Jeff: The role of the Workers' World Party in the present peace
movement, of Socialist Action in the Save Mumia efforts at their height
a few years ago, of the Socialist Workers Party in the Mobilization
against the Vietnam War, and of the Communist Party in a variety of
domestic and foreign-affairs activities from the Great Depression
through 1951 add up to a different picture of the relationship of these
radical organizations to mass movement than I had most of my life.
What it looks like is that, when a real crisis arises, a
substantial portion of the American people will rally behind whatever
organization takes the necessary initiative. When the particular problem
has come to an end, in whatever way, the vast bulk of those Americans
will return to their daily-life interests, and the particular political
party will fade into the woodwork.
As I see it now, the experience of the Communist Party was no
different. Although it attained a membership of 100,000 toward the end
of World War II, vastly more than any of these other organizations ever
remotely approached, another number, which I knew but to which I paid
little attention, takes on meaning. It is the fact that roughly a
million people passed through the Communist Party during those twenty
years when it counted for something. This means that 90% of those who
thought well enough of it to sign membership applications, pay dues,
attend meetings, fairly quickly lost interest when their particular
needs -- unemployment insurance, public housing, old-age pensions,
government support for culture (theater, etc.), an end to lynching,
freedom for the Scottsboro Boys, support for the Spanish Republic
against Franco -- were met and the organization's objective of socialism
became the focus of its attention.
What do you think of this new theory of mine on the history of the
jeffrey blankfort wrote:
I share Gitlin's criticisms of the ANSWER coalition which is the latest
outgrowth of the International Action Center which was/is a front for
the Workers World Party/All People's Congress.... Ramsey Clark....
seems to have been caught up in the same mindset,
> We do need new leadership in the antiwar movement. Where the ANSWER folks and Gitlin will have no role to play..
> Jeff Blankfort
> Todd Gitlin wrote:
> > Who Will Lead?
> > <http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/gitlin/2002/42/we_175_01.html>
> > An antiwar movement is finally, thankfully stirring.
My autobiography, SAYING NO TO POWER (Creative Arts, Berkeley, 1999),
was written for the general reader. However, if you teach in the social
sciences consider it for student reading. It is a history of how the
people fought to defend and expand its rights in my lifetime, employing
the form of the life story of one who was involved in most serious
movements: labor, student, peace with the USSR, civil rights South and
liberties (I seriously damaged the Senate Internal Security Committee,
the McCarthy Committee, and the House Un-American Activities Committee
with testimonies that may be heard/seen on my website,
http://www.billmandel.net ), the RADIO OF DISSENT (37 YEARS ON
with very extensive information on its history) and the feminist
although I am male. The book contains some fifty pages on my late wife,
Tanya, appearing appropriately throughout the book. They may be found in
the index under Mandel, Tanya. My activities began in 1927. I am 85. The
is available through all normal sources. If you want an autographed
send me $23 at 4466 View Pl., Apt. 106, Oakland, CA. 94611
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