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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Leftists Against the Left

Leftist cyber space has been engaged in a debate the last week, involving leaked preconvention documents from the International Socialist Organization (ISO). For the benefit of those who aren't aware, many left organizations, including the ISO, have an internal discussion several months before their scheduled convention. As a general rule, these written, nowadays, generally online documents, reflect what the membership wants to be discussed, voted on, and adopted at the convention. In most cases these documents are for members only. This is the case with the ISO.
Ross Wolfe, an enemy of the organized left, who publishes an online blog, somehow got access to and published, preconvention documents, for the ISO convention scheduled, February 15-17,  Not content with just publishing the documents for the current convention, Wolfe, also posted all the documents from previous conventions beginning with 2011.

In an article,  Leaking Internal ISO Docs: A Question of Revolutionary Ethics, at the Kasama Project website, Mike Ely criticizes Wolfe for leaking the documents. As a result of the debate generated by that article,  Ely published a follow up article, Killing Lenin Again:  Conscious Trolling Against Left Security Culture. 

 The links to both articles along with other links will be posted at the end of this article, and I would encourage everyone to read both articles, and also the comments. Those who support the outing of the ISO documents appear to be motivated by the belief, that members of a revolutionary organization should be denied the right to have internal discussions to plan perspectives and how to carry out their objectives. In the name of democracy, ironically.

Two of the most strident opponents of leftist organizations having members only discussion are leftist cyber wannabe sage Louis Proyect, and his trusty, not so comical side kick, Joaquin Bustelo. Proyect has a web site, Unrepentant Marxist, and is moderator of the online discussion list, Grumpy Old Man Mail (aka Marxmail).  Bustelo is best known for calling for the destruction of cadre type left organizations, and for giving a bad name to Assholeism. Bustelo also appears to be of the opinion, based on earlier articles and comments in other forums, that involuntary poverty and unemployment no longer exist, at least among native born workers, in his beloved America.

In a comment, following the second article Proyect makes the outrageous claim that revolutionary socialists have no reason to fear being victimized on the job or denied employment for political reasons. Yes, no one in the good ol' US of A ever gets fired for political reasons. Well, actually, with the possible exception of those who have been fired for political reasons. As a matter of fact, Proyect's co-thinker, Bustelo, not his real name, uses a pseudonym in order to protect himself from being victimized on the job.

Why has the ISO been singled out for attack, by those opposed to the existence of revolutionary socialist organizations? The answer is because the ISO is the largest such group in the U.S.

Debate among leftist over political differences, is of course legitimate. What is not legitimate is calling for the destruction of a revolutionary socialist organization, simply because of it's very existence.What is not legitimate is attempting to deny members of such organizations the democratic right to determine the policies and program of their own organization, to include members only discussion. What is not legitimate, is the demand that policies and programs of left groups should be determined by non members.

The organized left has been too tolerant toward those calling for the destruction of revolutionary socialist organizations, by those claiming to be part of the left. It is time to toughen up and to recognize such individuals as the enemy, and to treat them accordingly. By any means necessary.

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