[Marxism] "Pointed charge"?

aaron s. amaral amaral1871 at gmail.com
Sun Jan 13 12:05:20 MST 2013

On Sun, Jan 13, 2013 at 1:12 PM, Manuel Barrera <mtomas3 at hotmail.com> wrote:

ISO missed an opportunity to demonstrate leadership--as one of the larger
> organizations in the revolutionary camp. One has to ask whether this
> refusal to endorse a working class candidate against the capitalist Party
> of war and plunder during a time, for better or worse, of heightened
> political interest among working people was made based on tactical,
> strategic, or principled considerations? Was the ISO simply inept (the best
> case scenario) at figuring out this opportunity or involved in "hedging its
> bets" because perhaps many inside the organization are not all that clear
> about promoting independent political action as a way to educate working
> people in opposing the capitalist class?

Kinda like: "Well, sir, did you lie when you were asked how often you beat
your wife? Or are you lying now?" I'm glad Manuel was not trying to be

The point is that there are scores of local attempts at left electoral
challenges, issued by all sorts of self-described revolutionary forces,:
the SEP, the SWP, the PSL etc...all of them, and others, offer an
opportunity to "endorse a working class candidate against the capitalist
Party of war and plunder"....I would hope that there is agreement that they
are not all worthy of endorsement, and that there needs to be a real,
assessment of the forces at play and the possibilites of building something
lasting. It seems to me that there is disagreement about the prospect for
left electoral challenges beyond certain localized instances, and a debate
could be fruitful.

I am an ISO member in NYC and have personally worked with the comrades from
the Socialist Alternative around Greek Solidarity campaigns, and other
ISOers have worked with these comrades in the union context. My experience
has been generally positive and I consider the comrades to be serious and
committed, despite criticisms I have about the way in which the lines of
the CWI - which grew out of specific, conjunctural British conditions - are
taken up and applied by SocAlt to US conditions.

However, the way the way this issue has been handled in Seattle (and I
refer to the letter quoted by Dan and how the 'offer' of 'partnership' ,
and the call for endorsement was handled) appears to be nothing more than a
short-sighted political manoeuvre and not a serious attempt to build an
ongoing relationship - electoral or otherwise. That these facts get
entirely ignored, whereas  otherwise the allegations are readily taken up
as a cudgel to bash the ISO by Bihn et al., raises real questions to me
about how the needed collective assessment, referred to above, can take
place in a productive manner...

-aaron a.

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