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For the record.  There never was an attempt by the October League or the 
CPML to "take over" SftP.  There was a caucus within SftP "The Unity 
Caucus" of diverse persons who wanted SftP to take an explicit 
anti-capitalist, more-or-less Marxist position.  I was a leading member 
of that group (It was not a group of "outsiders."  For example I was the 
convenor of the first meeting of SftP when it tansformed from SESPA and 
the one who with Britta Fischer produced the first issue of the 
magazine).  Some of the members of that caucus resolved that, if SftP 
would not move to where the caucus thought it should go, they would join 
a "revolutionary" group and leave SftP.  That is why the Unity Caucus 
more-or-less disappeared.  I certainly believe today that it was 
ill-advised for the persons who participated in the Unity Caucus, myself 
included, to manifest their need to be associated with a "revolutionary" 
group by attempting to transform SftP.  To the best of my recollection 
about 1/2 dozen participants in the Unity Caucus did become members of 
the October League, myself included.  That was after the struggle in 
SftP and resulted in many of those persons taking on factory jobs, 
leaving the organization, and dropping their focus on Science.  (Note 
that by leaving science to work in factories, persons who could have 
increased the radical presence in science did not.)

Science for the People came into existence through the radicalizing 
transformation of SESPA, an organization of scientists (and very few 
engineers), brought about by the infusion of  angry students in the 
Boston area (notably Al Weinrub, Larry Beeferman, David Jhirad.  It had 
in its ranks many non-scientists who rallied to the call for science for 
the people.  One of its programs was TAP (Technical Assistance Project) 
which among other things helped the Black Panthers in setting up health 
clinics etc.  It also worked at unionizing technicians.  The work of 
breaking down the barriers betweeen scientists and non-scentists and 
having non-scientists actively participating ceased to be a main focus 
after the departure of the persons associated with the Unity Caucus.  
Notable exceptions were the work of George Salzman and Maurice Bazin 
(who continues to work with indigenous people in Brazil) and the work of 
Jon Beckwith with public school teachers.  It appears to me that in the 
end SftP became more of an organization of scientists communicating with 
scientists and mainly a publisher of the magazine.

There is a lesson here for the present discussion on this list serve.  
The "revolutionary fervor" and insistence on a narrowed set of 
principles by the Unity Caucus and the almost inevitable split of that 
substantial group of persons away from the organization upset the 
balance that could have maintained a broader organization.  The 
transformation of society requires a transformation of consciousness 
that eventually becomes dominant in the majority of the population.  
That is a very long process that cannot be brought about by shouting 
radical ideas that are alien and alienating to the very persons that 
must become the transformers of society.  What is needed is an active 
organization with a broad base united around a minimum set of principles 
that can and will become more focussed and radical over time, but only 
because the whole organization moves towards a more radical analysis as 
the collective experience teaches its necessity.  The problem with the 
pissing contests on this listserve is not that people make ad hominem 
attacks or any similar critique; it is that the listserve become less 
and less relevant to the task that all must unite around, namely, the 
building through struggle of a critical consciousness among all the 
people.  Our special responsibility is to contribute according to our 
particular capability, namely, science.  That is not happening for the 
most part.  Apparently most of us express our political conscience by 
participating in other organizations.  It saddens me that there is no 
active, broad-based SftP organization.  Were there one, the discussion 
on this list serve would be quite different. I am confident that there 
will be such an organization in the not-too-distant future; but it does 
not appear likely that we on this listserve will be its initiators. More 
likely a bunch of young people struggling to realize science fo the 
people will look at us for what we are in the main--an ineffective bunch 
of nit-pickers who are committed more to what is correct science than to 
organizing to make the transformations in society that will result in 
science serving all the people.
herb fox

PS.
I am not one who is going to quit the listserve or block out any 
participant; I find it very entertaining and do learn things from it.
h f

Carrol Cox wrote:

>Eric Entemann wrote:
>  
>
>>later by some members of the
>>October League, soon to become CPML, who were in the Boston chapter of SftP
>>(and elsewhere, I would suppose).  Those were quite contentious times.  SftP
>>did outlive the CPML.  
>>    
>>
>
>That's a new bit of information for me. The CPML was a mixed bag. They
>could be pretty obnoxious, but there were also some very good people in
>the organization.
>
>Carrol
>
>  
>