Criticizing a Trotskyist Critique of
FRSO’s View of the Mass Line

[In the late spring of 2005 there was an email exchange about FRSO’s interpretation of the mass line which involved several people from different political backgrounds, including me. One of the two FRSO organizations (since it split in 1999), the one with the web site at, has been playing cozy with, and apparently even considering an eventual merger with, a rather wishy-washy Trotskyist organization named Solidarity. A member of Solidarity, Steve B., wrote a letter criticizing an old document on the mass line prepared by a FRSO member before the organization split. (This FRSO document, entitled “Some Points on the Mass Line”, is posted on this site at: I’ll refer to one of the people who received Steve B.’s letter as “T.P.” After Steve suggested to T.P. that the discussion be opened up more broadly, and knowing my interest in the mass line, he forwarded a copy to me. I then responded to all concerned on a number of remarks that Steve made, as well as on a few remarks that T.P. added towards the end. Despite the fact that I have myself criticized this particular FRSO document (see my essay “Comments on FRSO’s View of the Mass Line” (9/10/2003) at:, I mostly found myself in the position of defending it from the uncomprehending criticisms that Steve B. was making. Indeed, a primary moral here of this whole episode is how utterly alien the whole idea of the mass line seems to be to Trotskyists. On the other hand, I did partially agree with a point or two that Steve was making, ones that corresponded to some degree with my own previous criticisms of the FRSO document. In my letter I quote Steve B.—who in turn often starts by quoting a passage from the FRSO document before making his own comments. Then I make my reply in brackets. I received no responses from anyone about my remarks, and as far as I know the discussion did not continue. —Scott H.]

June 7, 2005   

Hi folks,

I’m Scott H., the guy that maintains the web site. Thanks, T----, for sending me a copy of your discussion. I’m glad to see people are giving some new thought to these important issues. Just a few comments of my own (which I’ll add in brackets):

>== Original Message From “Steve B.”
> “Our starting point is this: ‘The people, and the people alone,
> are the motive force in making world history.’”
> This is undialectical and untrue, if by “the people” we mean
> the mass of dispossessed. The “motive force” in the first
> American revolution was the northern bourgeoisie, allied
> with the southern slaveocracy and dragging “the people”
> behind them with promises of democratic rights. The driving
> force of the second American revolution was the contradiction
> between the northern bourgeoisie and the southern
> slaveocracy, both ruling classes once again using ideological
> means to recruit “the people” to fight on their side. We could
> cite many other examples, but even one is sufficient to show
> the deficiency of the original statement.

[I think Steve is wrong here for this reason: The term ‘the people’ does not include the same classes in different historical contexts. In the context of the American revolution, “the people” included the rising American national bourgeoisie. In Maoist terms, all the classes and strata in any given society are divided into two groups, “the people” and “the enemy”. The people are those classes and strata whose interests are served by making revolution (advancing society to the next stage in social development). The enemy are those classes, strata and individuals whose interests are in opposition to revolution, and who therefore want to maintain the current system. Thus, when the term “the people” is understood in this way, Mao’s comment that “The people, and the people alone, are the motive force in making world history” is in fact completely true.   —S.H.]

[Steve B. continues, first quoting again from the FRSO document on the mass line:]
> “How do people learn? Through experience. Practice is the
> source of all knowledge. . . . In the beginning you try something
> out. If it works you sum that up and if it does not work you sum
> that up too. From scattered observations and perceptions you
> move to concepts—to ideas or theory.”
> ... Practice is not the source of all knowledge. No
> knowledge is derived purely from practice, without the use
> of logic—which is essential in order to make sense of what
> we experience. Logic, therefore, is just as much the source
> of all knowledge as practice. And it seems clear that
> certain basic rules of logic and verbal learning are hard-wired
> into the human brain. These instincts have evolved for a reason.
> Nor is it correct to say that our search for knowledge starts
> with “trying something out.” What do you decide to try out?
> You must already have started to apply logic to the situation
> or you couldn’t even know how to begin engaging in practice,
> or experience.

[When we say that “practice is the source of all knowledge” we certainly don’t mean to imply that thinking people are not necessary to raise that practice to knowledge! Of course this process involves formal logic, dialectical logic, and other forms of rational thinking (such as analogies, etc.)! But the issue being addressed by this Maoist slogan is the old one of whether we learn about the world through interacting with the world, or through merely thinking about it in isolation from any interaction with the world. And of course the former is true.

