership had <br>told them to do something else.<br><br>One of the last national fraction meetings I attended,<br>included discussion of a dress code for these meetings,<br>that consisted of "business casual" attire - no blue jeans.<br>This absurdity in the Holiday Inn in Des Moines, Iowa<br>where almost everyone in the hotel was wearing jeans.<br>I guess that's my final surreal memory for tonite.<br><br><br>________________________________________________<br>YOU MUST clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.<br>Send list submissions to: Marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu<br>Set your options at: http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism<br>

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