Category: Other News


Samuel Farber wrote a piece in the Jacobin Magazine

Samuel Farber (Professor Emeritus)

Wrote a piece in the Jacobin Magazine titled “We Can’t Cede Transparency to Liberals”


A long time ago, the leaders of the socialist organization I belonged to, the now-defunct International Socialists (IS), decided, with the approval of the group’s annual convention, to cease distributing to members the minutes of the political leadership body’s deliberations. This new policy was designed to prevent the revelation of political differences among national leaders, which, they argued, encouraged the factionalism that had led to the splits in the organization’s recent past.

While the concern was well-founded, I always thought that for an organization like the IS, one of the most democratic on the US left, the remedy lied in changing the political culture of the group through discussion and education on that issue instead of heavy-handed organizational measures that deprived members of information necessary to make democratic decisions. Since I was one of those that most strenuously objected to the new policy at the annual convention that approved it, one of the leaders criticized me for advocating what he called “fishbowl” political deliberations, deliberations that were completely transparent.

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