[Strangely, there is a different sort of criticism or difficulty—and a more valid one—about practice being the source of all knowledge that Steve neglects to mention here. And that is the fact that practice which is too limited is bound to mislead you and get you into serious difficulties. Pragmatism is the theory that “whatever seems to be working is right”. But, unfortunately, something that can seem to be working for a while can lead to disaster in the end. Thus while it is true that experience or practice is the source of knowledge, that is really only completely true if it is understood that the experience or practice must be sufficiently extensive. —S.H.]

> The next paragraph, in which the paper describes what it
> calls “The Marxist Theory of Knowledge” is worth noting in
> particular. I will quote only in part:
> “What is correct theory? Correct theory is when our ideas
> about how things work accurately reflect reality and its inner
> motion. How can we be sure if our ‘correct’ theory is correct?
> We put it into practice and check the results.”
> In fact, however, the Marxist theory of knowledge would
> assert that there is no such thing as a “correct theory” in the
> sense suggested here. It is simply impossible for human
> beings to formulate an understanding that accurately reflects
> “reality and its inner motion. There is too much contradiction
> and too many variables in the real world—too much that is
> hidden away and impossible for us to see, let alone predict.
> Yes, we can develop an approximate understanding of
> realtiy and its inner motion. And our successive aproximations
> can get better and better But we should be constantly aware
> that this is what we are working with: a process of successive
> approximations, not a “correct theory.”

[This (probably under the influence of bourgeois ideologists such as Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, and the postmodernists) seems to be leaning towards the currently popular doctrine of epistemological agnosticism, that we “can’t know anything for sure”. This notion is quite erroneous. There are many things we do know for certain, such as that human beings ordinarily have two hands and two eyes, that table salt is composed of sodium chloride (plus impurities), that the moon orbits the earth, that capitalism must be overthrown, and so forth. I explore this whole issue in an essay, “Do we know for certain that the earth goes round the sun?” at:

[It is true that elaborate and complex scientific theories are not completely certain in all their aspects, just because they do cover so much ground. Marxism, too, is not completely certain in all its aspects. There is still error in it, and from time to time one of these errors is exposed and overcome. But there are many specific truths of Marxism which are in fact known with complete certainty, such as that society is composed of social classes based on people’s relationship to the means of production, that human history has been (since the development of classes) primarily a history of class struggle, that the dominant ideas of any age are normally those of the ruling class, etc. (Just to name three of the essential points of historical materialism.)

[Marxism does have many correct principles/theories, as well as many principles/theories which should be more properly viewed as tentative and possibly not true, at least around the edges. But Steve goes way too far in the direction of agnosticism by suggesting that we can’t be sure of any correctness in our current theories. Many leftist political groups have been moving in the direction of agnosticism lately, partly because this is fashionable in present society, and partly because of mistakes they have themselves made—which have shaken their confidence in their own ideas. One example of this is the RCP which back in the early 1980s made completely erroneous predictions of world war and/or proletarian revolution in the U.S. for that decade. More recently, they (halfheartedly) criticized themselves for these errors, but went overboard in one way by suggesting that society is just too complex to be completely sure of anything about it. I discuss and criticize their move toward agnosticism in my long essay “Notes on Notes on Political Economy” at:   (See especially the section “The Turn Toward Epistemological Agnosticism”.) I am sorry to see that this insidious trend seems to be developing within FRSO, Solidarity and other groups as well. I hope people who are leaning in this direction will carefully look into the negative experience of the RCP in this regard. —S.H.]

> “Our starting point needs to be the felt needs and wants
> of the masses of people. . . . We have probably all been
> in meetings where some particular topic is under discussion,
> and somebody jumps up and says the ‘real issue is X or Y.’
> Maybe that person is extremely insightful or maybe they
> are dead wrong (more likely ). It really does not matter, we
> need to start from where people are at.”
> Actually, no. And I don’t believe FRSO actually follows this
> in practice. Just as with knowledge, which flows equally from
> both logic and experience, so with our starting points (plural)
> in any struggle. Yes, we need to know where people are at.
> We also need to understand how their discontent relates to
> the “real issue.” Actually, in my experience it isn’t that people
> who talk about “the real issue” are wrong for the most part.
> Usually they simply don’t know what to do with the insight
> they have. Getting others to understand the “real issue” is not
> simply (or mostly) a matter of explaining it. Understanding
> will come from a combination of experience and explanation,
> with the main stress on the experience. But—and here is
> where the FRSO perspective reveals its one-sidedness—what
> experience do we propose to engage in so that people can
> learn what they need to about the “real issue”? A revolutionary
> perspective depends on this dialectic. Not all experiences
> are the same. Some teach the right lessons, while others
> teach the wrong lessons or even demoralize activists. The
> key to knowing “what to do next” (as Jim Cannon liked to talk
> about) is having an appreciation of two things, simultaneously:
> Where people are at, and what the real issues are that we
> want to help them learn about. An approach that disses the
> “real issue,” therefore, is, methodologically, quite wrong.

