File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1996/96-11-13.154, message 76

Subject: Re: M-I: Cyberseminar Progress Report 1
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 00:31:15 EST

On Mon, 11 Nov 1996 20:10:06 -0500 (EST) Louis N Proyect  writes:

>V) Johnson-Forrest's on the post WWII working-class: Scott McLemee
>   ---------------------------------------------------------------
>Johnson was CLR James's SWP "party name" and Forrest was Raya 
>Dunayevskaya's. According to Scott, an authority on American 
>Trotskyism and CLR James especially, their articles are the first to 
>take a step back from the uncritical "the revolution is around the 
>corner" stance of the SWP leadership inherited from the 1930s.

Wait a minute...

I was under the impression that the Johnson-Forrest crew was something
less than uncritical regarding the immanence of revolution.

Hal Draper wrote, around 1970 or so,

"[In 1946], it was becoming clear to most that the looked-for post-war
World Revolution had been aborted, or at any rate was not going to come
off.  A basic reorientation was forced on [the Workers Party].

"It was there fore in 1946 that a final reckonging took place with the
systematic-sectarian group in the WP ("Johnsonite" clique).  This was a
clique with a faction program -- indeed, any number of programs to suit
any occasion.  In 1946 the Johnson clique faction reacted formally to the
new turn of affairs by asserting twice as vehemently that the revolution
was around the corner, soviets might be expected in two years, capitalism
had collapsed all over Europe and power was rolling in the streets: in
other words, with the typical fantasizing of the sectarian mentality
faced with unpleasant reality.  According also, they unfurled a program
which counter posed "struggle groups" (then called "factory committees")
to the now counterrevolutionary trade unions, which had been statified,
etc.  With this rigmarole, these systematic-sectarians then packed up and
moved into the SWP, where they did very revolutionary factional activity
for a brief moment, before unfurling their banner to the whole world in a
sect of their own, which then bifurcated, etc."  (from *Toward a New
Beginning -- On Another Road*)

Perhaps Cde. McLemee can clear this up?

-- Jason
"I wish you Americans would shut up about all the one-party states
in the world because America itself is a one party state. But with
typical American excess, you have two of them." (Tony Benn)

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