Skip to content

INSIDE ITALIAN POLITICS: Graecia Capta

May 24, 2013
by Lawrence Gulotta

 Graecia Capta

By Joseph Tamburrano

Posted on May 14, 2013         

Is William Epifani, [the new national secretary of the DP*] a former socialist, at the helm of the former communists? It is a simplification but it is a fact: Epifani comes from the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) and in the Democratic Party (PD) almost everything comes from the Italian Communist Party (PCI). Is this just a curiosity or a fact that can lead to important developments? By association of ideas, I am reminded of the recent initiative of the European socialists, to dissolve the Socialist International – international yes, but not socialist – and replace it with a body more faithful to its original nature.

I am reminded of the attempt by D’Alema** to start a kind of unification with the former socialist Italian Socialist Party, who –  they being a “patrol of the enlightened – were assumed to bring socialist values ​​to the structure of the former PCI. Remember Horace’s verse, “Grecia capta ferum victorem cepit et artes intulit rural Latio” [“Conquered Greece took captive her savage conqueror and brought her arts into rustic Latium.”] After a while the ‘marginalized’ went out on the sly from the party (except for those who made an obscure career of it.)

It is pointed out that Amato*** is an authoritative socialist leader able to rebuild the party but Amato refused: he was serving the country! As long as the “Country” did not need him anymore. How will it go with Epifani, a serious person who knows better than anyone the problems that have been the soul of Italian socialism – the condition of the working class – and that today is the dramatic problem of Italian society? Is he  ‘there to ferry the PD to the next Congress’ or to restore order in a party in disarray and without identity? There is no one better than he who can work to give Italy – the only European country that does not have one – a modern party with a clear and modern socialist identity that brings together all the scattered forces that refer to the great thought and great struggles, in the tradition of socialism. It ‘s our dream? Wishful thinking. Yet the task is to present the current state of the world of work and the epochal crisis of globalized financial capitalism.BestWishesWilliam!

*Guglielmo Epifani (born 24 March 1950) is an Italian trade unionist and politician. From 2002 to 2010 he was the General Secretary of the Italian General Confederation of Labour, the biggest trade union in Europe. On 11 May 2013 Epifani was appointed Secretary of the Democratic Party.

**Massimo D’Alema was born in Rome on 20 April 1949,[1] the son of Giuseppe D’Alema, a communist politician. D’Alema’s first steps in politics were in the 1970s as secretary of the Italian Federation of Young Communists (FGCI). He later became a notable member of Italian Communist Party (PCI), part of which in 1991 gave origin to the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS), and in 1998 to the Democrats of the Left (DS). In 1998, succeeding Romano Prodi, he became Prime Minister, as the leader of The Olive Tree centre-left coalition. He was the first former Communist to become prime minister of a NATO country and the first Prime Minister of Italy born after Italy became a Republic in 1946. 

***Giuliano Amato Born in Turin into a Sicilian family, Amato grew up in Tuscany. He received a Law degree from the University of Pisa in 1960, and a masters degree in comparative law from Columbia Law School in 1963.He worked as professor of Italian and Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Rome La Sapienza from 1975 to 1997. Amato began his political career in 1958, when he joined the Italian Socialist Party. He was a Member of Parliament from 1983 to 1993. He was Undersecretary of State to the Prime Minister’s office from 1983 to 1987, Deputy Prime Minister from 1987 to 1988, and Minister of the Treasury from 1987 to 1989. From June 1992 to April 1993, Amato served as Prime Minister. During those ten months, a series of corruption scandals rocked Italy and swept away almost an entire class of political leaders. Amato himself was never implicated, notwithstanding how close he was to Bettino Craxi, a central figure in the corruption system.

[biographical information from Wikipedia]

