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thus they clearly violated the constitution of SDS in order to maintain control of the national office. The PLP-WSA also elected a set of officers and are, according to the constitution, the legal representatives of SDS. The legal and constitutional points, however important, are finally less of interest than the real tragedy of the hour. For neither the PLP nor their opponents are relevant to the building of a broader New Left in the years to come. Both accept one version or another of Mao’s adaptation of Leninism as the ideological basis of their political perspectives. And, however brilliant a Chinese revolutionary leader Mao has been and is, the strategy and tactics of a national liberation struggle based on guerrilla warfare in a predominantly peasant society have very little to say regarding the possibilities for socialist transformation in the United States, the most advanced industrial society on the face of the earth. I CHOSE as a title for this bit of soul-searching Marx’s observations on the French Revolution of 1848 \(“The because I wanted to link two important and related phenomena which the SDS disaster symbolizes. Two repetitions of “tragedy and farce” which can go a long way in explaining why and how national SDS has arrived at this point of political impasse. The first time that the Leninist model of revolution entered American politics \(and the socialist movements of other advanced Moscow-led Communist Party-USA, riding on the laurels on the Bolshevik coup d’etat of 1917. Borrowing its organizational form, rhetoric, and strategic directives from the most backward western capitalist society, Russia, the CPUSA played out a drama of revolutionary posturing and reformist practice without ever making a significant contribution to the radicalization of the industrial working class whose representative it claimed to be. And, it left behind it after its demise in the 1950s a legacy of bitterness, sectarianism, and disillusionment which grew out of its manipulative practice, its opportunist propaganda \(“we’ve changed our line needs of Moscow foreign policy. The second time is farce: If Leninism in its first exported form was a tragedy for the American Left after the First World War because it attempted to transfer the experience of Russian Bolshevism to totally different social situations, the Maoist form of Leninism which now dominates all the national factions of SDS is even more farcically irrelevant to the building of a socialist movement and the making of a socialist revolution in the advanced industrial world. The centralized, conspiratorial, vanguard party of Bolshevism in Russia of 50 years ago \(although I .4 The Texas Observer regard it as tragic in its conception and in in terms of the objective social situation of the Russian socialist movement. Its transfer to American and other western capitalist societies has produced no revolution and little relevant social practice. But, when SDS revives the irrelevance of Leninism in the form of Maoism, when it attempts to build a socialist movement here on the basis of the experience of a political struggle for national liberation in agrarian China, tragedy indeed becomes farce farce which remains tragic because it will not only fail to build a movement but because it will also land many of my former brothers and sisters in jail with nothing but a cult of martyrdom to sustain their mythical notions of revolutionary relevance. For outsiders, these developments within the New Left may appear as the work of madmen or the machinations of evil-doers. It is neither, although current debates do involve an atmosphere of situational psychosis and there are a number of opportunistic bastards whose warped careerism is hard for me to stomach. Maoist rhetoric and talk of guerrilla warfare have, in fact, enough basis in reality to sustain the ideological constructs which are bandied about. LET ME attempt a brief description of the problem as I see it. What has finally happened in the New Left is that a political spectrum has emerged within the most advanced neocapitalist society whose class base and historical perspective lie in and emerge from the movements for national liberation on the fringes of the industrial capitalist world. Thus, Mao and Lin-Piao offer the most coherent revolutionary world-view for a political perspective which says absolutely nothing about real conditions and potential for revolution within our own society but which is able to maintain itself as an ideological superstructure on the basis of successful third-world struggles. Attempts to ground this perspective in a potential class base within advanced industrial society end in the creation of social myths whether the myth of the “black colony,” as with the Black Panther Party and its cocksucking adherents among white radicals, or in the myth of the blue-collar vanguard, as in the PLP-Student Worker Alliance grouping. Both reproduce a Leninist politics of guilt and a Stalinist style because they project the revolution outside of their real base their potential base \(the new working class strata of scientific, technical, and professional, workers multiversity-trained workers who will be one-fourth of the work In addition, they are unable to perceive the real nature of the neocapitalist stage in which we live and refuse to recognize the nature of the new contradictions and potentials which are specific to this historical moment \(the increase of waste work and waste production, the warped potential for post-scarcity and post-market the ground of the New Left and the political basis out of which a socialist program could be developed to challenge radically the emerging order. As a corollary, they reject the rudiments of a cultural revolution in favor of authoritarianism and puritanism. Unable to realize that the student stratum and post-students \(the “new are the real basis for a socialist movement and perspective in this society, the Leninist-Maoists create a myth of revolution on the basis of mythical revolutionary strata. Either they actually believe that “Black people can make the revolution by themselves” \(says the resolution of the they somehow believe that the blue-collar worker will finally fulfill his prophetic role and take the task of socialist transformation as his own \(as PLP-WSA Personally, I regard this whole development as a revival of the politics of liberal guilt which were so prominently clear in the early part of this decade \(e.g., the civil that this same politics of guilt and reliance on others to make the revolution is now clothed in a revolutionary vanguardist, Maoist rhetoric while the same psychosocial dynamics operate. First, there was “the Friends of the Russian Revolution” the Chinese Revolution” \(PLP and its there was the “Friends of SNCC.” The first time was tragedy, the second time farce. HAVING GONE through the painful process of breaking my personal, emotional ties with SDS, during the last year, I must admit that I felt a sense of relief regarding the recent developments at the SDS convention in Chicago. Whatever I may feel personally for many of those involved, I had come to realize that it was necessary that the current political perspective crystallize and solidify itself. Not because I wanted to see good people hurt but because I wanted to find the possibility for an alternative. Until the tendency found its ideological form, until an irrelevant politics reached its apogee, it was hard if not impossible to address oneself meaningfully to the problem of the future. Now that the worst has happened, I feel a kind of confidence about the future, about the decade of the seventies. It’s going to be hard because SDS has left a vacuum. But it is also a vacuum in which many things are possible and in which much hard work must be accomplished. It will be a period in which those who wish to