: : SDF: So what do you think of David McNally?
: I agree with a lot of what he wrote there. I'm a little concerned that a partisan group may be able to distort the character of the organization. For example, if it starts doing well, many Leninists may jump on board and through sheer numbers change it into a sectarian, vanguardist organization.
SDF: I can't believe this. How many sectarian Marxists ("Leninism" is a misidentification of the problem, as I've learned -- some Leninists believe in "socialism from below," and remember that Gramsci was a Leninist early in his career...) do you think exist in this country?
The FAR GREATER danger is that such a group could become a "talk shop," concerned with doing NOTHING while the interest on the investments of its petit-bourgeois membership accumulates (or while they're kept busy paying the mortgages on their houses), or it could become one of those groups devoted to electoralist reformism. It's as McNally says:
In this model, the exploited and oppressed are reduced to largely passive supporters (voters) who are meant to "buy" the campaign images and slogans of the reformist party. An elite of professional politicians and trade union officials are seen as the active agents of
social change; the majority are at best footsoldiers.
If you really want to join an organization like this, if only to observe and note its inner workings, I'm sure that many of the political organizations formed by Ralph Nader or Tom Hayden will suit you just fine. I'm not saying that reformism is inherently bad, in this era of conservative revolution, but I AM saying that the reformist organizational model is NOT one that radicals should be imitating. After all, it bears consideration that some of Nader's old organizations have been taken over by the Corporate Right and used for their purposes...