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A WORLD TO FIGHT FOR, A WORLD TO WIN: Socialist Summer School 2001

"Now that I'm escaped from a lifetime of civil service - servitude - my mind is open to taking on and thinking about some of these things. This has been a fantastic weekend, and I'm glad I made the trip." -DENIS HALLIDAY, former United Nations humanitarian aid coordinator in Iraq, who resigned to protest UN sanctions against Iraq.
CHICAGO - A WORLD TO FIGHT FOR, A WORLD TO WIN.
Socialist Summer School 2001 - Downtown Chicago, June 14 - 17

What they said about last year's Summer School:

"I thought Socialist Summer School was a blast. I've met some people [here] that I haven't seen since the beginning of the fight for my uncle. It's like one great big family because everybody's fighting for the same thing."
-NORMA BROOKS McROY, niece of Maryland former death row prisoner Eugene Covlin-El and member of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. Maryland Gov. Paris Glendening commuted Colvin-El's sentence days before the anti-death penalty rally held at Socialist Summer School.

"Now that I'm escaped from a lifetime of civil service - servitude - my mind is open to taking on and thinking about some of these things. This has been a fantastic weekend, and I'm glad I made the trip."
-DENIS HALLIDAY, former United Nations humanitarian aid coordinator in Iraq, who resigned to protest UN sanctions against Iraq.

Featured meetings this year:

SUPPORT THE DEATH ROW TEN, organized by the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, with supporters and family members of victims of police torture on death row in Illinois

AMERICAN INJUSTICE, with MICHAEL PARDUE, recently released from Alabamba prison after almost three decades incarcerated for crimes he didn't commit, and RONALD JONES, exonerated Illinois death row prisoner

THE FIGHT AGAINST RACISM IN BUSH'S AMERICA, with SHARLENE MORRIS, vice president, Penn State University Black Caucus, KEEANGA-YAMAHTTA TAYLOR of the ISO and others

ON THE FRONT LINE OF LABOR'S FIGHTS, with KENNETH RILEY, president of the International Longshoreman's Association Local 1422, on the Charlston Five, dockworkers from South Carolina facing prosecution following a police attack on their picket line

CLASS STRUGGLES IN LATIN AMERICA with OSCAR OLIVERA, executive director of the Cochabamba (Bolivia) Federation of Factory Workers and the leader of the fight in Cochabamba to stop water privatization, and DIRCEU TRAVESSO, national executive, Central Unica does Tabalhadores (CUT) of Brazil

FIGHTING CORPORATE POWER with CHIE ABAD, former sweatshop worker and union organizer

THE END OF THE MIRACLE ECONOMY, with DOUG HENWOOD, editor of Left Business Observer

THE GREEN PARTY MOVEMENT, with HOWIE HAWKINS, Syracuse (NY) Greens

SOLIDARITY AND STRUGGLE AROUND THE WORLD, with activists from Mexico, Canada, South America, Europe and the U.S.

AFTER QUEBEC: WHERE DOES THE GLOBAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT GO FROM HERE? With SOREN AMBROSE, 50 Years is Enough; KEVEN DANAHER, Global Exchange; MEREDETH KOLODNER of the International Socialist Organization and the New York Coalition to Stop the FTAA

AHMED SHAWKI, editor of the International Socialist Review

RESISTANCE IN MEXICO AND ORGANIZING ACROSS BORDERS, with JAIME COTA, Workers Information Center in Tijuana, Mexico; CARMEN VALDEZ, Factor X group of women maquiladora workers; ALEJANDRO KURCZYN of the Frente Zapatista; and other Mexican activists

IN DEFENSE OF LENINISM, with SHARON SMITH, columnist for Socialist Worker

REBUILDING THE UAW, with rank and file activists

THE STRUGGLE FOR PALESTINE, with SOUAD DAJANI, Grassroots International, and NADIA HIJAB, author of Citizens Apart: A Portrait of Palestinians in Israel

THE LIMITS OF ANARCHISM, with SHERRY WOLF, coauthor of Abortion Rights: Lessons for a New Struggle

