Marxist Bulletin No. 3 – Part II
Wohlforth Against the RT
Letter to Healy by James Robertson
New York, N.Y.
27 May 1963
National Secretary, SLL
Dear comrade Healy,
Thank you for sending me a copy of your letter of 22 May received today to comrade Dobbs. I have a request to ask of you in view of the following considerations: (1) that the letter refers to our tendency grouping (i.e., the Revolutionary Tendency, or ‘Mage-Robertson-White’); (2) that the letter together with its appendices is lengthy–making recopying difficult; (3) that it is mimeographed so presumably you can easily have extra copies available. Therefore would you be so good as to send copies of this material to several of our leading comrades: Shane Mage, …, New York City; Shirley Stoute, …, Philadelphia; and Geoffrey White, …, Berkeley (2 copies).
I was concerned to note that in your letter to comrade Dobbs you clearly imply that our tendency is among those who ‘do not carry out seriously the work of the national sections’ and that it is this issue which precipitated the split by Philips-Wohlforth from the Revolutionary Tendency in this country. Our comrades will deeply resent your bringing this unfounded accusation to the SWP leadership. I want to point out that your open endorsement of this charge of unseriousness towards the SWP lends special weight to the charge and encourages the use of organizational measures against us by the SWP tops.
If you should persist in making such statements concerning us to the American Majority, I fear we would be compelled to make our own disclosures to the entire SWP membership as to our reasons for refusing to sign your ‘Reorganizing’ statement. I refer of course to our views as expressed in our correspondence exchanges with you extending through Nov. and Dec. of last year.
I know it is the deep-seated hope of every comrade in our tendency that relations between the SLL and ourselves improve instead of worsening and that, above all, they not become embittered as a result of incidents such as I am objecting to. Nothing will or can be gained, comrade Healy, for our shared basic programmatic outlook, by ‘washing our dirty linen’ before larger circles in the radical movement. I note that comrade Kerry in his recent polemical attack upon us all (‘Unprincipled Combinationism–Past and Present’), spent nearly a page in attempting to do nothing other than to draw us into making public attacks upon one another.
Our comrades will naturally be appreciative of your other remark to the effect that you are prepared to defend us against unjustified organizational measures by the SWP Majority. I see this as being in contradiction to propagating views about our unseriousness which can only prepare the ground for organizational reprisals against us based upon falsehoods.
cc: S. Mage, S. Stoute, G. White, T. Wohlforth