[Marxism] Troubled times

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Fri Nov 24 19:33:47 MST 2006

Louis wrote, "The CP had fucked up positions across the board. But
rank-and-filers like Betty Friedan and Harry Hays extrapolated from the
bastardized Marxism they learned in the party and developed core ideas of
the woman's and gay liberation movement. The CP was an imperfect
transmission belt, so to speak."

This is a very solid assessment of many groups and movements.  And we should
remember that about back to Marx, Engels, and their supporters...and their
predecessors.  The warping lies in equating the construction of a singular
revolutionary group as a kind of organizational corollary to the search for
the right political interpretation.  They're very different.  There might be
a single right political interpretation, but rarely does an organization
have a monopoly over its application.  That's where a range of groups
transmitting bastardized Marxism can contribute....

Btw, in their day, Marx and Engels rightly criticized the nationalist
revolutionaries of 1848-49, the anarchists who saw political action as a
diversion, and the followers of Ferdinand Lasalle (or Lassalle--I've seen it
both ways).  However, their preoccupation with organizational struggles
against these currents led them to miss the boat on some of the genuine,
mass independent working class politics of the period...which they attacked
as anarchist, Lassallean or nationalist.

In the US, the charge of Lassalleanism was used in the 1870s and anarchistm
in the 1880s against people and groups that were neither Lassallean nor
anarchist.  This pattern continued--and continues--becoming even more
exaggerated as the numerical stakes of the dispute dwindled.

Mark L.

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