Graecia Capta

By Joseph Tamburrano

Posted on maggio 14, 2013     

 EpifaniUn ex socialista alla guida degli ex comunisti? E’ una semplificazione ma è un fatto: Epifani viene dal PSI e il PD quasi tutto dal PCI. Ma è solo una curiosità o un fatto che può dar luogo a importanti sviluppi? Per associazione di idee mi torna in mente la recente iniziativa dei socialisti europei di scioglimento della Internazionale socialista – internazionale sì ma non socialista – e la sua sostituzione con un organismo più fedele alla sua natura originaria. Mi torna in mente il tentativo di D’Alema di avviare una specie di unificazione con i socialisti dell’ex PSI, i quali – essendo solo una pattuglia di “illuminati”- presumevano di portare i valori socialisti nella struttura dell’ex PCI e ricordarono il verso di Orazio “Grecia capta ferum victorem cepit et artes intulit agresti Latio” or “Conquered Greece took captive her savage conqueror and brought her arts into rustic Latium.” Dopo un po’ emarginati uscirono alla chetichella dal partito (salvo qualcuno che fece la sua oscura carriera personale).Si puntò su Amato autorevole leader socialista per rifare il partito, ma Amato si rifiutò: era al servizio del Paese! Finchè il “Paese” non ebbe più bisogno di lui. Come andrà con Epifani, persona seria che conosce meglio di chiunque i problemi che sono stati l’anima del socialismo italiano – la condizione della classe lavoratrice – e che oggi sono il problema drammatico della società italiana? E’ lì per traghettare il PD verso il congresso o per rimettere ordine in un partito allo sbando e senza identità? Nessuno meglio di lui può operare per dare all’Italia – l’unico paese europeo che ne è privo – un moderno partito con una chiara e moderna identità socialista che riunisca tutte le disperse forze che si rifanno al grande pensiero e alla grandi lotte, alla tradizione del socialismo. E’ il nostro un sogno? Wishful thinking. Eppure il compito è attuale per la condizione del mondo del lavoro e per la crisi epocale del capitalismo finanziario globalizzato.Auguri Guglielmo!

Pietro Nenni Foundation: http://fondazionenenni.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/graecia-cap

Matteotti’s body

May 22, 2013
by Lawrence Gulotta

Giacomo Matteotti ( 22 May 1885 – 10 June 1924)
Matteotti‘s body is the body of a true martyr, a civil martyr . A martyr of politics, freedom and anti-fascism.

Matteotti died because he loved freedom, because his thoughtful mind was a barrier against the spread of totalitarianism, against the spread of vulgar attacks on fundamental freedoms. And like the martyrs, which in the Christian conception had given their lives to bear witness to the values ​​of faith and the value of the Gospel message, so Matteotti died as a  witness to the attachment of democracy to pluralism, as a fundamental value of that religion that is secular politics.

With the murder and the destruction of the body of Matteotti, Fascism assumed, in the torpor of a sleepy town, and perhaps not yet fully able to understand the gravity of the hour, the historical and moral responsibility for the death of Socialist leader. This was the unacceptable dramatic aspect of a liberal state at sunset, the evidence of tragic historical responsibilities of the monarchy and a state that was no longer able to protect pluralism as the foundation of democracy.

Today in the reconstruction of the kidnapping, murder and the journey of the body of the leader, there is a new book by Italo Arcuri, “The Body of Matteotti“, published by Suraci. A new reflection on a story that can not be forgotten. Not even 90 years later.

 
 
 Matteotti, il corpo di un martire

su Domani ero
Autore: Leonardo Raito

Data:2013-05-21

Il corpo di Matteotti è il corpo di un autentico martire, un martire civile. Un martire della politica, della libertà, dell’antifascismo.
Matteotti muore perché ama la libertà, perché la sua testa pensante è una barriera contro il dilagare del totalitarismo, contro il dilagare degli attacchi beceri alle libertà fondamentali. E come i martiri, che nella concezione cristiana avevano dato la vita per testimoniare i valori della fede e il valore del messaggio evangelico, così Matteotti muore per testimoniare l’attaccamento alla democrazia messa in discussione dal fascismo, al pluralismo come valore imprescindibile di quella religione laica che è la politica.
Con l’omicidio e lo scempio del corpo di Matteotti, il fascismo si assume, nel torpore di un paese assopito, e forse non ancora pienamente in grado di capire la gravità dell’ora, la responsabilità storica e morale della morte del leader socialista. È questo l’inaccettabile risvolto drammatico di uno stato liberale al tramonto, l’evidenza di tragiche responsabilità storiche della monarchia e di uno stato ormai non più in grado di tutelare il pluralismo come fondamento di democrazia.
Oggi per ricostruire le vicende del rapimento, dell’omicidio e del tragitto del corpo del leader polesano, è uscito un nuovo volume di Italo Arcuri “il corpo di Matteotti”, edito da Suraci. Una riflessione nuova su una storia che non può essere dimenticata. Nemmeno a 90 anni di distanza.

The Contradictions of Italian Politics

May 5, 2013
by Lawrence Gulotta

The Contradictions of the Democratic Party by Vittorio Emiliani in Pietro Nenni Foundation.

