[Marxism] Answer to an ISO'er,

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Sat Mar 11 11:39:50 MST 2006

dwalters at marxists.org wrote:
> "Carrol is dead on with both these points.  There was no single  issue.
> There is not that conjunctural ferment now.  Not yet.  But will be
> coming soon, to a neighborhood near yours."--rr
> No, I think Carrol is dead wrong. There is only one issue that people are
> mobilized around, talking about, etc: Iraq. To look at it another way there
> would be no "movement" *without* Iraq. People don't come out in the *hundreds*
> of thousands around a laundry list of grievances. 

Read my post more carefully -- and pay more attention to the phrase
"conjunctural ferment" above.

True, no one group _ever_ works on a "laundry list" of issues. Any given
group at any given time is working on one and only one issue. That's one
reason an anti-war demo is actually single issue _even if_ the call
gives a large list and if the speakers no one is listening to talk about
everything and the kitchen sink in addition. That's de facto.

BUT BUT Those single-issue demos don't gain any speed _at all_ unless
there is the "conjunctural ferment" that rr speaks of above to feed into
the single issue featured on a given occasion. The SWP in the '60s was
living in a balloon of its own making, feverishly pretending that those
10s of thousands who turned out for the big demos had done nothing
between demos but prepare for the next one. On the contrary, they were,
for example, occupying city halls (as we did in Bloomington Illinois
over just one woman's house). And above all they were responding to the
motion of the black masses. No multi-issue at the base, no single issue
at the national demos. An anti-war movement simply can't exist in a


Without Iraq, there simply
> wouldn't even be a debate. The entirity of the debate around miltiple demands
> exists because groups, parties, etc know that they can *inject* their own
> priorities into the *general opposition* to the War in Iraq. Americans are
> dying, bodybads, hidden from the public, and 150,000 troops are occupying
> another country. That trumps every issue you can think of, including Palestine
> and Venezuela. This is why, except in a limited way (Palestine), there are no
> "mass movements" for another single issue that people have raised. None, zip,
> period. Iraq is what ties it altogether.
> Does this mean that any serious anti-war movement should *ingore* or *exclude*
> these issues? No, that too would suicide. It is how a movement built around the
> most immportant issue, the US occupation of Iraq, can integrate and raise the
> other issues to show how it's all connected. That is the art of politics in his
> case.
> David
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