BLACK POWER IN THE UNIONS IN THE 1970s, with DAN GEORGAKAS, coauthor of Detroit: I Do Mind Dying

sponsored by the
INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST ORGANIZATION
and the
CENTER FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH AND SOCIAL CHANGE

Visit us at www.internationalsocialist.org and register on-line at www.socialistsummerschool.org

e-mail  socialistsummerschool2001@hotmail.com
call 773 583 8665

Socialist Summer School 2001 is at the Congress Plaza Hotel at 520 S. Michigan Avenue in the Loop.

homepage: homepage: http://www.socialistsummerschool.org
phone: phone: 773 583 8665


please boycott 29.May.2001 09:28

anarchist redneck

I see that the International Socialist Organization (ISO) at their "summer school" conference will host a speech called:

THE LIMITS OF ANARCHISM, with SHERRY WOLF

Rather than subject myself to more of their lies and misrepresentations, I will recall the last ISO lecture in Chicago about anarchism I had the misfortune to witness. In it, the speaker ranted in a hostile fashion against anarchism and anarchists. The speaker included gems like the claim that Emma Goldman was anti-worker, had no faith in the people, and "like all anarchists" was essentially middle class and elitist. Emma was the famous anarchist feminist and labor agitator who was jailed repeatedly for teaching about birth control. She was deported for her radicalism and agitation on behalf of workers. She assisted Alexander Berkman in his attempt on the life of Henry Clay Frick, the steel baron who ordered his thugs to kill strikers. Then this "international socialist" speaker had the gall to get up in front of an american audience and denounce her as an enemy of the people! If it weren't for Emma, this scummy politician wouldn't be able to speak in the U.S.A. against capitalism without fear of imminent deportation! Goldman was a poor, passionate, articulate, radical immigrant. Goldman always advocated for the oppressed. The only thing that allowed this speaker to forge such astounding lies is the fact that americans today have an impoverished understanding of history, beaten into them by a government school system: just the kind of propaganda machine these "socialists" would love to run. This ISO speaker railed on and on, with the lies and distortions about anarchism and anarchists piling up on each other so fast that it was difficult to tell where one lie ended and the next distortion began.

After this speech, I saw the speaker outside, alone. I posed the following question: "Since you've obviously done a good deal of research on anarchism and its history, why would you then make up lies and distortions about it, if you care about the people and revolution? Why not just tell the truth, and let people make up their own minds?"

The response: "Because I don't think anarchism will work. Socialism will."

Rather than let people base their opinions on the truth, these authoritarians prefer to manipulate the people, who they despise. They do not think that if the people knew the truth, they would make revolution. So, the authoritarian socialists and communists believe the people must be tricked into revolution, not approached as equals deserving of the truth.

No wonder the ISO will also host a speech entitled IN DEFENSE OF LENINISM. If this is what Leninism looks like, it needs vigorous defense - the same kind of defense capitalism needs and has displayed at mobilizations for the last few years - lies, distortion, and violence by their media and police. Expect identical behavior from authoritarian "socialists" and "communists," and their media and police.

Maybe they can explain to us how "Liberty," in the view of such authoritarian communist and socialist groups like the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), and International Socialist Organization (ISO), really means only freedom from exploitation by capitalists. If we REALLY understood communism, we would know that exploitation by some nutty "vanguard party," or better yet, "revolutionary government," is infinitely preferable, and is in fact necessary for total freedom and liberation. As is clear today, such Party Dictatorships are, in fact, the worst lie ever perpetrated: that people can be "made free" by a totalitarian regime.

It is pure bunk.

Given that this group is willing to falsify, manufacture, and distort information to suit their manipulative ends, don't attend their conference expecting to learn. If you must go, go to disrupt these lying phony "revolutionaries." The only reason they are better than the FTAA, WTO, FBI, or the Pinkertons, is that they currently have less power. But they want as much as they can get.

