[Marxism] Paul Le Blanc on the SWP crisis

Mark Lause markalause at gmail.com
Fri Feb 1 13:50:43 MST 2013

These are terribly important discussions, but the tradition has always
been to turn them into a meaningless ritual of talking past each other
with undefined terms or steering the debate into conclusions of
dubious merit.

Saying that an organization dies because it's become inflexible
precludes the need to ask what made the US SWP inflexible.  It'sa bit
like saying Uncle Joe-Bob died of rigor mortis.

Every organization of any importance in radical history was
"multi-tendency."  I'm sure the Soviet CP under Stalin had definable
currents.  The question is what's done with them.  And what should be
done.  The answer "Leninism" tells us nothing in and of itself.  Well,
it tells us "democratic-centralism" or "vanguard party" or other
things that essentially tell us nothing.  The term doesn't take us far
towards a resolution of the problem.

These things will have to be resolved in the concrete.

And I'm quite sure that the US SWP doesn't have more black voices than
most.  Or hispanic.  Or any voices of any sort.  It is so small that
the local bowling league probably has more revolutionary-minded people
in it.  And they've probably accomplished as much (or as little)
towards revolution as the SWP or any other group.  We have to look
beyond the clubs.

I suspect that what will prove most worthwhile will come ouit of
movements that have yet to coallesce in any true form.  If I were to
advise the groups that want to contribute to this process, I'd suggest
that they bend every effort in every circumstances to keep such
developments as independent as possible.

Mark L.

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