This article by Vittorio Emiliani should be of interest to observers of Italian political affairs.   Italy’s new Prime Minister Enrico Letta comes from the centrist ‘social” Catholic wing of the Italian Democratic Party. He served as the deputy national secretary of the Democratic Party. The Letta government’s ministers include more women and the first female Italian-African. The ministers represent a fusion of DP, Monti and Berlusconi supporters, breaking a 60 day hung parliament. The M5S did not vote in favor of forming the government and is the major opposition party.

Labor’s Italian anomaly:  in Europe there are the People’s Party (CDU-CSU in Germany) which, roughly speaking, expresses the conservative and moderate electorate, and social democratic, socialist or Labour parties who express, as a whole, the progressive electorate. In Italy, there is a center intimately linked to the person of Silvio Berlusconi, who is a populist / conservative (his first “patrimonii”) and there is a center that is part of the Democratic Party. Then a third pole, which has become very importantly, M5S, for me the most anti-parliamentary and extra-parliamentary (we’ll see). In addition to necrophilia, since Grillo speaks of “the death of the Parliament”, “death of 25 April”, “death of the 1st of May” … Urge amulets.

Now, the Democratic Party was born from the fusion of popular forces years ago, former [Christian] Democrats, former Communists and even former Socialists (though others have gone with Berlusconi), but, despite being grown-up, it is still of uncertain nature. At this point in Europe the Democratic Party is not part of the family of the Socialist Parties. Those who oppose such a membership (Bindi, but also Veltroni, at times Rutelli) argue that it would be improper because the Democratic Party is “later”, representing “an overcoming of social democracy.”

At one time the Italian Communists were thought to be “ahead of the social democracies” which, as the SPD and the PSOE repudiated, in a re-founding congress, of Marxism-Leninism. In practice, the Italian Communist Party – for example, in its Emilia version – acted as a force for social democracy, while maintaining democratic centralism and respecting currents (factions). In short,  its leaders would never agree to “die as Social Democrat” and therefore, and to the Communists left was the Manifesto current (faction), protesting not to want to “die Democrats.” From that you see, we got to the point that we have a neo-Democrat government (in its most noble form) and that, for not wanting to “die Social Democrats”, according to the surveys, we risk seriously, Berlusconi’s piece of history, that is, “to live (so to speak) Berlusconi.” A splendid result. But was it worth it to be (to try to be, for the first time after 1921), Social Democrats or Labour?*

* Editor’s Note: Ninety two years ago at the Livorno congress of the Italian Socialist Party a decisive split took place, which led to the foundation of the Italian Communist Party. The split came in the wake of the defeat of the Occupation of the Factories a few months earlier and marked a clear dividing line between Communists and reform Socialists.

 

Jacobin magazine carries Italian Lessons by Bhaskar Sunkara, a review of the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto and its charismatic founder Vittorio Emiliani, see Jacobin.

Italian Lessons is an interesting review article. The points I’d like to contribute are: The Manifesto group today remains tiny and factional: Manifesto’s allies in the Refondatione Communita (RCI) are an electoral disappointment, with no members in Parliament; RCI has a very thin base in the working class and the unions; Il Manifesto is top heavy with journalists and few notable intellectuals. Il Manifesto’s political line and the RCI have been decisively rejected by the Italian proletariat and the precariate. Il Manifesto and RCI have not been able to surpass the deeply damaged PSI.

The most dramatic and disturbing change in Italian politics recently has been the rise of the social media conscious M5S movement, with nearly 25% of the vote in the 2013 elections. M5S needs a mature analysis by sharp Jacobins. It is both “in parliament” and “against parliament.” Giuseppe “Beppe” Grillo is the actor you want to dissect.

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s sentiment on witnessing the Italian student movement, “Poliziotti figli di proletari meridionali picchiati da figli di papà in vena di bravate,” (Cops children of proletarians southern beaten by children of fathers in the mood of bravado) was not unique.

 A few points and observations:   The Manifesto group today remains small and factionalized; Manifesto’s allies in the Refondatione Communita (RCI) are an electoral disappointment, with no members in Parliament; RCI is involved in a bitter labor dispute over the termination of 40 of its administrative and professional staff;  RCI has a very thin base in the working class and the unions; Il Manifesto is top heavy with journalists and few notable intellectuals. Il Manifesto’s political line and the RCI have been decisively rejected by the Italian proletariat and the precariate.

It has been said that the Italian Socialists (PSI) consist of ‘four cats and a dog’ in Parliament. Il Manifesto and the RCI have not been able to surpass the deeply damaged PSI. The dog in this insult is Senator Ricardo Nencini, the PSI’s national secretary and the cats are the four PSI members of the Chamber of Deputies. Nencini and the PSI Executive Committee approved an alliance with Bersani’s Democratic Party.