As for all the great work they have done organizing for mobilizations in the last year, it's also bunk. They've brought people to events mainly to sell papers. At the Republican National Convention, a group of ISO committed themselves to blockading a strategic point during the day of direct action. As soon as the police asked them to leave, they got up and left, abandoning the people they had agreed to assist in making things difficult for the Republicans. As a former ISO member later confided to me, his time in the ISO prepared him well for the corporate world, with all the same backstabbing, hierarchy, and opportunistic focus on growth and recruiting rather than doing what is right. They see people as "human resources," as do capitalists. They also see the rest of the world as "natural resources." Just like capitalists, they believe resources exist to be exploited.

No single ideology or philosophy has driven the recent surge of activism. However, anarchism has been an enormous force within it, and continues to be. At the "big win" that energized a lot of it, Seattle, there were no leftists in sight during the main events - the labor march organized by the AFL-CIO, and the direct actions (blockades, street parties, squatting, and corporation-smashing), virtually all of which was organized by anarchist activists. Only days after the city exploded in insurrection did the authoritarian left show up on the streets, at marches, handing out hastily xeroxed leaflets at the prisoner solidarity marches.

As usual since the fall of the Iron Curtain, authoritarian communists and socialists have been trying to claim credit for the work of and to discredit anarchists, just as they did in the 1930's to the anarchist industries, farms, hospitals, and militias in Spain that fought the fascist Franco. Rather than fight fascists, the socialists and communists used their guns to round up anarchist and libertarian-marxist political prisoners far behind the front lines. Because of their betrayal, Spain was lost to fascism until 1975. Franco's victory emboldened Hitler and Mussolini to begin WWII.


Let's get free...
Anarchist Redneck

www.infoshop.org/texts/iso.html

In response... 30.May.2001 16:54

RiotBeTheRhyme

OK, so i'll agree that they were fairly harsh on anarchists and had no right to criticize that strongly. But i wouldn't be taking that out on the communist/socialist society as a whole. We need to stop bickering. There's a common enemy out there: Social injustice, which i think that all radicals need to focus on, rather than fighting like this. Although i have my objections to some of the ideas of anarchism, i'll leave your right to believe what you want alone.

Shall We Stop Bickering With Global Capital? 10.Jun.2001 17:00

Anarchist Redneck

Well, I see that someone posted an early version of my criticism already. I will add the updated version to the end of this comment.

As to the comment that we should not "bicker amongst ourselves," should be stop bickering with global capital as well? After all, these global financiers merely have "differnt views," which we should honor, being diverse and all, right? Obviously not. The views of capitalists lead them to actions which hurt everyone. Similarly, authoritarian socialists like the International Socialist Organization (ISO) have destructive ideas that manifest in destructive behavior. I am an anarchist, but man socialists, communists, greens, and others have commented on this problem with the ISO. I have no problem with socialists and communists who love freedom. The ISO despise freedom, and act on their sentiments.

I see that the International Socialist Organization (ISO) at their summer school will host a "featured event" called:

THE LIMITS OF ANARCHISM, with SHERRY WOLF

Rather than subject myself to more of their lies and misrepresentations, I will recall the last ISO lecture in Chicago about anarchism I had the misfortune to witness. In it, the speaker ranted in a hostile fashion against anarchism and anarchists. The speaker included gems like the claim that Emma Goldman was anti-worker, had no faith in the people, and "like all anarchists" was essentially middle class and elitist. Emma was the famous anarchist feminist and labor agitator who was jailed repeatedly for teaching about birth control. She was deported for her radicalism and agitation on behalf of workers. She assisted Alexander Berkman in his attempt on the life of Henry Clay Frick, the steel baron who ordered his thugs to kill strikers. This "international socialist" speaker had the gall to get up in front of an American audience and denounce Emma as an enemy of the workers! If it weren't for Emma, this scummy politician wouldn't be able to speak in the U.S.A. against capitalism without fear of deportation! Emma Goldman was a poor, passionate, articulate, radical immigrant. Emma always advocated for the oppressed. The only thing that allowed this speaker to forge such astounding lies is the fact that Americans today have an impoverished understanding of history, beaten into them by a government school system: just the kind of propaganda machine these "socialists" would love to run. This ISO speaker railed on and on, with the lies and distortions about anarchism and anarchists piling up on each other so fast that it was difficult to tell where one lie ended and the next distortion began.

