[Marxism] Author's query - regarding South AFrica

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Aug 18 17:15:56 MDT 2007


Walter Lippmann wrote:
> As part of a discussion on South Africa, I'm looking for Bulletin In
> Defense of Marxiam (BIDOM) #24 from November 1985.

Maybe you can track down debates about the FLN in Algeria from the early 
1960s as well. I am sure that the positions that people took back then 
would be most illuminating in figuring out Algeria today.

In 1985, the ortho-Trotskyists of BIDOM were probably ultraleft critics 
of the ANC. But I have to admit that I am just not that much of 
antiquarian to delve into what they were saying. Doing so would most 
certainly make me feel like I was performing Samuel Beckett's "Krapp's 
Last Tapes".

Walter's baiting about the Spartacist League and the DSP on one side and 
him, the Cubans and the ANC on the others reminds me of how relieved I 
was to leave the Trotskyist movement behind me. For all of Walter's 
dumping on the SWP, he shares something in common with that atrocious 
sect. In the mid-1980's, they set themselves up as the American 
component of a new revolutionary international that consisted of the 
ANC, the Cubans, the FSLN, et al. Anybody who wasn't on board their new 
revolution train was a virtual Menshevik. At least the SWP had something 
to show for their bombast. They had a publishing house that was 
dedicated to reprinting the speeches and articles of this ostensible new 
international.

The SWP dropped these pretensions after the FSLN got voted out of 
office. Who would have suspected that a retired social worker who takes 
vacations in Cuba each year would aspire to this mantle of deciding who 
is *really* on board the revolution train. It is particularly bizarre 
when the ANC's leader disavows any connections to what the group stood 
for in 1985 and is virtually indistinguishable from Bill Clinton 
politically.




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