[It may seem that, from the FRSO point of view, what we have here is a failure to communicate. It is that, but it is also more than that. The FRSO document is taking about one thing (that people can be mobilized around issues which already seem important to them), while Steve is talking about something else (the importance of bringing the “real issue” up with the people—that is, presumably, revolution). In theory, FRSO has agreed with this. But in actual practice it seems to many of us outsiders that Steve’s criticism here is essentially correct. (And it is true that the FRSO document on the mass line does not at all mention the importance of bringing revolutionary ideas to the masses.) That is why we have considered FRSO to be a reformist political group in practice, despite the fact that the FRSO members themselves no doubt really do favor revolution. I.e., if you don’t actually bring the need for revolution to the masses, then you are a reformist in practice no matter what you yourself think.

[But on the other hand, it is not clear that Steve appreciates the importance of the mass line as a means of bringing revolutionary ideas to the masses. The main reason why we seek to participate with the masses in their day-to-day struggles is so that we will be in a position to more effectively bring revolutionary ideas to them. Yes, we really do want to see them win some reforms, or ward off some attacks (“negative reforms”). But we also know that the only real solution to the problems the people face is through social revolution.

[I have heard Trotskyites (sorry, “Trotskyists”) refer to Cannon’s comments about the importance of knowing “what to do next” before. This is really as close to comprehending the mass line as they seem to have gotten (though, from a theoretical standpoint, one would have thought that a careful consideration of what is involved in a “transitional program”—that Trotsky stresses—would have also led them to it from a slightly different angle). But one comment about the importance of determining “what to do next” does not make the theory of the mass line even though the actual best technique for determining “what to do next” is by using the mass line. When it comes to the leadership of the mass movement, what we are trying to do is lead it in the direction of revolution, but based on the various ideas the masses themselves may have about what to do. —S.H.]

> There is another problem here too. Not everyone is “at” the
> same place. Any struggle must find ways of addressing the
> felt needs of people at many different, even contradictory,
> levels of consciousness resulting from many different, even
> contradictory life experiences. So between different layers
> of activists, and also within any individual activist, there is
> not one “place” to start from, even taking “where they are at
> as our starting point. True, the FRSO text attempts to deal
> with this by its division of the masses into three categories
> (advanced, intermediate, backward). But that is totally
> insufficient. What we are confronted with is not discrete
> groups clumped around one of these three categories, but
> a continuum of possibilities with individuals, and groups of
> individuals, spread out all along that continuum.

[What this fails to understand is that when you lead any group of people they must be more or less at “the same place” (in the same situation), or else no leadership of them as a group will be possible. There are two things being confused here. Yes, people’s ideas vary, and some understand more than others do, etc. But if different people with different levels of understanding are in the same situation, they can still be led as a group if the leadership is able to win them to the same course of action. (Pretty simple solution, huh?! Most “problems” with the mass line are simple, when you give them some thought!) —S.H.]

> “Trade union bureaucrats poverty pimps and the like . . . want
> to put their own spin on things. In the trade union movement
> these fools say if only we were nice to the employer we would
> not have all these layoffs.”
> This is a purely idealist explanation. Trade union bureaucrats
> and poverty pimps are not fools (at least, not the most
> successful of them). They are people who understand very
> well their intermediate social position, forced to mediate class
> or other conflicts in order to maintain themselves in a
> comfortable life style. Their “theory” of class collaborationism
> does not drive their actions, it is very much the other way
> around.

[Well, OK. But the main point being made in the FRSO document, that Steve seems not to understand, is that in attempting to lead the masses toward revolution, you will also encounter various opportunists seeking to lead them in other directions. This is by no means something to ignore. —S.H.]

