Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Downward Spiral of the International Committee of the Fourth International

This space is devoted to a discussion and commentary on the series, The Downward Spiral of the International Committee of the Fourth International.

English Version: The Downward Spiral of the International Committee of the Fourth International.

Link to Chapter 1:  Concocting a smear campaign:  A dash of political blackmail and a serving of pseudo-history.

Link to Chapter 2: Concocting a smear campaign: Falsifying my history

Link to Chapter 3: Concocting a smear campaign: North distorts the history of the Workers League/SEP

Link to Chapter 4: The Talbots weigh in: An olive branch to liberalism and misrepresentations on science

Link to Chapter 5: Dialectics vs. positivism in the philosophy of science

Link to Chapter 6: Notes on philosophy and science

Link to Chapter 7: A defense of positivism in the guise of a defense of science

Link to Conclusion: A new stage in the degeneration of the International Committee

Español : Espiral descendente del Comité Internacional de la IV Internacional 

Capítulo 1: Preparando una campaña de desprestigio: Un guión de chantaje político al servicio de una seudo historia

Capítulo 2: Confeccionando una campaña de desprestigio: falsificación de mi historia

Capítulo 3: Confeccionando una campaña de desprestigio: North distorsiona la historia de la Liga Obrera/SEP

Capítulo 4: El balance de los Talbot: una rama de olivo al liberalismo y una serie de flagrantes tergiversaciones sobre la ciencia

Capítulo 5: Dialéctica vs positivismo en la Filosofía de la Ciencia

Capítulo 6: Notas sobre filosofía y ciencia

Capítulo 7: Una defensa del positivismo so pretexto de una defensa de la ciencia

Conclusión: Una nueva etapa en la degeneración del Comité Internacional


Haugco said...

So will any new material be posted on the site?

Alex Steiner said...

Yes, we will be publishing new material on the web site.

We would be very interested in your comments about the Downward Spiral series.


Haugco said...

Good show there.

Mark said...

Congratulations on the conclusion of your series. I admire the thorough and patient manner in which the both of you have replied to North and company. Someone could possibly disagree with your position on any number of issues, but they could not disagree with the fact that you responded to the material and the issues raised in a thoughtful and comprehensive manner. The same can not be said of North and company, their method is a thoroughly dishonest one, comprised of ignoring the valid the points that you have made while searching for some incriminating material to cast doubt upon the valid points. Thus, virtually the entire content of the polemic you wrote, Marxism Without its Head or its Heart, dealing with the central political and theoretical issues concerning the International Committee, is ignored. North instead searches though the private correspondence of Alex looking for whatever material can used to cast doubt upon Alex as an individual.

Although North's line of attack in the misnamed "Frankfurt School vs Marxism" series is fundamentally false, I think Alex has done a good job of clarifying matters, in regard to his personal history, his views on science, and so forth. The patient reader will be able to clearly sort out fact from fiction by reading Alex's response. Of course, North's whole method is based upon the fact that most of his readers, members and supporters of the SEP, don't have the patience to think through theoretical matters, and don't particularly care about the truth when it conflicts with their own prejudice.

The last part of your series serves to accurately sum up the state of the SEP/IC. It is a severe indictment of the party and the International Committee that no member has publicly spoken out against the smear campaign initiated by North. Even if they disagree completely with your positions, those positions still deserve an honest and thorough discussion free from the methods of guilt by association, and character assassination. If a correction of the SEP/IC were possible, it would start first with a condemnation of those those methods combined with thorough engagement of your material as it is the only serious critique of the IC in existence. If Trotsky were alive he would certainly condemn the methods of North. But, I believe the SEP is a party beyond correction. You are right to recall Trotsky's article on sectarianism, if Trotsky were alive today he would certainly recognize the SEP as a political sect unworthy of the association with the Fourth International. It is a party without any significant proletarian base, and its theory and practice ensure that this will be the case into the foreseeable future regardless what economic convulsions hit upon the working class.

Anonymous said...

A great last chapter.
The ICFI will pretend to ignore you. This is to North's advantage because he can't match your intellectual firepower.
The ICFI will continue to be ineffectual; they have almost no working class members and wouldn't know how to organise a picket line. They enjoy their theoretical essays - a kind of left wing university caper to indulge their PhD pretentions. It's intellectually satisfying and that's why they do it. They can't handle the fact of someone pointing out that their emperor has no clothes.

Congrats Alex, for a magnificent effort. Whether it is successful remains to be seen but, by God, I've enjoyed it!

Stan R