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In the first place, I have no illusions in either carpenters nor any other
section of the working class. I just referred to the struggles of
carpenters that I did because Louis was much too categorical in his comment
on construction workers. Also, maybe Louis didn't notice what I added to my
original message - that it's true that all these struggles I mentioned were
simply for the immediate interests of these carpenters, but it's exactly
out of such struggles that a wider consciousness emerges.

In any case, who ever said that construction workers - or blue collar
workers in general - will be in the vanguard of a wider movement of the
working class? I never did. Never even implied it either.

Nor, contrary to what Anthony Boynton implies, do I have any illusions in
the state of affairs within the US working class in general. In fact, I've
written frequently about the "crisis in the US working class."

My point simply was that political parties are based on class, not simply
ideas, and that any new party that is worth anything will emerge from the
actual struggles of the working class, not from some nice ideas and good
intentions of a relative handful of socialists. When and how such a
struggle will develop - whether we are even close to such a struggle - is
an entirely different issue.

John Reimann

*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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