> “Who are the intermediate? They are the majority.”
> Often, but certainly not necessarily. There are many times
> (during the course of an imperialist war, for example) when
> the majority is truly backward, and only a tiny handful of
> people can reasonably be included in “the intermediate.”
> Considering white workers in the south before the end of
> Jim Crow (and maybe still) the overwhelming majority were
> racist and pro-segregation. Where was the intermediate
> majority? On the other hand there are historical moments
> when things shift in exactly the opposite direction, when
> the advanced become the majority. These are the times
> when revolution is possible.

[Actually, when we talk about “advanced, intermediate and backward” we have to first be clear about whether we are thinking in terms of their abstract ideology or in terms of our leadership of them (and their reactions to those leadership attempts). (I.e., we have to keep in mind the purpose for which we are making the analysis of the masses.) If we are trying to lead the masses (as I believe the FRSO document had in mind here), then it is indeed reasonable to expect that the intermediate will be the majority (of those you are attempting to lead). If they are not the majority, then you have probably made a mistake in selecting the goal around which you are attempting to lead people. Steve is not thinking in terms of leadership here, simply in terms of the masses’ abstract consciousness. From that point of view, you can mentally partition the masses any way you like, and the intermediate will not always be the majority of course. So it appears to me that this is another failure to communicate. —S.H.]

> “Who are the backward? They’re the naysayers and opposition.
> Objectively, they generally reflect and articulate the thinking
> of the enemy in the people’s ranks.”
> Again, a dangerously caricatured notion. Every one of us today,
> advanced, intermediate, backward, will often “reflect and articulate
> the thinking of the enemy in the people’s ranks.” Thus the inability
> even of many “revolutionaries” to understand feminism, or gay
> rights struggles, or national liberation, until they are confronted
> directly by the demands that flow from these struggles and forced
> to overcome their ideological backwardness. The only reason we,
> today, can believe that we have overcome “the thinking of the enemy
> in the people’s ranks” is that we are so deeply imbued with the
> ways in which we continue to reflect the thinking of the enemy that
> it seems natural to us (the same way a subordinate position for
> women in the movement seemed natural even to the best
> revolutionaries for most of the 20th century).

[The same thing here; Steve is not thinking in terms of a specific leadership task and goal, and about those who oppose that goal and why they do so. Of course everyone is advanced in some respects and backward in other respects. That is not what is at issue here. The question in any specific leadership campaign is how an individual stands with regard to that specific mass action. I don’t think Steve really understands what the FRSO mass line document is all about. (Different milieus, and all that!) —S.H.]

> “Even when we get to socialism, the active communists are
> going to be a relatively small minority, so we need to rely on
> the advanced to get things done.”
> No! No! No! This is the mistake that ties in with the false
> “theory of knowledge” described above to become a self-justification
> for the worst Maoist bureaucratic abuses. Socialist revolution is
> only possible when the masses of people become active, and
> advanced, acting in their own interests and in their own name.
> Bureaucratic degeneration can only be avoided if the majority
> remains mobilized and vigilant. Revolutionary Marxism as I
> appreciate it is premised on the idea that such a  state of
> affairs is possible to create, and maintain.

[Once again, a failure to communicate. Yes, for sure, socialist (and communist) revolution is only possible when the masses of people become active, change their ideas, and act in their own interests and in their own name. But at any time and place, and on any specific question, some people will be more active and advanced than others. In other words, there are always the advanced, the intermediate and the backward. The FRSO mass line document is focusing upon how the communists and other relatively advanced folks can help lead the intermediate in accomplishing particular goals. Steve seems to bizarrely imply that people will do things all on their own without any leadership. (An implicitly idealist, or even anarchist theory.) But things don’t work that way. Even the most class conscious and revolutionary masses still need to act in a coordinated fashion; i.e., they still need a leadership core. This, as Lenin said, is part of the ABC’s of politics. Moreover, leadership doesn’t necessarily mean bureaucracy! Steve is quite right that it is necessary for the masses themselves (the non-leaders) to remain active, alert, and continually supervise their leaders in order to prevent the development of a bureaucracy. But as important as all that is, it doesn’t mean that there is no need for leadership, nor does it mean there is no need for that leadership to work with the advanced among the masses in order to win over the larger mass. I find it peculiar that Steve mixes up these things! —S.H.]

