[Marxism] navigating between the Scylla of sectarian abstentionism and the Charybdis of opportunism (Dennis Brasky)

John Reimann 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Wed Jul 4 13:23:40 MDT 2018

I read the article that Dennis posted. (Louis did too.) It's typical of
ISO; it "navigates between... sectarian abstentionism and...
opportunism"... by actually *combining *the two! Quite a feat in one
relatively short article, but then the ISO is well experienced in this sort
of thing.

The way it does so is being general and abstract - making general comments
are in the abstract are unanswerably right, but have no real meaning as far
as actions. "*The tactics we choose will have to be responsive to the
trajectory of events as it unfolds from here..... Simply asserting that
socialists must build an independent party, an argument which is absolutely
correct, does not give us a complete answer to the question."*

Tell me, what exactly does this mean in the concrete; what exactly are they

I learned to develop a good bullshit-meter from my days in the carpenters
union. There, at times, some of the union officials would respond to a mood
in the union with all kinds of militant-sounding statements, but what did
it mean in practice?

There's a corollary to this: The real sign of leadership is being able to
map out a general perspective - a general course upon which the workers'
movement can and must develop and then propose the very next concrete steps
that can and should be taken. That's what real leadership of the working
class movement is all about. It's what's really necessary. However, it's
also what really angers the sectarians, opportunists and reformists because
it's exactly there that they cannot hide behind fine sounding phrases and

I have made my view completely clear on the overall longer term trajectory
and what concrete steps can and should be taken in the here and now. The
ISO is typically vague about it. It helps them avoid pissing people off,
but it also means they have nothing real to offer.

John Reimann
*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com also on Facebook

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