After this speech, I saw the speaker outside, alone. I posed the following question: "Since you've obviously done a good deal of research on anarchism and its history, why would you then make up lies and distortions about it, if you care about the people and revolution? Why not just tell the truth, and let people make up their own minds?"

The response: "Because I don't think anarchism will work. Socialism will."

Never mind the fact that bossy, authoritarian, statist, lying, party "socialists" do not have the monopoly of socialism that they would like to have over politics, society, and the economy. Most anarchists and many other anti-authoritarians are also socialists. We just happen to believe that "vanguards" and "socialist governments" are corporations by a different name and reorganized capitalism, respectively. The only limit to anarchism is that you've gotta love freedom. But you won't hear an anarchist perspective at the ISO workshop on anarchism.

The ISO are also hosting their workshop on the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) at their summer school. When they held this workshop in Seattle after the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial, they claimed that the IWW was purely historical, that it "ended" during the Red Scares early in the twentieth century. Well, there just happened to be Wobblies (IWW members) at the workshop who challenged this falsehood! In fact, the IWW had a big presence at the WTO protests, and helped lead a big contingent of militant unionists from the AFL-CIO labor march to the direct actions downtown on November 30. The IWW had two big banners, one reading "One Big Union," the other "Capitalism Cannot Be Reformed." All this while there was no ISO in sight. The IWW actively organizes workplaces, pickets, rallies, marches, literature, community radio, the second longest running union website in the world, community projects, solidarity actions with groups like Earth First! (EF!) and other labor unions, and much else. There is an ongoing lawsuit, about to enter court, against the FBI and the Oakland PD for the car bombing of IWW and EF! organizer, Judi Bari! If the IWW is dead, why is the FBI still trying to kill it? If the IWW is dead, while the ISO only puts on workshops and sells papers full of lies, what does that make the ISO? You won't hear from a Wobbly at the IWW workshop, either.

See  http://www.infoshop.org/news5/iww_iso.html for more info on the ISO lecture in Seattle.

Rather than let people base their opinions on the truth, the frustrated little bosses at the ISO prefer to manipulate the people they so despise. They do not think that if the people knew the truth, they would make revolution. So, the bossy socialists and communists believe the people must be tricked into revolution, not approached as equals deserving of the truth.

No wonder the ISO will also host a speech entitled IN DEFENSE OF LENINISM. If this is what Leninism looks like, it needs vigorous defense. The ISO gives the same kind of defense capitalism needs and has displayed at mobilizations for the last few years: lies, distortion, and violence by their media and police. Expect identical behavior from authoritarian "socialists" and "communists," and their media and police.

Maybe they can explain to us how "Liberty," in the view of such authoritarian communist and socialist groups like the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and International Socialist Organization (ISO), really means only freedom from exploitation by capitalists. If we REALLY understood communism, we would know that exploitation by some nutty "vanguard party," or better yet, "revolutionary government," is infinitely preferable, and is in fact necessary for total freedom and liberation. As is clear today, such Party Dictatorships are, in fact, the worst lie ever perpetrated: that people can be "made free" by a totalitarian regime.

It is pure bunk.

Given that this group is willing to falsify, manufacture, and distort information to suit their manipulative ends, don't attend their conference expecting to learn. If you must go, go to disrupt these lying, phony "revolutionaries" with the truth. Go armed with information, and expect to call them on their rivers of crap. The only reason they are better than the FTAA, WTO, FBI, or the Pinkertons, is that they currently have less power. But they want as much power as they can get.

As for all the great work they have done organizing for mobilizations in the last year, it's also bunk. They've brought people to events to sell papers. At the Republican National Convention, a "cadre" of ISO "vanguards" committed themselves to blockading a strategic point during the day of direct action. As soon as the police asked them to leave, they got up and left, abandoning the people they had agreed to assist in making things difficult for the Republicans. There were more ISO "vanguard" at the Democratic National Convention shortly thereafter. This "vanguard" actually tried physically to shove anarchists out of a march! Some ISO members have complained that this simple request not to pay for their conference is a waste of energy that should be directed at capitalists. Meanwhile, they spend their energy trying physically to shove away peaceful march participants who they disagree with.

