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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Learn the Meaning of "Unity"

   By One Angry Patriot at 1:33 AM

It has been my experience, that in progressive circles, activists tend to pidgeonhole themselves into narrowly focused issues or causes, which leads to tunnel vision. This failure to see the bigger picture can cause them to disagree with others who share common goals, simply because they have different points of view.

Upon learning the reasons why United for Peace and Justice and A.N.S.W.E.R. are planning separate actions on the same day, rather than cooperating on a joint action, I sent the following to United for Peace and Justice:

As a member of a UFPJ affiliated group, Greater Lansing Network Against War and Injustice (which doesn't appear to be listed on your site, even though we've paid our dues), I am at a loss to understand your refusal to cooperate with A.N.S.W.E.R. The first word in the name of your organization is "UNITED" but your refusal to work with an organization that has a chapter listed on your site as an affiliated organization (the New Hampshire chapter of A.N.S.W.E.R.) shows an appalling lack of unity.

With the Bush administration's steadfast refusal to heed public opinion, it is more important than ever to unite with as many people as possible, to get our collective voice heard. Petty disagreements over policies and positions should be put aside in the interest of working on policies and positions that we can agree on. Your refusal to work together with an organization that shares common goals runs counter to the spirit of unity expressed in the name "United for Peace and Justice."

Sincerely,

William Dwyer

5 Comments:

Blogger Marion Delgado said...

The disgrace is that a WWP front like ANSWER should be so prominent.

The problem is the lack of leadership on the part of the noncommunist progressives. Only communist groups like the WWP seem to have any organizing energy. (The Black Blocs seem to have good "f--- things up" energy, but that's not the same thing). I don't like either the cowardliness and lack of initiative of the noncommunist "left" or the anti-democratic policies of the communist left.

We should neither be as focused and apologetic about groups like ANSWER as people were in the 40s through the 60s nor as complacent about them as they would like.

The bottom line is that the WWP is an anti-democratic organization, and ANSWER is so dominated by the WWP that it really is tainted in the minds of most Americans. Moreover, that leaves you, if you work with them, with TWO CHOICES:

1. Lie and say ANSWER is not a communist front.
2. Admit it is and lose most of your support.

It's an unhealthy relationship to start. It's much better to encourage non-WWP/non-ANSWER protests and rallies, and let ANSWER send people along but not organize it nor let them be spokespeople for it.

5:15 AM  
Blogger William Dwyer said...

WWP is a political party with a platform that has many planks cut from the same trees as the Communist Party. However, this does not mean that they are "anti-democratic." Democracy is a governmental system, while communism is an economic system. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Regardless, ANSWER appears to be a non-partisan coalition, just as United for Peace and Justice is. It may well be that ANSWER's membership includes members of WWP, but that doesn't make ANSWER a "WWP front."

With an administration as deaf to the public outcry against its destructive policies as the Bush administration is, the anti-war movement can't afford to be divided over petty disagreements. Until the troops come home, the anti-war movement should show a united front, regardless of the ideologies of the various people and organizations involved.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Marion Delgado said...

It's not just membership, it's WWP domination. And yes, the WWP ARE antidemocratic. There's not a single anti-democratic action by a Stalinist state they have not given their stamp of approval. Look this stuff up!

Start with the invasion of Hungary, which they formally supported, for God's sake. I used to live in Hungary. The WWP position had zero support there.

The WWP aren't even TROTSKYITES, as undemocratic as those are. They're some weird Stalinist offshoot that wants to blend all the remnant American communist parties into one, under their control.

It's possible that communism, being an economic system, doesn't preclude a communist group also being democratic.

BUT THIS IS NOT THAT GROUP.

Working with ANSWER, with them having anything but the most peripheral and subordinate position, is utterly playing into the hands of the Bush right and the Bush-lite.

Also, unity means, at least to the WWP, exactly what it means to the neoconservatives (some of them are former WWPs, I believe) - my way or the highway unity.

The concept of a front group was not just McCarthyite hysteria. The problem with combatting McCarthyite hysteria was, in fact, the real existence of real front organizations for anti-democratic communist groups.

You can't wish this away by scolding us for not having "unity" - we don't have unity with the neocons either, and what do they want? Why, peace and justice and freedom and other good things for the world, especially the Moslem world! Just ask them! In fact, Andrew Sullivan and Christopher Hitchens make "unity" arguments like that every day!

Unity is a tactic, and in this case, the cost of unity is too high - higher than what you gain from unity, because of what you're unifying WITH.

5:50 PM  
Blogger William Dwyer said...

I don't think you understand the point I am trying to make. In my opinion, ending the occupation of Iraq is the top priority. In order to gain the attention of the Bush administration, which seems hell-bent on staying the course regardless of public outcry to the contrary, it is going to take massive numbers of people visibly and vocally active in the streets to get our point accross to policy makers. Therefore, all anti-war activists should be willing to set aside their ideologies, and work toward the common goal of ending the occupation of Iraq. After this goal is achieved, we can worry about who's a communist or a fascist. All I'm concerned about right now is stopping the bloodshed.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Marion Delgado said...

Red, that won't be accomplished by one big demo anymore. And the main reason in this case is that ANSWER cares more about its own agenda than it does about ending the Iraq war. See the post above. UFPJ is going to have an end the Iraq War rally. At the same time, ANSWER and the other WWP front group are going to have a 20-demand rally.

I go with UFPJ here, i think they're showing good judgment. And i think there's enough antiwar sentiment to stock two rallies, and if they're near enough, they'll both be counted together anyway.

But, again, I am not where you are. It could be locally that you should have one big rally.

9:33 PM  

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