[Marxism] YADL (Yet another disillusioned liberal)

Marv Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Thu Apr 2 21:09:19 MDT 2009

Joaquin mistakenly believes we have a disagreement about the political
context in the 30s and today. He writes:

> The DIFFERENCE between the first years of the great depression and today
> is
> that back then, there WAS a real working class movement. Hundreds of
> thousands of workers had been to school with the Socialist Party or the
> Wobblies; the Communist Party had thousands of members.

I had written:

"What differed immensely, of course, was that there was a vigorous and
growing international socialist movement embedded in the unions and other
working class organizations, whose influence extended even into the US. CP
and other socialist activists in the unions and other mass organizations
became the catalysts and organizers of the subsequent upsurge."

We do disagree, however, about the extent to which US radicals were
influenced by foreign developments. Joaquin says "viewing the U.S. class
movement as an expression or outgrowth of the international movement is
fundamentally mistaken. The class movement that existed in the United States
(with ups and downs) from the late 1800's to the mid-1900's was the result
of the internal class contradictions of American society, not foreign

Well, it was both. Joaquin, to my surprise, ignores the ideological and
organizational ties which bound successive generations of American social
democrats and Marxists, many of them politically educated abroad, to each of
the three Internationals. The history of the US Socialist Party can't be
written without reference to the British Labour Party, which it drew upon as
a model, any less than the history of the CPUSA can be viewed apart from
it's relationship to the Soviet Union. There was widespread admiration even
among the mass of US workers who remained staunch New Deal Democrats for the
full employment economy of the USSR and it's support of working class
struggles against fascism in Spain and elsewhere.

I'd also like to see Joaquin expand on his view that the relative political
passivity of the current generation of US workers is mainly the result of
it's continuing to "bribed" by imperialism. The condition of the US working
class has, in fact, worsened over the past three decades when it should,
according to this logic, have improved during a period when US imperialism
rose to unchallenged supremacy precipitated by the collapse of the USSR, the
transformation of China, the decline of the trade unions and left-wing
parties in the advanced capitalist countries, and the failure of left-led
resistance movements in the oppressed ones. It seems particularly amiss to
allude to bribery in the context of the even more abrupt deterioration of US
living standards which has accompanied the current crisis.


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