As a former ISO member later confided to me that his time in the ISO prepared him well for the corporate world. He said the ISO included all the same backstabbing, hierarchy, and opportunistic focus on growth and recruiting rather than doing what is right. They see people as "human resources," just like capitalists do. They also see the rest of the world as "natural resources." Just like capitalists, they believe resources exist to be exploited. They've even been kicked out of their international affiliation, which makes them a National Socialist Organization, doesn't it?

These people are a cult. The party bosses meddle in the personal and sexual lives of the rank and file members in a way that would qualify as sexual harassment in any capitalist workplace. The ISO engage in a vast amount of lying, manipulation, falsification, and deception within their group - about revolutionary history, about current disputes with other groups, other movements, and other philosophies, about contemporary politics (they supported NAFTA!), and about virtually everything else they can think of. Do not expect from them a "summer school" any more honest than you would expect from the U.S. government or a corporation like Shell or Exxon.

No single ideology or philosophy has directed the recent surge of activism. However, anarchism has been an enormous force within it, and continues to be. At the "big win" that energized a lot of this movement, the WTO in Seattle, there were no bossy leftists in sight during the main events. The labor march was organized by AFL-CIO liberals (although many of the rank and file are quite militant and revolutionary, they are still typically not members of authoritarian groups like the ISO). The direct actions (blockades, street parties, squatting, and corporation-smashing) were virtually all organized by anarchist and other anti-authoritarian activists. Days after the city exploded in insurrection, the bossy left showed up on the streets, at marches, handing out hastily xeroxed leaflets at the prisoner solidarity marches.

As usual since the fall of the Iron Curtain, authoritarian communists and socialists have been trying to claim credit for the work of and discredit anarchists, just as they did in the 1930's to the anarchist industries, farms, hospitals, and militias in Spain that fought the fascist Franco. Rather than fight fascists, the socialists and communists used their guns to round up anarchist and libertarian-marxist political prisoners far behind the front lines. Because of their betrayal, Spain was lost to fascism until 1975. Franco's victory emboldened Hitler and Mussolini to begin WWII.

Please don't let it happen again. Do not walk naively into this ISO event. Either do not attend, or go prepared to challenge some very slick lies, the way you would approach any earth raping, worker crushing corporation. Since the ISO is crummy, don't give them your money.

I would like to see Kenneth Riley - one of the persecuted South Carolina dockworkers, Ronald Jones - exonerated death row inmate, Oscar Olivera - Bolivian water activist, and several other speakers listed. In fact, I would love to debate the issues of power and domination in leftist organizations, during the Leninism and Anarchism workshops, but there is no way I will hand these professional liars $75-150. Besides, having seen similar ISO events, I know it will be a tightly controlled lecture format with a strictly limited question/answer period, not real debate. However, to pay to register and attend would be giving direct material support to a scummy corporation in the guise of a revolutionary organization. Instead, please make your donation directly to a strike support fund, anti-death penalty group, an ongoing environmental struggle, or some other legitimate cause. Talk to the guest speakers outside this conference. Get in free, if you can.


Let's get free,
Anarchist Redneck



p.s. Since the ISO have begun posting a form reply to my criticism which explicitly rejects the idea of actually responding to a single point of mine (they say I'm wrong about the price, but without explaining why their own website has the same info), I'll add this quote, from "The Professional Paranoid's Page on Disinformation," at  http://www.proparanoid.com/truth.htm#s:

"Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth: The Rules of Disinformation

Rule Number 9: Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues except with denials they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.

Example: 'Nothing you say makes any sense. Your logic is idiotic. Your facts nonexistent. Better go back to the drawing board and try again.'

Proper response: 'You are avoiding the issue with disinformation tactics. You evade the issues with your own form of nonsense while others, perhaps more intelligent than you pretend to be, have no trouble with the material. Why do you refuse to address the issues by use of such disinformation tactics (rule 9 - play dumb)?'"