Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Two Tales from Two Internationals

A couple of links to freshen up the page:

  • A recent post from the SPGB blog, Socialism Or Your Money Back, The Second International and War: a correction, takes issue with an article on the 1907 Congress of the Second International, which appeared in last week's Socialist Worker.
  • With his post, IMG Remembered, Ken MacLeod takes a trip down memory lane to his old alma mater, the 4th International (USEC Franchise), for a few political reminiscences and a few gentle and not so gentle digs. Especially liked this wee passage from the piece:
    "In the 1970s I was a member of the International Marxist Group. It was the largest British Trotskyist group not led by one of the grand old men of British Trotskyism. This was less of an advantage than might be supposed. Lacking a grand old man the IMG settled for a squabbling coalition of alpha males (and females). The resulting frenzy of competitive nit-picking has often stood the group's ex-members in good stead in their later careers. It also helps to explain why the intelligence of so many of the group's individual members seldom showed itself in the group's political line, which lurched hither and yon as the squabbling alphas wrested the joystick from each other. Opening the weekly bundle of the group's newspaper was always a thrill. One week there was a supplement on surrealism; the next, the editorial office had been briefly occupied by feminists and an apology inserted for the sexism of the surrealists. People familiar with the IMG only from its press, or hearing of its political interventions, could be forgiven for thinking that its members were half-wits. Who can forget the argument of the IMG's Women's Liberation Commission that the demand of South African mineworkers for a family life was reactionary?"
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