[sixties-l] Re. Movement "excesses"

From: Ted Morgan (epm2@lehigh.edu)
Date: 10/27/00

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    What Carrol argues may be true --about inevitable 'excesses' in Left organizing.
    The point, though, is clearly to minimize them (at least unless they are seen as
    tactically advantageous by movement organizers) so that (a) the content of the
    movement's message has a chance to reach larger audiences, and (b) the movement that
    these audiences "see" is appealing to them, draws them in, seems to be growing,
    etc.  A lesson can be learned, I think, from the disciplined organization of the
    civil rights movement, though I am aware of (a) the sharp tensions within, and (b)
    the fact that it didn't explicitly pose a radical critique of the system --much more
    difficult to get through the media in any form!
    Ted Morgan
    Carrol Cox wrote:
    > "Lauter, Paul" wrote:
    > >         Third, I don't buy the theory that anti-Left activity derived mainly
    > > from a reaction to movement excesses in and after 1968.  Yes, that was an
    > > element.
    > There is a fundamental weakness to all arguments that ascribe left weakness to
    > left excesses. There will *always* be excesses (both "sincere" and created by
    > police provocateurs) -- so a left that can't flourish despite any and all
    > excesses is a left that isn't going anyplace. Complaining about left excesses is
    > like complaining about the weather. Excesses of all kinds are just part of
    > capitalist weather. There's a nice passage in the Anti-Duhring where Engels
    > lists all the hangers-on in any workers' movement.
    > Carrol Cox

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