[Marxism] Not learning from the New Communist Movement | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Oct 1 09:52:40 MDT 2018

There’s an interview with Max Elbaum on Jacobin today titled “Learning 
from the New Communist Movement” that is mostly unobjectionable. As I 
pointed out in a review of Max’s “Revolution in the Air” in 2002, “I 
strongly recommend this recently published Verso book to anybody trying 
to make sense of the state of the left today. While focused on the “New 
Communist Movement” of the 70s and 80s (that I prefer to call Maoist), 
the lessons Elbaum draws are applicable to all vanguard party-building 
projects including those of the Trotskyist movement that I participated in.”

Clearly, there is an affinity between Jacobin/DSA and the Maoist 
movement that Elbaum belonged to and chronicled in this book. With both 
the DSA and the “New Communist Movement” of yore recycling the politics 
of the Popular Front, you might even wonder why it took so long for them 
to have a friendly chat. Max was a leader of the Line of March (LOM) in 
the 1970s, a Maoist group founded by Irwin Silber, the film critic of 
the now defunct American radical newsweekly The Guardian.

The LOM had a most peculiar political agenda. They wanted to either 
convince the CPUSA to return to its glorious past or carry out that task 
themselves. Whatever complaints they had about the CPUSA, being embedded 
in the Democratic Party was not one of them.


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