PierLuigi Bersani has given his mea culpa amaro and the Democratic Party National Assembly in Nuona Fiera di Roma on May 11, 2013 crowns (incorona) Guglielmo Epifani as the new party leader until the Natioanl Convention in October 2013. He is known as “traghettatore” (ferryman”). Epifani meets Occupy PD at National Assembly for first time and accepts an Occupy T-shirt.

See La Republica.

The Politics of “Anti-Politics”

The most dramatic and disturbing change in Italian politics recently has been the rise of the social media conscious M5S movement, with nearly 25% of the vote in the 2013 elections. M5S needs a mature analysis by sharp Jacobins. It is both “in parliament” and “against parliament.” Giuseppe “Beppe” Grillo and his Movimento Cinque Stelle –M5S”– is the actor we want to dissect.

Jacobin carries Italian Lessons by Bhaskar Sunkara, a review of the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto and its charismatic founder Vittorio Emiliani, see Jacobin.

“On Italian communism and the path not taken between the horrors of state socialism and the bankruptcy of modern social democracy.”

JacobinPhoto

(Photo:Jacobin Magazine, May 11, 2013)

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s sentiment on witnessing the Italian student movement, “Poliziotti figli di proletari meridionali picchiati da figli di papà in vena di bravate,” was not unique.

 A few points and observations:   The Manifesto group today remains small and factionalized; Manifesto’s allies in the Refondatione Communita (RCI) are an electoral disappointment, with no members in Parliament; RCI is involved in a bitter labor dispute over the termination of 40 of its administrative and professional staff;  RCI has a very thin base in the working class and the unions; Il Manifesto is top heavy with journalists and few notable intellectuals. Il Manifesto’s political line and the RCI have been decisively rejected by the Italian proletariat and the precariate.

It has been said that the Italian Socialists (PSI) consist of ‘four cats and a dog’ in Parliament. Il Manifesto and the RCI have not been able to surpass the deeply damaged PSI. The dog in this insult is Senator Ricardo Nencini, the PSI’s national secretary and the cats are the four PSI members of the Chamber of Deputies. Nencini and the PSI Executive Committee approved an alliance with Bersani’s Democratic Party.

PierLuigi Bersani has given his mea culpa amaro and the Democratic Party National Assembly in Nuona Fiera di Roma on May 11, 2013 crowns (incorona) Guglielmo Epifani as the new party leader until the Natioanl Convention in October 2013. He is known as “traghettatore” (“ferryman”). Epifani meets Occupy PD at the National Assembly for first time and accepts an Occupy T-shirt. See La Republica.

The Politics of “Anti-Politics”

The most dramatic and disturbing change in Italian politics recently has been the rise of the social media conscious M5S movement, with nearly 25% of the vote in the 2013 elections. M5S needs a mature analysis by sharp Jacobins. It is both “in parliament” and “against parliament.” Giuseppe “Beppe” Grillo and his Movimento Cinque Stelle –M5S”– is the actor we want to dissect.

Erich Fromm, Alex Garber & Max Shachtman: the Foreign Policy Debates

April 30, 2013
by Lawrence Gulotta

Alex Garber’s article, “Berlin: The key to the International Crisis,”  in the Spring 1962 Socialist Call, singled a rupture between Erich Fromm and Max Shachtman and his followers on Socialist Foreign Affairs, in particular on nuclear disarmament, the peace movement, the status of Berlin, German rearmament, Eastern Europe, the “Russian Question,” and the Cold War. See  http://archive.org/stream/SocialistCallVol.291Spring1962/SC1#page/n9/mode/2up

 Dr. Alex Garber had sufficient magnetism among students that he twice formed 30 member YPSL Chapters at the University of Colorado at Boulder and California State University at Sacramento. Dr. Garber influenced YPSL foreign policy into the 1970s.  I regard Dr. Garber as Max Shachtman’s spokesperson on international affairs.  Garber recruited Penn Kemble, Tom Milstein, Ms. Sally Muravchik (Sally Milstein), David Jessup, and numerous other YPSL luminaries. This cadre would go on to play important roles in the AFL-CIO’s international affairs activities and ultimately, neo-conservativism. 

