31/10/2019 by socialistfight
By Dov Winter
I have been in London a number of times for political discussions throughout my political life. Recently I have heard from a couple of old contacts from London who claim that Socialist Fight (SF) is “anti-Semitic” organization. I don’t agree with everything that Ian wrote on the topic. For example, why spend time and energy to prove that Jews have disproportionate number of people inside the imperialist ruling classes, in comparison to their overall number of the population? It is true that anti-Semites used in the past these kinds of facts to stir anti-Semite sentiments.
But Ian is not anti-Semite. He is a mortal enemy of Zionism, who denounces the Zionist mass murder of the Palestinian people, as he fights the Zionist machine in its attempt to smear those who denounce the Zionist mass murder of Palestinians and Arabs, as anti-Semites; I am proud to be in Ian’s camp on this. For the working class and the oppressed masses to take power in Palestine, Zionism must be smashed and destroyed. And for this to happen, the Arab/Palestinian masses could win only if the best elements of the Jewish workers break from Zionism and fight against it with their Palestinian brothers and sisters.
Let me explain how I really feel about it. I am not a Jew, and I never been a Jew. It never meant anything for me. But more importantly, it is so, because I am not the biased, and petty conceptions that backward people may have about me because I supposed to be Jewish. I am rather my political and social consciousness and my humanity that is necessary to overthrow capitalism before it is too late (that is, Climate Change is about to make it too late). Nor do I care if my skin is white, black, brown, purple or green. I defend black and brown people against the racism of the white ruling class. But not because of the color of their skin, but because of the social/economic and racist oppression that they suffer in capitalism.
For all my life in the US none of the people and comrades I was associated with, cared whether I am Jewish. But if my capitalistic enemies raise this, I’ll fight them and denounce them as anti-Semites. I do not tolerate any anti-Semites (many of these are also fascists), as I don’t tolerate racism, women oppression, gay and lesbian oppression, and any other division within the working class that the capitalists used for their divide and rule.
My fundamental consciousness is that of a revolutionary socialist, but of course, my consciousness is much more complex than that. I studied human alienation under capitalism, as applied to myself and everybody else. I wrote a book about it, expanding on Marx’s writing, and explaining how and why it was a factor in Stalin’s rise to power, and why understanding human alienation in capitalism is important in understanding the typical petty bickering and manipulations that take place when there is a factional fight inside a left organization: ultimately it is not just about political and programmatic differences. It is also many times about an alienated leadership that tries to force the members to accept their political views, without a comradely and open democratic discussion. When an organization has a flawed program and method, and when the leadership tries to impose it on the membership through petty manipulation and pressure, eventually an alienated atmosphere in such an organization is too much, and the organization fall apart and explode. The spectacular way in which ISO (US) dissolved illustrates this.
In this regard, the history of the Trotskyist movement is not fundamentally that much better than it is in Stalinist parties. If Healy, Jim Robertson, and Moreno were in Russia in 1917, I have no doubt that they would have sided with Stalin against Trotsky; that is, they have the right alienated personality for a privileged bureaucrat, and they proved it in the way they treated, demoralized and destroyed dozens of members in their own organizations. Unfortunately, James Cannon did not rise above the centrist swamp. He was a supreme factionalist who knew how to defeat his factional opponents, but he never understood the dialectic method, as he degenerated right after Trotsky’s death.
I want to explain a bit, how I evolved to be who I am. I was born very prematurely in a very poor and oppressed working class family. This is the main reason why my nervous system has become very fragile and I was forced to move to a tropical climate from the San Francisco area. If I could I would move to tropical Africa and fight with the oppressed working class and the poor for their liberation from the yoke of imperialism and capitalism. I love the people that I met there, and being there is certainly better than Hawaii.
When I was growing up, my parents were too old, oppressed and incapable to raise me. So, I had to raise and pull myself by my boot’s straps. I had an extremely difficult childhood. But without such a difficult childhood in an oppressed working class family, I could have never been who I am. It forced me to understand what was really going on under the surface, and see people as they are, with all their open and hidden contradictions. So, I used all of this in my formation as a Marxist that I have become at the age of 16. My difficult childhood enabled me, dialectically speaking, to transform myself and to develop through the leaps that made me who I am today. It allowed me not only to study, and fully understand the dialectic materialist method, and teach it on a regular basis; it also gave me the tools to fully comprehend the complex relationship between the objective and the subjective, and understand how critical it is for a revolutionary to maintain and improve his/her objectivity to remain a revolutionary.
And finally, I say that the world socialist revolution will not happen until a collective international leadership develops, with comrades that are capable to transcend their alienated subjective bourgeois personality. In this respect, I have been maintaining for a long time, that new non-alienated leadership will have to emerge in the revolutionary process for the revolution to succeed. Only such leadership can resist the pressure to capitulate, and vacillate, in the critical stages of the revolutionary process. The best examples that we have for such a leadership is Lenin and Trotsky, and other great Marxists that Stalin murdered. But for the international revolution to succeed we need hundreds of Lenin, Trotsky. And Rosa Luxemburg. This is absolutely necessary if we want to defeat the powerful capitalist class. History has proven without a doubt that few great revolutionaries cannot lead the world revolution, we need many more of such revolutionaries. Trotsky himself was far from perfect. He was not as emotionally open as Lenin, and sometimes was accused of being too detached and arrogant. But he maintained his supreme objectivity and brilliant theoretical ability. So, I’ll take one comrade with Trotsky’s ability any time in exchange for a thousand centrists that mar today’s Trotskyist movement.