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September 26, 2007

All Power to the Second-Life Soviets!

The struggle to build a revolutionary vanguard party of the workers and peasants has never been easy here in the United States. The line of march is tortuous, the peasants rowdy, and it often happens that a group must split. Usually one of the resulting entities will keep the original name, while the other will assemble a new one from the standard combinatoire. (As Dwight Macdonald explained when the Socialist Workers Party begat the Workers Party, "Originality of nomenclature was never our strong point.")

Once in a while both groups will lay claim to the orginal name, however. The usual practice in that case is to distinguish them by adding some identifying term in parentheses. And so the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back), which publishes a newspaper called Fight Back, is distinct from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Red Star). The latter refers not to the name of its journal but to the rather well-turned logo found on its homepage.

Within the past few days, an organization known as the Communist League has undergone mitosis, which nowadays means that each of them has a website. I have examined the statements by each faction, but am still no wiser about the issues that require a tightening of ranks in the leadership of the workers and peasants. Yet it is clear that one side is ahead in the fight for hegemony -- the one with the Cafe Press store offering very cool Communist League merchandise.


The smaller of the two organizations -- its membership possibly at the low end of the the single-digit range -- has announced:

Effective immediately, the Central Committee majority is reorganized as the Provisional Organizing Committee of the League, charged with the mission to reconstitute the organization at the earliest possible opportunity. The P.O.C. will make a thorough review of the current internal situation, assessing the mistakes and Rules violations that have occurred, in order to submit a recommendation on changes to make to the Rules at a Reorganization Convention of the Communist League, which shall be convened in the next three months.

Historians will of course be grateful if that gathering selects a new name. That seems like the best way to mark a complete, decisive parting of the ways with the other group, which was doubtless corrupted when its ranks swelled into the dozens.

In the meantime, I suggest that they be identified respectively as the Communist League (Provisional Organizing Committee) and the Communist League (Trucker Hat).

(crossposted from Crooked Timber)

Posted by smclemee at September 26, 2007 5:45 PM