[Marxism] Paul D'Amato (US ISO) responds to Pham Binh on Tony Cliff's Lenin (phew!)

Dan Russell proletariandan at gmail.com
Mon Feb 6 13:56:55 MST 2012

> Does D'Amato regard this is a problem in general, or limited to the
> context of the United States (as the reference to the Democratic Party
> might suggest)?

I would say that the problem is simply more acute in the US, where even a
mass reformist workers' party (let alone a revolutionary or Stalinist one)
like Labour or the SPD, etc. has never existed and where the traditions of
proletarian radicalism were therefore much easier to push to the margins.

Is there a history available of the origins of Die Linke? My impression is
that its formation was made possible by a break within the SPD as well as
formations of independent leftists and trade unionists, not to mention the
former State Stalinists. Again, nothing of that sort exists within the US
on anything like the scale that would be needed to have a viable electoral
formation. Hopefully, that will change.

My problem with dissolution/regroupment - which, as far as I can tell, is
Pham's underlying motivation for everything he has written - is that the
basis for it has always been unclear. It seems like a good idea on the
surface - when you're at an antiwar demo with ten different groups selling
papers that might look the same to a casual observer - but the reality,
even there, is much more complex. Our politics shape our approach to Occupy
(and everything else) and between the largest groups there continue to be
pretty fundamental differences.

I've always found it funny for Louis to denounce the ISO as 'Zinovievist'
without offering any concrete examples of why our organizational methods
are problematic other than projections of his experience in the SWP which
are unlike anything I've experienced. Binh - despite being in our group for
years - has now resorted to pretty much the same thing, which is equally


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