Reading these articles on the ISO asks for our perspective/critique of the outstanding marxist derivative movements which present a puzzle: they are going nowhere. A chronicle of successes in the past (cf. below) fails to include anything about the core mission, which has been a failure.
The older generation (and this is a new generation stalled by the old) of boilerplate marxists has only failure to offer and where once the marxist legacy inspired millions, these fragmented groups can achieve nothing. There is no mystery there: they still cling to the legacy but that legacy has failed.
These groups worship marx, lenin, but cannot accept the failure of the older brands.
The left has to start over with something new. The ISO dissolution, whatever the reason, was/is an opportunity for a new kind of left. The older materials of marxism are useful as a history, but they invariably drive away the majority at this point.
This site has dozens of critical reviews of the legacy with suggestions about how to start over.
Unless these leftist groups can start over they can’t appeal to a new generation whose interest in socialism will soon be reconditioned to marxist cliches and ideology.
We need to completely recast the issues of socialism/communism along with the inspiring but fallacious theories of marx.
The ISO that we—along with thousands of other wonderful comrades—worked so hard to build is the organization whose members built the campus anti-apartheid struggle in the 1980s; who worked together with working-class community activists in small towns around the Midwest in the Midwest Network to Stop the Klan in the 1990s; whose student members built the National Network of Campuses Against the War (against Iraq in 1991); and the Campus Anti-War Network in 2002-2004; that helped to build national-level solidarity with the Illinois War Zone workers in the mid-1990s; who helped build the Campaign to End the Death Penalty that helped turn the tide against capital punishment; who took a leadership role in building the 2009 National Equality March for LGBTQ rights; who helped to organize the University of Wisconsin teaching assistants union to lead the occupation of the state capitol in the 2011 Wisconsin Uprising; whose members worked alongside other comrades in the Chicago Teachers Union to organize the successful 2012 Chicago teachers’ strike and to provide a model for the recent Red State revolt and the first ever (successful) strike against charter schools; whose consistent commitment to defending the right to abortion has been expressed in the militant defense of abortion clinics through all decades of the ISO’s existence. Many more struggles and campaigns could be mentioned. Socialist Worker remains an unparalleled chronicle of the struggle against oppression and exploitation through its 42-year run.