1. Cliffite ISO/SWP squabble, What's going on?
2. ISO liberals' "test of war" in the SWP/B tradition. (David Stevens)

Well since the entire internal squabble between the ISO/SWP was made public on the net the leadership appears to have become increasingly forced to reserve tactics of the Moscow Trials in order to try and keep the membership in line. The most recent letter from the ISO steering committee that was sent out shows the classical signs of and organization in deep theoretical crisis along split lines.
>Several of us received this communication from Katherine D. in
>the name of the ISO Steering Committee. 
The state caps have been throwing around a lot of "Stalinists" stuff lately, but I must admit that the letter by the ISO is really interesting. The only thing appearing to be lacking in the letter is the call by members to turn in anyone who is a suspect.. In fact it appears that they treat their memberrship as a herd of cattle rather then and organization of professional communists capable of thinking for themselves.
Another interesting equation this week as they acted under pressure of Sverdlov is that each day it became clear that the ISO/SWP answer to all of this is some sort of sectarian, cop/agent provacatrur, Spartacist or Jim Paris/MWG operation all naturally put on the same level.
However I don't think the classical manuver historically always used by these opportunist will help them one bit. The problem is much deeper then that even if the state cap goon squad would like to get there hands on both Sverdlov and his computer.
Anyhow the real issue here is the deep differences and appetites now coming to the surface in the Cliffite constellation. Not only has the bourgeois cry of the death of communism affected the far left, but these reformist cretins who historically sided with there *own* bourgeoisie when things heated up. And this from the beginning of WW2 with Schactman till post WW2 cliffism.. On top of this there great theoretical guru Tony Cliff just went off and dropped dead. Anyhow..
Gonna be real interesting to watch and organization built on capituation to cold war anti communism with its line of state capitalism trying to find a new line as inter imperialist rivalry grows.
In fact one can make the prediction or reflect that the girations of the SWP/ISO reflects there own historical opportunism to line up with there own Trade union/bureaucracy/ bourgeoisie in that appetites of the two organizations as inter-imperialist rivalry heats up lean towards creating and atmosphere of protectionism and social patriotism rather then a united front against communism which was how things worked the last decades and the "left" and especially the state caps adapted to with their *own* special brand of revisionist ideology.
So the state cap ideology which was the center mantle opiece of this tendency internationally and kept it "united" is now coming apart at the seams because this bankrupt theoy can hardly be used now and has to be replaced by something else.
Well that something else which for years previously was and adaption to their *own* bourgeoisie against the deformed and degenerated workewrs states is now becoming a conflict for them of which way to go.
The new left ridiculous version of "globalism" or the more social patriotic line of the European Social Democracy. And there is real pressure on these opportunists who want to chase at the winds. Because the Seattle stuff and the flag waving stuff of not in the least the British around Rover of late but also the tendency amongst European bourgeoisie to opose globalism knowing that this in fact is a keyword for American dominance which they hardly are interested in..
Anyhow this orgy of reformist opportunism now beginning to shake the Cliffites is certainly and unconcious vindication of the fact that things have really changed and and analisis of the new period based on revolutionary marxism certainly is gonna be real important.
However the Cliffites broke with revolutionary msarxism a long time ago under pressure of imperialist war coming up with " a plague on both your houses line" which is hardly viable in the next period. It might have worked against the degenerated and deformed workers states
as and opportunist way of keeping some sort of fake left credentials but as inter imperialist rivalry once afgain befgins tro heat up minus the ex deformed and degenerated workers states the only path open for reformists is siding with there *own* bourgeoisie anbd trade union bureacracy.
For marxists the job will be to expose these fakers and politically destroy them. The destruction of the former SU not only closed the door for Social Democracy in the forseeable future but there state capitalkist wannabes allso ..
And this is really what is at bottom of the present squabbling of the ISO/SWP.
Finally in the past gansterism and goon squads were reserved for opponents of these cretins from the left especially the ICL. Wanna bet that the practices of these organizations will soon be used against each other and any opposition that might develop inside of these organizations as they begin to go into self destruct mode under pressure from internal political bankruptcy and real pressure of events in the real world as things begin to heat up..
