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as someone who watched the 1968 Ocean-Hill-Brownsville fight in real time
in NYC, I have to agree with Andrew  The behavior of Shanker was outrageous
--- and Harrington's effort to "gently support" SHanker fooled no one ---
It's the SAME ATTITUDE that led the so called "socialists" of LID to
attempt to "control" SDS in the early 1960s ---

Right now -- it is absolutely essential that the insurgents whether within
or outside of the Democratic Party force the "old guard" to at least make
room for the energy of the people who are at the front lines of resistance
against Trump's fascism --- (at best to make WAY for the young folks
....many of them women of color such as the Congresswoman from Seattle as
well as Ocasio-Cortez ---

On Mon, Jul 2, 2018 at 4:31 PM, Andrew Stewart via Marxism <
marxism@lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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>
> I've watched the chatter on both social media and the Marxism list over the
> last few days, not to mention blogs.
>
> Simultaneously, partly for unrelated reasons and partly because of this
> issue, I've been re-examining some of the founding materials and documents
> of DSA.
>
> Let's be objective on a few counts:
>
> a) There's a generational split within DSA between old guard Harrington
> loyalists and the Bernie Sanders generation. While I am no Maoist and shy
> away from being too sectarian, I would propose that real progress would
> come from heightening the contradictions, so to speak, and educating people
> about the founders of DSA, who had distasteful aspects to their
> personalities. Let's be absolutely clear, Irving Howe, Michael Harrington,
> and probably Bayard Rustin are rolling in their graves over Ocasio-Cortez's
> positions on Israel/Palestine, ICE, and racism. They were on the absolutely
> rotten side of history in the 1968 teachers strike and that needs to be
> pointed out constantly, particularly given the upsurge in teacher unionism
> in the past 6 months. Paul Buhle wrote a wonderful polemic on this when
> Shaker died <http://nova.wpunj.edu/newpolitics/issue23/buhle23.htm>:
>
> Joining the inner circle of George Meany’s AFL-CIO cronies who regarded
> Martin Luther King, Jr., as an ingrate for pressing too hard on integration
> and for coming out against the Vietnam war, and shunning even the cautious
> reformer Walter Reuther for the hawk faction gathering politically around
> Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, Shanker made himself a national labor
> figure. A major element in his emerging labor statesmanship was his
> handling of race issues in the approved AFL-CIO fashion… [I]n the Ocean
> Hill-Brownsville crisis Shanker was encouraged by a group of
> self-proclaimed “democratic socialists” including, among others, Michael
> Harrington, Tom Kahn and Bayard Rustin, with Max Shachtman in the
> background as the powerful grey eminence. They considered parents’
> “interference” to be intolerable for teacher-unionists, but they had a
> purpose far beyond the districts of Greater New York. By 1968, they
> envisioned themselves the heirs to the Meany labor empire. To demonstrate
> their capacity to deliver the labor support and labor votes for a greater
> coalition, however, they had to keep order—at any cost. Even then the
> disaster might have been avoided through careful negotiation. But Shanker
> called “his” teachers out on strike. Yesterday’s socialists who have become
> today’s Manhattan Institute operators correctly describe that moment as a
> turning point in New York City’s history… And so Shankerism, hammered out
> against a background of both middle class yearnings and ghetto rage, became
> the oddest possible American-style parody of “democratic socialism.”
>
> b) Ocasio-Cortez has been forced to re-affirm her anti-imperialism after
> people like Margaret Kimberley and David Swanson pointed it out on social
> media and joined with others in pressuring her. That is a good sign. She's
> basically a shoe-in because of the dynamics in her district and for her to
> be that responsive says something.
>
> c) As I look at the written materials by Howe and Harrington, I remember
> what Alexander Cockburn wrote in his obit for Howe, which merits a long
> quote:
>
> Howe’s prime function, politically speaking, in the last thirty years of
> his life was that of policing the Left on behalf of the powers that be… “He
> vigorously scolded the student Left for its intellectual laziness,
> authoritarian arrogance, and occasional barbarism” (Clarence Page, Chicago
> Tribune). Get the picture? In other words, How was an assiduous foot
> soldier in the ideological Cointelpro campaign to discredit vibrant
> political currents electrifying America and supporting liberation movements
> in the Third World, the only significant general mobilization of a Left in
> the United States in the second half of the twentieth century… In 1984 Howe
> successfully organized the denial of endorsement of Jesse Jackson’s
> candidacy in the primaries by the Democratic Socialists of America. In 1988
> he tried again but failed.
> _____
>
> I don't want to suggest that anyone reading this is in any way close to
> Howe's MO. But there's a certain objective diagnosis about the landscape
> that is necessary. The Greens are putting up candidates on a state-by-state
> basis and, in NY, that means a pretty impressive ticket. But the national
> organization is still a mess because of the liberals who use
> "de-centralization" as a smokescreen for not solidifying their org into a
> genuine national party. The RI Greens are a complete joke and I have tried
> organizing with them seriously for 2 years. Their bylaws are a lot of
> nonsense and they designed the organization to make any forward momentum
> totally impossible.
>
> Howe, Harrington, and their lot were antagonistic towards the types of
> people who are making things happen in DSA. That merits doing a serious
> level of agitation around.
>
> --
> Best regards,
>
> Andrew Stewart
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