[Marxism] Re: The ISO and the antiwar movement]

Jon Flanders jonathan.flanders at verizon.net
Fri Mar 10 21:04:39 MST 2006

On Thu, 2006-03-09 at 23:17 -0500, DCQ wrote:
> I can't believe I'm arguing this with you of all people, Lou. But the 
> ISO doesn't see itself as a "vanguard"--not in the grossly 
> misinterpreted sense that various sectarians have used over the years 
> since Lenin, and not even in the sense that Lenin discussed the 
> vanguard (because such a vanguard doesn't exist, despite the fact
> that 
> we all very much wish otherwise).

Well, you may not see yourselves as "the vanguard" but from what I have
observed at demonstrations, it looks that way, since you march carry
signs and chant as a group.

While I have found your group somewhat endearing in this regard, since
some of the chants were really creative, I think that mixing in more
with the crowd and marching with contingents from your area would be
politically more constructive, if you are really interested in bringing
a marxist perspective to the anti-war movement. I also think anti-war
signs essentially used to promote a particular socialist group are of
dubious value for recruitment. If you are seen as the real leaders of
the anti-war movement, you will recruit members impressed by your day to
day work, which is much more important than flooding a demonstration
with signs.

I agree with Louis that the anti-war movement needs a democratic
national leadership organizing conferences in a transparent manner. I
don't think we have  to be as single issue oriented as during the
Vietnam period, times have changed somewhat in that regard, although
"litmus tests" on Palestine are not a good idea. Always you have to ask
how can we mobilize the greatest number in the streets to oppose the

Jon Flanders


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