A Judean People’s Front moment

Why we left the Workers International League
The entire Portland branch and the majority of the San Francisco branch recently submitted our resignations to the Workers International League (WIL). Many of us joined the WIL over two years ago because of our fundamental agreement with the International Marxist Tendency’s (IMT) analysis of the Venezuelan revolution.

Um, if you want to organize the working class and stuff, then you will be working with people who are in danger of losing their homes and don’t know how they will feed the kids. They won’t care what your position on Venezuela is. Trust me.

Factional splits like these do seem comical from the outside. The view from inside is quite different. I’ve been there. It can be gut-wrenching.

But what does all this accomplish? Here’s two real smart, dedicated Marxists arguing about Obama, Carl Davidson and Louis Proyect. This argument gets endlessly repeated throughout the Left. In Green Party terms, it’s the realos vs. the fundies. In Marxist terms, it’s the pragmatists vs. the hard liners. The pragmatists says the hardliners are ultra-Left and self-marginalizing. The hardliners accuse the pragmatists of selling out and thus become useless as a political force for change.

There’s much sound and fury, and yes, there are real and genuine differences. But, in the final analysis, what impact does it all have, this endless discussion of tactics and theory?

If the Left isn’t having the desired impact upon society, then maybe the Left needs to seriously look at itself and figure out why. Then reinvent itself. Much of the language and jargon used by the hard Left is indecipherable to outsiders. It needs to be changed so anyone can understand it, and then delivered in a way that appeals to people. The right wing did this successfully for several decades. Now maybe the Left can do the same.