[Marxism] Answer to an ISO'er
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Mar 10 07:18:18 MST 2006
This morning I received an email from an ISO'er defending their orientation
(surprise-surprise) that ended with the following:
"If you think we need a different strategy, I want to hear it. I do think
the entire radical left, not simply the ISO, needs to debate these issues."
As I have tried to indicate, the strategy of the SWP in the 1960s and 70s
is one that I recommend. No matter how hostile I am to that group's present
and past "Leninist" posturing, they did very good work in building an
antiwar coalition. I do have criticisms of one or another aspect of the
work, but won' t take the time to expand on that right now. This mostly has
to do with a certain rigidity about civil disobedience, etc.
The main thing that is lacking right now is TRANSPARENCY and DEMOCRACY.
Decisions are made largely at the top and then presented to the movement as
an accomplished fact. If I were in the ISO leadership, I would be thinking
about ways to act as a midwife in the convening of a national conference
that is as broad as possible. It may be possible for CAN to act as a lever
to bring larger forces into motion but I am not close enough to the inner
workings of the movement to answer that.
In addition, I would abandon the notion that the antiwar movement has to
become a multi-issue, anti-imperialist front. I strongly disagree with any
proposal to escalate certain demands--especially around Palestine--to the
same level of Immediate Withdrawal from Iraq--although they certainly
*should* be part of the demands put forward on major mobilizations.
Beyond that, it is difficult to spell out anything much more than this
since it would involve *tactics* which by their very nature change from
week to week. My final recommendation would be to read Fred Halstead's "Out
Now". It is probably the best thing to have come out of the Trotskyist
movement in the 1960s. Fred was an sailor-activist in the "Bring Us Home"
movement of 1945 and a long-time veteran of the labor movement. I know it
is painful to spend money on Pathfinder books, but in this case it is a
necessary evil unless you can find it in your local library.
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