> Consider, however, the implication of the following two ideas
> taken together:
> 1) A correct  theory is possible, and we can discover and
> confirm it through our practice.
> 2) The communists who understand, and will act on, that
> correct theory will always be a small minority—not only now,
> but even after the revolution.
> How hard is it, once we believe this, to decide that it is a
> correct practice to murder the leaders of other organizations
> who are misleading the masses (which we know to be a fact
> because we have a “correct theory”)? After all, if the “advanced”
> will always be a small minority, and if we know who that small
> minority is because they follow a “correct theory” then of what
> value is working class democracy? All it can do is get in the
> way, allow misleaders their opportunity to fool the masses,
> the majority of whom will always be no better than intermediate,
> can never rise to the level of “advanced.”

[Well! This is a complete non sequitur! Those who know the way forward do not generally (let alone necessarily) seek to “murder” those who do not, nor even those who “get in their way”! Despite what Steve seems to think, it is quite possible to have a very firm democratic outlook and practice, and to still seek the correct political path forward. Those of us (and I’m sure this includes Steve) who think we know a good deal about that path already are not (for the most part!) contemplating the death of those who we have not won over to fully agree with us! Egads! —S.H.]

> What is the relationship of ideas 1 and 2 above (especially 2)
> to the following classical statements of the revolutionary Marxist
> movement:
> “The liberation of the working class is the task of the working
> class itself.”
> “No Ceasars [sic], no saviors, no tribunes.”
> See also the discussion of “democratic centralism” below.
> The FRSO conception of this chills my soul after the experience
> of the SWP.

[It is one thing to argue (as Marx did) that “The liberation of the working class is the task of the working class itself.” and quite another to imagine that this means that no leadership of the working class is necessary, or that everyone in our class is equally advanced and active (or will be so in some idealistic future). Why does Steve suppose Marx and Engels helped form the First International if not as a combination educational and leadership organ for the international working class? It is true that we are very much against the whole idea of saviors and Caesars, but that doesn’t mean our class has no need for leaders who are (for the most part) generated from among our ranks. Let’s use some common sense here, please! —S.H.]

[I’m going to limit my comments about Steve’s frightfully wrongheaded criticisms of democratic centralism. It is true that much of the history of Marxist-Leninist movements—beginning even to some degree with Lenin himself—shows that what has been called “democratic centralism” has usually been very weak on the democracy part and very strong on the centralism part. It is also true that it is difficult to create and maintain a true democratic centralism, i.e., one where the “democracy” is not a farce. However, I have no doubt not only that this can be done, but that it must be done, if our movement is to be successful in the long run. Moreover, the institutionalized use of the mass line depends on having such an organization. —S.H.]

[Steve B. writes:]
> 1) As we saw above, even if we all apply the same line to
> the same struggle and it works (or not), any conclusions
> must remain tentative at best, until the next test of our
> theory comes along. Even if the majority line was tried out,
> and “worked,” the minority could assert (quite reasonably)
> that its alternative approach would have worked better, faster,
> with more recruits or fewer losses, etc. Even if the majority
> approach does not work, it could still claim the reason was
> a turn in the objective conditions that could not have been
> foreseen, faced with which the minority “line” would have
> been an even greater disaster. There is simply no “scientific
> knowledge” (in the most schematic and caricatured sense
> of that term) which results from collective experimentation in
> the class struggle. A political structure based on the idea
> that there is such knowledge can only result in a caricature
> and mystification of democratic centralism, not the real
> thing....

[The first thing that strikes me here is that Steve once again doesn’t seem to be thinking about leadership of the masses. The (rational) purpose of a “line” is not to get party members to all think the same thing, but rather to get them to try to lead the masses to all act in a coordinated fashion toward achieving particular goals. To say that this is not necessary is almost the same as saying that leadership itself is not necessary. (A view which, as we’ve seen, Steve may well lean towards.)

[The objections that Steve mentions the “minority” and the “majority” might make against each other are indeed real and even (to be frank about it) inevitable. But again this misses the main point. We may often be quite unsure if the path we choose to reach our goals is the very best possible. There may indeed be other paths which are preferable. But if we do reach some major goals, and they are important ones which benefit the people, then that is not nothing! At that point it becomes an academic discussion to argue about whether another path might have been preferable. And if we definitely have not achieved an important goal, then this is important too. If we’ve tried one method for a long time and haven’t been successful, then it is probably wise to try another method. Despite what Steve says above, it is rational to at least try to go about achieving our revolutionary goals in a unified, coordinated way. And that is only possible if the working class (and its allies) has a party which puts forward a definite line about how to proceed. If that line doesn’t work, then we need to rethink things, and quite possibly try something else (but that too in as coordinated, unified way as we can manage). This used to be considered common sense within our revolutionary movement. But alas, common sense seems to be getting much less common. —S.H.]

