[Marxism] The SWP

DW dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Thu Mar 22 08:56:58 MDT 2012

Jay, the only reason the SWP list on Yahoo exists is because talk of the
SWP *in the current period*, that is the last 30 years, is irrelevant to
the class struggle generally. The uptick in discussion on the yahoo list
when a book like Barry's comes out is because there is virtually nothing
else to talk about regarding a party many of us spent our early lives
getting our political feet wet.

Like yourself, I had a great time engaging in socialist politics in the SWP
and like some others, I regret very little of it. Your praise for the SWP
in years past is fleshed out in minute detail in Vol. 1 of Barry's book and
in a no small part in Vol. 2 as well. So your meaningless barbs are
Sheppard for "presonal recollections" is just that, meaningless. Memoirs
are important part of political historiography. That most of what Barry
mentions vis-a-vis all the political issues, good and bad, is only
partially footnoted takes nothing from the book itself or the first hand
accounts. It's not a legal brief, it's a memoir, Jay.

Take the issue of Boston and the busing struggle there in the mid-1970s.
Tom Bias' memory is keen on this, but they are recollections. Is he a liar?
Of course not. Tom is an experienced ex-SWPer and his contributions to this
political discussion are interesting. You don't have to believe him. He
could be wrong. But he's not gossiping or lying. You wouldn't accuse him of
this, nor would I. So why are you basically saying Barry Sheppard's book is
no more than "gossip"? It is exactly along the lines of Tom's contributions

In fact, Barry's recollections, footnoted as well, is a fascinating
recounting of the Boston Busing struggle I urge everyone here to read
about. He provides a lot of insight to what went down. It is praiseworthy
of the SWP (that is, the cadre who were involved in it and doesn't focus on
Barnes at all).

Jay's defensiveness around the SWP seems to be misplaced.


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