Cliffism and the state capitalist theory is dead along with its Social Democratic counter parts. In fact the destruction of the SU which was the starting point of the state capitalist break with revoluitionary marxism in the last world war will now at best be national organizations becoming the leftwing social patriots of their *own* countries and the real fight probably won't even be between let's say the American ISO and the British SWP. It will be with there German/Japanese sections most likely..
P.S. Anyone who wants to read the documents can download it at my homepage. Its big--almost 4 megabites even after I compressed it into a zipfile.
Warem regards
Bob Malecki
ISO liberals' "test of war" in the SWP/B tradition
One of the funniest questions in the factional dispute
between different IST currents is whether the ISO "stood
the test of war" -- because SWP/B means just the Balkans. 
They palm off the Bay Area ISO's yellow ribbon brigade for
Gulf War I, and fail to mention ISO's craven call to "give
sanctions a chance" to starve Iraq into submission.  [1]
 ISO's two-sides-of-the-mouth approach to the Gulf War was even
evident before Desert Storm, when [US] _Socialist Worker_ said:
   "... to campaign and agitate under the slogan
   'Victory to Iraq' ... would also be a sectarian
   error erecting a barrier between ourselves and
   many of those who are genuinely opposed to the
   war drive."  [2]
 So much for IST 'Leninism':  On either side of the Pond,
neither the SWP/B nor its class-consciousness-retarded
younger brethren go anywhere their Anglo-American imperial
rulers can't lead.  It was only in its brazenness that the
Gulf War ISO displayed any "Bay Area exceptionalism" in
making common cause with the pro-sanction liberals: the
national ISO endorsed a call for UN economic sanctions [3]
and the SWP/B did, too.  [4]  SWP/B leader Paul Foot gushed
about setting a low bar to cooperation with NATO 'pacifists':
  "... we had to make friends, link arms and speak on
  platforms with all sorts of people we would once have
  denounced as reformist trash."   [5]
 um, yes...  Anyway, that's the context of SWP/B's leaders
saying "ISO passed that [Gulf War] test magnificently" [6],
since SWP/B was _particeps criminis_ on UN sanctions, too.
 But in his defensive reflexes, Bay Area ISO Organizer Todd C.
makes one of those unintentionally revealing admissions:
   "... Far from being a barrier to forming a united front
   with liberals, pacifists, students, and labor, this was
   the necessary position.  If we had not taken these arguments
   head on, we would have just tailed the Serbian Stalinists
   and permitted them to destroy the antiwar movement."  [7]
 We Trotskyists have a particular _technical_ term for a
political alliance between "liberals, pacifists, students,
and labor" ...
 ... but it isn't a "united" front.
-- David Stevens
[[EMAIL PROTECTED]] (Remove your_pants to reply)
Trotsky, Sex & Drugs     http://www.slip.net/~drs
[1] Bob Dahlgren's proffered alibi for ISO's political
    dishonesty was illuminating to uninformed Leninists:
       "It is typical that at such events, the ISO
       will provide two speakers, one who will speak on
       behalf of the coalition and one who will push the
       'line.'  The coalition speaker is then understandably
       constrained by the accepted parameters of the coalition,
       otherwise they would be acting in a sectarian and
       undisciplined manner." 
    Hence, according to the ISO apologia, Leninists can't even
    march side by side with liberals unless they explicitly call
    for the scummiest of bourgeois liberal positions -- as by
    openly calling for economic sanctions against Iraq until
    such measures gained disfavor even among liberals!
    -- cit. (13 Aug 1999) 'Re: ISO vs Cuba: the Frothing Gusano
       "Socialists" of Tony Cliff [was: Spot the Stalinist]'
[2] [US] _Socialist Worker_, October 1990.
[3] ISO call for sanctions via the (26 January 1991)
    "National Campaign for Peace", which also 'condemned'
    Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
[4] SWP/B call for sanctions via the CND's "Committee to Stop
    War in the Gulf" marching alongside the Union Jack.
[5] _New Statesman_, (3 May 1991).
[6] (20 February 2000) contribution to IST internal bulletin,
    cited by Tod C. in [7].
[7] Tod C. "The Myth of Bay Area Exceptionalism" (25 February 2000)
    contribution to ISO Internal Discussion Bulletin [unnumbered,
    (20 March 2000)].  facsimile URLs:
    http://www.geocities.com/piyrw_90210/h22.html -and-
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