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Over the past nearly 20 years since I have cohabited with these people on Marxmail and the mailing list that preceded it, I have gotten used to their reticence. There was a time when they were still gung-ho on "Leninism" that they were more outspoken. I distinctly remember Peter Boyle (the activist, not the comic actor) once making the case that Leninism was revolutionary factionalism. Of course, that was a long time ago and my memory might be fading. Have to increase the fish oil intake, I guess.

The only member of this group that seems to have a mind of his own is Michael Karadjis who I had some battle royales with during the war in Kosovo. I only wish that I could turn the clock back and have distinguished myself more from Jared Israel. Oh well, live and learn. Michael is sort of their Richard Seymour, an outlier who has the odd notion that membership in a "Bolshevik" group has some relationship to the historic Bolshevik Party where members were expected to think and speak for themselves. What a quaint notion.

As should be obvious from Links posting Borotba's call (http://links.org.au/node/3837) for an anti-fascist (ie., pro-Russian) protest in Ukraine and Kagarlitsky's addled musings, as well as kindred expressions from Renfrey Clarke and Tony Ilitis in Green Left Weekly, our friends are moving rapidly toward the John Rees orientation. Borotba's statement is really quite an eye-opener, filled with formulations that probably wouldn't pass muster in Counterfire and--unbelievably--a citation from RT.com. Frankly, you would think at this stage of the game that serious political people would avoid citing RT.com, especially on the Ukraine. For me, quoting RT.com on the Ukraine is like putting on a red rubber nose, grease-paint and squirting people with a seltzer bottle.

But even more puzzling is the absence of debate on their own mailing list on Yahoo or here about all this. I have trouble figuring out whether this is a function of the sort of disdain for the petty-bourgeois Internet shared by the ISO and the SWP or instead a pronounced tendency in their ranks toward allowing an orientation to be determined by "specialists" like Renfrey Clarke. I only wish that I had the guts when I was an SWP member to challenge someone like Frank Lovell back in 1977 when he told a convention that the working class of the USA was more radicalized than any time in the 20th century. Having lived through that experience, I resolved to make up my own mind about everything.

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