STALIN DID NOT DIE, HE IS ALIVE AND WELL WITHIN SDS!
By Larry Gambone
SDS seems to be freaking out, at least some of the major factions within that movement. The "Weatherman " faction is noted for such well designed organizational tactics as running through highschools yelling "Jailbreak!" and expecting the masses to follow. They are also noted for beating up their opponents and those they see as "anti-Communist" such as Quaker grandmothers. (See National Guardian, Sept. 13, 1969) With actions such as these one begins to wonder if there is some truth to the label, "left-wing fascist." RYM 2, the other major faction, though not as juvenile in its approach, seems to exhibit an unhealthy fondness for vanguardism, in particular the type practiced by Stalin.
Stalin and Stalinist tactics are now "in" among many SDS members, which started when the Progressive Labor Party joined SDS to use the organization to recruit members. The SDS leadership, rather than confronting the PLP's Maoism with a concrete analysis of neo-capitalism and a libertarian organizational form, tried to out-Stalin the Stalinists. Third Worldist rhetoric was substituted for analysis. Hence we are left with the two so- called Revolutionary Youth Movement factions that are trying to control SDS. These two groups are noted for seeing the support of Albania as one of the most crucial factors in any revolutionary movement. The fact that most SDS members have never heard of Albania, or that it has one of the most authoritarian regimes in the world, does not matter.
The material base of the Stalinism within SDS is quite appearant. The absorbtion of the labor movement within capitalism and the failure to create even a mildly reformist working class party in the US has done much to create the obscession with Third Worldism. There is no historical continuity from the Socialism of Debs, Deleon and the IWW to the present SDS.
American youth seem to believe the bourgeois lie that radicalism is Anti-American. They fail to realize that America had a long tradition of indigenous radicalism debased by the Stalinism of the 1920's. Rather than importing Mao and Guevara from the peasant societies, why don't they build on the bones of Eugene Debs and Big Bill Haywood?
The problem of Stalinism has not yet begun to plague the Canadian [student] movement as our social democratic tradition has always directed us toward European thinkers like Andre Gortz. Hopefully we will avoid the mistakes of SDS and develop theories, strategies and platforms applicable to our situation and not be diverted to adventurism and rhetorical radicalism.
Solidarity # 2 July 1969