[Marxism] "For members only" ISO documents now available: when will they ever learn?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Feb 14 06:12:13 MST 2014

Comrades should be aware that Mike Ely of the Kasama Project is quite 
upset with the publication of these internal documents. His wrath is 
directed at Ross Wolfe, a former member of the Platypus sect who posted 
the documents on his blog:


I am writing you to raise some very serious and troubling issues.

It came to my attention today that you have published internal stolen 
documents from a left organization (the ISO). And apparently you did so 
without even reading them closely and weighing what the content and 
impacts would be.

This is a very wrong, dangerous and hostile practice. It will have 
consequences you have not thought through seriously. It will serve to 
model culture and behavior within the left that have implications far 
beyond you or the ISO.

I want to open a comradely discussion with you by making this criticism.

And specifically, I want to ask you to take down this post and retract 
your decision to post secret documents.

A left that has no secrets is a left that is incapable of higher tasks.


I can certainly understand why Mike would take this tack since it goes 
hand in hand with the fetish his group (for the lack of a better word) 
makes over security.

A couple of years ago he and Eric Ribellarsi were speaking at the Brecht 
Forum on the Kasama Project. Since there was a lot of interest in it 
back then, I brought my video camera with me to record their 
presentations. When Mike saw the camera, he asked me not to use it since 
it would be a security threat--as if the FBI had no idea that they were 
involved with Kasama.

I've heard from a couple of comrades who after looking into joining 
Kasama were told that they had a "candidate" membership in which they 
had to prove themselves. What the fuck? I hadn't run into that sort of 
thing since 1967 when it was well-known that the Progressive Labor Party 
had a candidate program. The SWP had its own version of this. You 
generally joined the Young Socialist Alliance, as I did, in order to be 
evaluated as to whether you were suitable for SWP membership. It 
reminded me of what I went through at Goldman-Sachs. I came in as a 
consultant and after 6 months was offered a full-time position when my 
skills were deemed adequate.

Of course there is no reason to have such stringent measures. In fact 
these "cadre" organizations live in a fantasy world as if they were 
plucked from the pages of New Yorker Magazine--the old familiar cartoon 
of a couple of men meeting in the Paris sewers at a table with a candle 
burning and rats crawling all around as they make plans for an insurrection.

You think I am kidding? In the comments under Mike's article, Eric 
Ribellarsi wrote:

Cleatus writes: "Internal" documents are not a feature of Bolshevik 
practice, but arose as a feature of that party's bureaucratic degeneration"

Eric responds: Really? So, for instance. Lenin's secret plan for an 
insurrection which was leaked in an event that almost destroyed the 
Bolshevik party. Having plans for insurrection was part of the 
degeneration of that party? Could those plans have been made in complete 
transparency? Would the revolution have won with that kind of insane 

When you have people in this day and age fretting over whether a secret 
plan for an insurrection might be leaked, you have taken flight from 
reality and ascended into the world of pure fantasy. I like to fantasize 
myself but it is usually over sexual matters.

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