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20090Re: Barry Sheppard's two visits to Sydney in 1969

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  • piratefish
    Jul 18, 2005
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      I understand the ISO's interest in Barry's book.

      While never a member of the ISO, I did support ISO activities in
      rochester, NY in 1994 and attended their local meetings.

      The local had no democratic process at all.

      The organizer, whose name i don't remember, ran all the meetings in
      a top down manner.

      Sure, there was discussion and debate but he set the ajenda and
      votes were rarely, if ever taken.

      Later I worked closely with an ISO group in New orleans which was
      dropped by the ISO without giving them any hearing at the national
      level.

      Their communications were simply ignored.

      As far as i can tell the ISO is run in the barnesian mold already,
      just with slightly different external politics.

      A recent report from aomeone who attended a Chicago meeting with
      barry said barry acknowledged that the SWP that he was a leader of
      was heavy handed with respect to opposition but that the SWP's
      politics were "right".

      Welll I was an SWP member from 1964-1967 and following SWP politics
      closely till the mid 70's and my view is that their politics were
      wrong in many ways and further that organization methods are part of
      politics.

      The repeating of the SWP approach will lead to another failure to
      build a mass working class party.

      Les Evenchick
      New Orleans


      --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "bobgould987"
      <bobgould987@y...> wrote:
      > Truth will out, even 35 years later Barry Sheppard's two visits to
      > Sydney in 1969 By Bob Gould
      >
      > Barry Sheppard's account of the US SWP in the 1960s, in his book,
      The
      > Party, while useful, is being treated just a little too reverently
      for
      > my taste.
      >
      > The reception Sheppard's book is getting has a good side, in that
      it's
      > encouraging some of the youth in the socialist movement to look at
      the
      > sixties again. His straighforward narrative of the development of
      the
      > antiwar movement in the US is particularly valuable in this
      respect.
      >
      > It's a bit hard to get some of the youth to read about the history
      of
      > the movement, and despite my criticisms of Barry Sheppard's book
      I've
      > drawn it to the attention of several student activists, as it
      happens
      > members of the IS family of currents, because they were doing
      essays
      > about the sixties, or studying that era, and they found Sheppard's
      > book very useful, particularly one comrade who was doing an essay
      for
      > a university course about the antiwar movement in the 1960s.
      >
      > The negative side of Sheppard's book is the way he glamorises the
      > philistine ultra-centralisation of the US SWP in the Farrell
      > Dobbs-Jack Barnes era, in which he was a major participant.
      >
      > In particular, Sheppard's account of his global activities as chief
      > overseas organiser and enforcer for the US SWP, in which he
      actually
      > engaged energetically in setting up clones of the US SWP, and
      > splitting groups to create those clones, is as phoney as the
      > proverbial two-bob watch.
      >
      > Sheppard's account of his visit to Australia and New Zealand in
      1969
      > is Dobbsist blandness and hypocrisy carried to a very high plane.
      >
      > The reader with an educated eye should carefully compare Sheppard's
      > account of his visit to the antipodes (pp 242-243) with John
      Percy's
      > account (pp 130-132) in his history of the DSP, published
      > simultaneously with Sheppard's book.
      >
      > Full: http://members.optushome.com.au/spainter/Twovisits.html
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