There is an explosion of left wing sites, blogs and forums out there. All that is to be welcomed. While letting a thousands flowers bloom is often a good idea, especially in such times as these where the US left is in, how shall I say it, really dire straights the revolutionary Marxist left ought to find its way to collaboration on and off the web.
Solidarity has recently launched a webzine on the site. The webzine is getting better and better as more people contribute to it and respond. There is currently a great review and discussion of the emergence of blogs whose traditions come from the New Communist Movement and 1970’s Maoism. Solidarity’s website has come a long way and looks great.
Solidarity has also just published “Hell on Wheels”; a pamphlet on the reform movement in New York’s Transit Workers Union Local 100. A must read for any labor activist. Against the Current, Solidarity’s venerable magazine, is also on line and the latest issue is chock full of good articles on everything from American Axle, Jeremiah Wright and the global economic crisis to Winter Soldier reports.
One of the very best Marxist publications in the United States is International Socialist Review put out by the ISO. ISR routinely has some of the best long form articles on the left. Far from shying away from theory and historical context the ISR has the exemplary quality of raising key Marxist concepts without being stodgy (see Lenin’s Return from the latest edition). Now the ISO has relaunched the site for their paper Socialist Worker. It looks good, if a little busy, and is well stocked with updates, features and activist info. Here’s the video introduction to the new site.
Now how about a collaborative site between the ISO and Solidarity? Here at the RBR we cannot see a whole lot of compelling reasons for these two organizations to exist separately. I know there is plenty of blood under the bridge from previous splits and disagreements, but I can’t help but thinking that the strengths and weaknesses of these two organizations are so complimentary as to beg unity.
The differences that exist between the two organizations already exist within the organizations. It would change the landscape of the American left, that’s for sure. While not on the agenda of either organization right now it ought to be. Unity just for the sake of unity would, of course, fail. What are the programmatic or principled differences then? Let us find out; I don’t expect we would find many. Differences in practice are real, but again those differences exist within the organizations already.
In the meantime collaborate, collaborate, collaborate and hopefully collaboration will clarify the issues and ease some fears. And that is saying nothing of the positive practical consequences to the class struggle of closer work. Organizations tend to get in a routine over the years and then that routine gets an organizational logic all of its own. Time to break some 20th century routines.
There is more than enough room politically for a revolutionary Marxist organization of the combined qualities of the ISO and Solidarity. Of course what constitutes a revolutionary Marxist organization and if that is even desirable continues to be a debate. The key is for those who agree on its necessity to engage. It seems to me that in times of crisis, and what a crisis the world is in, organization (not artificial nor artificially denied) becomes even more necessary as does the utilization of the awesome tools of Marxism and the Marxist tradition.