> “Lower bodies are subordinate to higher ones. . . .  Hopefully
> the higher bodies are collecting more knowledge, based on
> a broader sphere of organized practice than the lower ones,
> and are in a better position to sum up the work as a whole.”
> And what if this hope is not fulfilled? What if, instead, the
> higher bodies, being more distant from the real sentiment
> in the mass movement, do not comprehend the need for a
> turn soon enough? What if they are too slow to realize that
> a particular line is not working and needs to be changed?

[Steve seems not to be aware that there are things we can do to help connect up the leaders with the broader wisdom of the membership and the masses in general. (Again, his ignorance of the theory of the mass line shows.) If the party doesn’t do them, then the leaders will lead the party and the masses astray. But if their party is set up to properly concentrate the ideas of the masses, then the leaders have the very best chance there is to lead the movement to success. —S.H.]

[Steve writes:]
> In a sense, and at times, lower bodies are subordinate to
> higher ones. In a more profound sense, and most of the
> time, higher bodies should be subordinate to lower ones—
> that is, they should be subject to the democratic control
> of the rank and file.

[I would agree with that; it is very dialectical (the mutual interpenetration of opposites, etc.). But this is not an argument against democratic centralism, but rather an argument for it. In part, the leaders are subordinate to the membership in that they should be democratically elected and supervised. But, when it comes to specific leadership campaigns where the party tries to lead the masses, then the whole party must be subordinate to the leadership as far as how the members relate to the masses, and with regard to the program of action they take to the masses. And of course everyone at every level should continue to be welcome to their own opinions about things. —S.H.]

[Steve continues:]
> Even if we have a reasonably accurate theory, modesty remains
> essential. If we are large, then we need to be aware that our
> actions have real consequences, and wrong actions have far
> greater negative consequences than when we are small. I like
> to use brain surgery as a metaphor for revolutionary politics. A
> good brain surgeon must be confident in what s/he knows, bold
> enough to cut into the most delicate part of the human anatomy.
> At the same time s/he must also be aware of how much is
> unknown, how much of a disaster even a small slip can create.
> Revolutionaries need to have both the aggressive confidence,
> and the cautious humility, of a good brain surgeon. Unfortunately,
> FRSO’s conception of “The Mass Line” seems to recognize only
> one side of this truth.

[I agree with most of that, including the nice brain surgeon analogy. But, I would emphasize to Steve that brain surgeons need to really know an awful lot! (And not just have a lot a very tentative opinions!) The more they really know for certain, the better. Steve is also right that a party—big or small—must remain modest and cautious. But I don’t think he has even understood the thrust of the FRSO document, or what the mass line is all about. More’s the pity! —S.H.]

[T.P. comments (excerpt):]
> Steve thanks for your thoughts and reflection on this. I
> thought that basically what you did was basically bring out
> the need for more nuance in this document. As far as that
> goes I would be inclined to say “point taken”.

[I would disagree here. It seems to me that Steve misses the whole concept of the mass line, and many of the things he says implicitly attack the very idea of having a party that tries to use the mass line. —S.H.]

[T.P. continues:]
> I do think that overall FRSO’s document is a pretty solid take
> on the mass line. I don’t see it as overly schematic at all. To
> me what this document represents is basically a great example
> of a type of conceptual toolbox that you can take with you into
> your activist work.

[Reluctantly, I would have to disagree with this too. It’s not a very good summation of the mass line. And Steve does put his finger on one of its biggest weaknesses—that it seems to ignore or even reject putting forward revolutionary ideas to the masses. (See my commentary on for further criticisms of the document.) —S.H.]

[T.P. continues:]
> Groups like the ISO and Solidarity, that don’t formally teach
> or practice the transitional method, or something like this,
> I think make a big mistake because they send their people
> out unarmed into important struggles without a method/
> systematic approach that corresponds to their politics.

[This sounds intriguing! What is this “transitional method”? Is it a reference to “transitional programs”? —S.H.]

Revolutionary Greetings,
Scott H.

— [End] —

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