Marxist Bulletin No. 3 – Part I
1962 Split in the SWP Revolutionary Tendency
Letter from G. Healy to L. Ireland
24th October, 1962
Dear Comrade Ireland,
Thank you for your letter and enclosure of October 17.
Your criticism of the fact that we have not intervened in your discussion arises from a misunderstanding. Having had some experience in the construction of our own movement and in the course of this gone through many factional struggles of one description or another, we hesitate to intervene in a situation which is not yet clear.
We spoke of party patriotism from the standpoint that we do not believe that there is any other revolutionary organization in the US but the SWP. If you do not build the SWP, then it will be impossible to change its policies. We will be left with a sterile sect or group of sects juggling words. I am sure that no one in the minority wants to see this happen.
The procedure we will follow is to discuss with a comrade who is coining here in the near future and then suggest to all of you a policy for the next period.
I think there will have to be some compromise between you on this matter without, of course, interfering with your political opinions. The task in hand is to build and not allow attention to be diverted because of internal factional difficulties.
We had the same type of difficulties in our own faction in the old days, but we always managed to prevent them from disrupting the work of the tendency. In the long run, despite the fact that some people thought we were making undue compromises, we were proved right. Eventually we got the changes we wanted and preserved the cadre.
Please feel free to write to me and send any material that you wish from time to time.