Dr. Garber argues in the Socialist Call, “….Unilateralists insinuate that the West’s abandonment of the Bomb will undermine the Soviet annihilative stand.” Dr. Garber notes that this “mystique of exemplary action” is psychologizing international relations and trying to build a foreign policy around a psychological presumption. Further, he notes, “To be preoccupied with the Weapon as is the unilateralist, tends to substitute a moral stance for political analysis.” (emphasis added). By 1962, Fromm was advising the Oval Office about steps to be taken toward disarmament.

Garber advocates the essential position of Shachtmanite foreign policy, “the West should reaffirm national self-determination for all peoples including the Germans,” and “national self-determination among all the satellite peoples,” and “offer material and military aid to any popular rebellion showing promise and success.” 


Garber believes his approach , “can lay the groundwork for demilitarization of all Europe and perhaps universal disarmament itself.” There were members of the Independent Socialist League, as early as the mid-1950s, who met and discussed the feasibility of offering material and military aid to Eastern European liberation movements. By the 1970s, Tom David Kahn, Max Shachtman’s disciple, was implementing this policy in Poland as International Affairs Director of the AFL-CIO.

The Worker’s Party/ISL/YSL apparently nurtured a young Albert Wolhstetter, a mathematically gifted comrade, in the 30s and  40s, who went on to become a prominent “defense intellectual,” working for the RAND Corporation  and the Defense Department. An auditorium at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC is named in his honor.  In 1958 he wrote  ‘The Delicate Balance of Terror,”  highly influential in shaping the thinking of the Washington foreign policy establishment, particularly in its emphasis on the looming threat of Soviet attack.

Dr. Fromm goes on to co-found the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) and Amnesty International. His sizable income from royalties from his books allows him to contribute heavily to these organizations.  In the case of AI, Fromm kept the organization funded for the first 10 years of its existence.  I doubt that post 1965, Fromm contributed significantly to the SP-SDF, if at all.  The Party launched, together with ADA leader John Kenneth Galbraith, the Negotiations Now! campaign. Negotiations Now! was as far as the Shachtmanites were willing to go in the peace movement.  Meanwhile, the anti-Viet Nam War movement grows and grows.

Max Shachtman’s foreign policy template was to be increasing applied to the SP-SDF/YPSL’s  political work, precluding an opening to the burgeoning peace movement.

 

Nuclear Disarmament & Disengagement: History of SP-SDF 1958-1962

April 30, 2013
by Lawrence Gulotta

The June 1958 issue of the Socialist Call carried the SP-SDF’s “Resolution on Foreign Policy.” The Resolution urged upon the US and the UN the absolute necessity of achieving universal, controlled disarmament, down to a police level, for maintaining order under a strengthened UN. It called for an immediate universal discontinuance, under inspection, of all tests of nuclear weapons; American tests should be immediately discontinued; negotiations for diversion, under inspection, of nuclear materials solely to peace and progressive removal of nuclear material from stockpiles of atomic weapons; for the redirection and control of conventional arms and armies. The SP urges the stop of all production of nuclear weapons at once; US to stop all work on inter-continental ballistic missiles; US to invite the UN Disarmament Commission to set up, at our expense, an effective inspection system in the US; The US expects the Russians to do the same.

The 1958 Foreign Affairs Resolution asserts that with progressive disarmament must go progressive disengagement. SP urges the renegotiation of the status of Okinawa; calls for UN recognition of China; principle of disengagement should be applied to the Middle East, to the end of achieving regional disarmament; seeks the re-unification of Germany and Austrian demilitarization. Calls for an end of military aid to Trujillo and Franco. Urges free travel, free trade and increased cultural exchanges.

1960 National Convention

See:http://archive.org/stream/ProceedingsNationalConventionSocialistParty-socialDemocraticFederation/1960spsdf3#page/n1/mode/2up

The Minority report, written by Prof. Milford Sibley; calls for an Amendment, urging “…the US to announce a program of progressive unilateral disarmament unless very substantial progress to multilateral disarmament can be achieved within the next year. An indispensible program for organized non-violent resistance should accompany any unilateral disarmament and it is the only effective form of national defense and only method compatible with socialist humanitarianism under modern conditions.”

Erich Fromm, David Mc Reynolds and Dale Drew spoke in favor of the Minority report and Michael Harrington, Cabel Smith and Bob Alexander spoke against. The motion was defeated 60-25-12.

