SocialistWorker.org has in the last several days hosted one of its most remarkable exchanges in recent–or even distant–memory on a series of issues related to the theory and practice of the International Socialist Organization (ISO). Although I am, regrettably, no longer a member of the ISO, I am rather “implicated” in the debate, so some comrades may be interested in what I think about it; and in any event, it behooves all revolutionaries to take an interest in what the ISO is interested in.
If you have not been following the discussion, here is a “cheat list” of articles and letters, in chronological order:
- “The contradictions of August 24” (Shaun Joseph, 8/6)
- “Understanding the united front” (Paul D’Amato, 8/13)
- “Limitations of the united front” (MB, 8/21)
- “The ongoing relevance of the united front” (Paul D’Amato, 8/22)
- “Why national marches still matter” (Paul Heideman, 8/22)
- “Liberalism and the united front” (Keith Rosenthal, 8/27)
- “Marches, Marxism and the united front” (Adam Turl, 9/3)
- “Our past should inform our present” (Alan Maass, 9/4)
- “Liberalism, reformism and the united front” (Todd Chretien, 9/5)
More is hopefully forthcoming, but this set of writings will inform my response here. Each piece is relatively lengthy, and each raises a complex set of issues that are not fully addressed in any subsequent piece. In this sense the whole sequence may strike one as frustrating or abstract, but I think it repays sympathetic attention, since comrades are clearly “pulling the threads” of the discussion with unusual boldness, and saying things that have been on their minds for some time.