But what does the Left have to say?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jun 3 10:36:35 PDT 1998

Carrol Cox:
>Lou, can't you just lay out your vision of the left without imagining that
>the whole fucking "left" is made up of the more obnoxious of your
>ex-comrades of the SWP? Do you have to dump on "the left" as though it
>constituted a disciplined, single-minded group rather than a huge
>collection of people who for months or years or decades have just been
>doing the fucking best they can under really discouraging circumstances to
>keep something alive?

You don't seem to get it, Carroll. When I refer to "Marxism-Leninism", I am not referring to grass-roots groups like CISPES, anti-Gulf War coalitions, abortion rights activists, etc. These groups are "the left" and I generally identify with it.

I am instead referring to the groups that trace their pedigree back to the Comintern. The other day, you made the same mistake. You asked me if my left party would include anti-abortionists. I have patiently explained for the past four years that the issue is one of the exaggerated importance of ideological questions within Marxism going back to 1921 or so. Groups like Solidarity, the CofC consciously reject this tradition. People who have various interpretations of Stalin, WWII, Permanent Revolution, etc. have decided to not make these questions defining ones for the group.

On the other hand, "Marxist-Leninist" groups such as the Trotskyists, the Maoists, and to a lesser degree, the CPUSA, make such issues "split-worthy."

I find it depressing that you fail to see this after all the time I've spent trying to explain it. The other day I posted 3 different clarifications that you failed to respond to. Perhaps you just don't agree with my analysis. In any case, please do not put words in my mouth.

Louis Proyect


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