SOCIAL DEFENSE

By 1962, the Shachtmanite Alex Garber had developed the concept of “social defense,” in our nuclear age. “Social Defense” was conceived as a “multi-billion dollar federal Civil Defense program, including construction of large-scale shelters, and extending into every community and neighborhood in the country. The large size of the proposed shelters could accommodate light industry as well. They insisted that “This program should be given top priority with the objective of protecting the population from the effects of nuclear warfare and nuclear testing to the greatest possible extent and within the shortest possible time.” They argued, “…the program must be accompanied by a complete reorganization of Civil Defense that would involve the entire population as participants.”

The Boulder Shachtmanites identify the pernicious opposition to their program of “Social Defense” in the arguments of the so-called “Peace Movement.” The Boulder Chapter includes jeremiads against:

  • · · Extremists from various peace movements;
  • · · Those who proclaim “Better Red than dead;
  • · · Those who are apologists for the Soviet Union;
  • · · Those looking for an “easy way out.”

The basic argument of the “Peace minded grouping” is termed the “War Psychology” argument. Their contention is “even to talk about, let alone to try to provide civilian defense is to delude the population into believing that it is protected from the dangers of nuclear war-a delusion which, it is thought, will lead the population to a willingness to engage in such a war.

Those who advocate civilian defense therefore become villains, militarists, and warmongers— in short, Devils.”They go on to note: “…The proponents of War Psychology presumptuously assume what the people are capable of being manipulated by mere words and symbols either into favoring war or into opposing war. The interests of these elite (s) of “Peace” are manipulating the people by mere words into opposing war.

It is the elitists who have been fooled by their own words, noise, and irrelevant analogies into opposing such necessary measures as civil defense.

  • · “…these “Peace”-mongers are often profoundly anti-human in that they are normally not at all concerned with saving human lives unless they can save all human lives.

The foggy world of this kind of “humanism” and “morality”, we find those who express condemnation and horror at the existence of persons who are willing to contend there is a difference between the deaths of 180 Million people and, say, of 50 Million, of 40 Million and, say, 30 Million. “

The righteous gestures (demonstrations, petitions, and “Peace” marches) of those opposing both civilian defense and the existence of nuclear weapons often are nothing but arguments for their alleged purity of heart. Frequently an admitted cynicism about their own ineffectiveness pervades extreme pacifism, unilateral disarmament, and anti civilian defense movements. Such cynical activity is a symptom of the politics of despair and the politics of personal salvation.” A single-minded approach to “Peace” is disreputable…”

1962 Illinois State Convention Foreign Affairs Resolution

In sharp contrast, reflecting the SP-SDF’s more traditional approach is the “Resolution on Peace Activity” by the 1962 Illinois State Convention, “….the need for developing an effective peace movement is urgent.”

“The Illinois SP-SDF therefore encourages the developments of a Grassroots peace movement which genuinely attempts to search out alternatives to the arms race and is merely a sounding board for the propaganda of either major power blocks. Among the organizations in this area which we support are the Chicago Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy, the Student Peace Union, and the American Friends Service Committee and the Committee for Non-Violent Action.” Hammer and Tongs, 1962,

No.3.See:http://archive.org/stream/SocialistCallVol.Xxvi6June1958/SCjune1958#page/n3/mode/2up

By the 1962 SP-SDF National Convention, the Shachtmanites (Boulder, Colorado Chapter, Dr Alex Garber, faculty advisor) advocated a civil defense program on steroids or “social defense”; engaged in hard-line polemical denunciations of the “Peace” movement and the “Peace-mongers,” including attacks against moralists, unilateralists, humanists, extreme pacifists, “well-meaning pacifists” and devils; i.e. Erich Fromm, David Mc Reynolds and Norman Thomas.

1962 National Convention

The Proceedings of the 1962 National Convention of the SP-SDF indicate that the Boulder Chapter’s Resolution was not presented for a vote to the membership. Instead, two resolutions were presented and debated, the “California Resolution” and the “Friend” Resolution. The “California Resolution” carried 46 to 21. Dr. Garber and his faction will wait for another day to advance the hard-line again. The pacifists, disarmament and” peace” forces were put on notice that some socialists will advocate an arms race with the USSR and a large-scale “socialized” shelter program in every community.

The so-called “California Resolution” (aka the “Denitch Resolution”) continued the pro-disarmament tradition of the SP-SDF: “In order to turn towards a lasting peace, we must begin by:

1) Unilateral cessation of testing and producing of nuclear and atomic weapons,

2) Calling for disarmament under effective controls,

3) Disengagement of both major powers in Europe, initiated unilaterally, if necessary,

4) A “peace movement which is willing to mobilize…”

5) “Planning for an economy of peace…” and “We of the SP are against bomb tests, East or West.”