Trotsky meets Alex Jones: Against Smear Tactics – IT’S GOING DOWN – There’s an interesting little irony here, for those who know their history: in the 1930s and 1940s, the Stalinist Communist Parties disagreed with the early Trotskyists, in part because the Trotskyists supported the Spanish revolutionaries against the Republic, and encouraged workers in the Allied countries to go on fighting for their own interests instead of sacrificing everything for the war effort (and so for the defence of the USSR). Rather than arguing these differences out openly and honestly, they preferred to just say that all Trotskyists were secretly working for Hitler. It’s remarkable how much the WSWS’s call to “identify these provocateurs before they can do their dirty work and throw them out” sounds like it could’ve come straight from an old anti-Trotskyist smear like “Clear Out Hitler’s Agents!”
Needless to say, the tactic of trying to discredit dedicated working-class militants and anti-fascists by accusing them of being secret agents was wrong then, and shouldn’t be seen as any more acceptable today.
As the Twin Cities General Defence Committee have pointed out, this kind of “badjacketing” has in fact been used by real, actual state infiltrators before, and one some occasions, as with the sad story of American Indian Movement militant Anna Mae Aquash, has actually led to people losing their lives. When we see how destructive these charges have been to our movements in the past, we can appreciate just how serious they are, and how totally irresponsible it is for the WSWS to throw them around without proof.
The other leg of the WSWS’s faulty argument, beyond just trying to smear militants as being infiltrators, is to claim that anarchists “are fully subordinated to the Democratic Party and the capitalist system,” with the proof of this apparently being that the New York Times ran an article about anarchists and anti-fascists that wasn’t a total smear job. Of course, this one article hardly outweighs the huge amount of attacks and scare stories the media have printed about anarchists in the past, but the WSWS insist that “the real question is, why is the Times promoting this “fringe movement” as some kind of serious contender in the “battle of ideas?”’