ON MENSHEVISM IN THE LABOR COMMITTEES by L. Marcus (Lyndon LaRouche)
Philadelphia and its colony, Ithaca, have consistently represented the main operating base (since Spring of 1969) for those expressing a mood and sometimes a factional position in favor of a LC national federation of autonomous local propaganda-and-action societies, as opposed to the evolution of a centralized cadre-formation. This shading of differences of the "organizational question" is the key above-surface symptom to be considered in studying the emergence of the present Bavarian clique-formation.
By contrast (apart from certain subjective weaknesses: an adolescent sort of pride) Fraser individually represented a political tendency absolutely opposite to that of Bavarian mediocrity. He had consistently stood for advanced political-theoretical conceptions (in opposition to the anti-hubristic currents in Phila. and Ithaca -- and later, in Seattle). He was for unified-action tactics, for strategic approaches, and for organizing our actions on a national basis. He represented a centralizing political-organizational tendency (in the main), in opposition to the liquidationist - decentralizing tendencies with which he has been more recently associated. Thus, his spokesmanship for the Bavarian chimeras of 1970 ("radical ecology movement," "CUNY Coalition" tactical-political mistakes made under Bavarian influences) and for the Menshevik organizational conceptions which have been nakedly expressed during the past several weeks, represent an almost total about-face from the Fraser of 1966 and early 1969. It was not Fraser who created the liquidationist clique, but the Bavarians that captured Fraser, to become their captive spokesman.
On paper, the NY leadership should have recognized the imminent problems during a period they were more readily susceptible of cure, positively intervening in Phila. and Ithaca with colonists qualified to take pressures from Fraser and supply competent leadership for Ithaca. In reality, the NY leadership in general was itself insufficiently developed to be willing to face criticism ofarrogance" which would have arisen had such remedial measures been taken. At the same time, Fraser appeared to be performing such a remarkable emulation of the one-armed paperhanger that all of us were unduly optimistic respecting his ability to handle, on the spot, any difficulties that arose within the local membership.
The Positive Side of Things
This present cliquist development is by no means an indictment of our organization as a whole. Excepting our lack of developed working-class cadres, we are in far better shape than the Bolsheviks ever were prior to the seizure of power. The cliquist formation does not reflect any flaw in our organization in a general way, but simply a manifestation of the kinds of intrusions of bourgeois ideology which inevitably infect every socialist organization. The more we grow, the more often we will incur factional intrusions of this general type. The only significant problem: this is the first experience our organization has had of such problems, and there is a