Line of March

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Line of March was an Oakland based Maoist organization founded in 1970 by Irwin Silber. It became the Frontline Political Organization and later Crossroads, founded in conjunction with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.[1]

It was part of a movement of communist organizations in the 1970s called, The Trend. Other organizations included the Communist Party USA, Maoist New Communist Movement, the Guardian newspaper, Guardian Clubs, CrossRoads, Organizing Committee for an Ideological Center, El Committee-MINP, and other groups.[2]

Theoretical Journal

The Line of March theoretical journal was simply named - Line of March:A journal of Marxist-Leninist Theory and Politics. It was published by the Institute for Social and Economic Studies, PO Box 2809, Oakland California.

Personnel

In 1980 the Line of March editorial board consisted of co-editors Bruce Occena and Irwin Silber, managing editor Margery Rosnick and Linda Burnham, Max Elbaum, Melinda Paras and Bob Wing. [3].

In 1987 the Line of March editorial board consisted of Linda Burnham, Max Elbaum, Bruce Occena, Melinda Paras, Irwin Silber and Cathi Tactaquin.[4]

Regional contacts

In 1980, Line of March regional contacts included;[5]

The end

The end of Line of March was described by former member Ethan Young;

In 1989-90 LOM decided to make a move from a cadre group to a looser association. In spirit it was something like the Democratic Socialist Party of Australia dissolving into the Socialist Alliance [and in fact some DSPers were present at the last national meeting, as well as Peter Camejo].
The transition didn't take. When people work for years in a group with tight discipline and orders from above [or as we liked to euphemize, "the center"], shifting gears is very hard. The successor group lasted a year before members decided to concentrate on the lives they left behind - jobs, finishing school, new families. Most went into careers in social services, nonprofits or unions.

One reason why the transition was particularly hard was that the leader of the group, who had been an inspiration for everyone - no, it wasn't Irwin Silber - fell into drugs and began to burn out, first secretly and then to the entire membership's horror and disorientation. There was a split - and anyone who ever took part in a cadre group knows how devastating a split can be, especially if the group is large enough that few people knew all the members, but small enough so that everyone would be affected personally.
I think the leadership wisely and empathetically brought the project to a slow, steady stop, allowing members to regain their bearings and move on.
A core of members [including Max and Irwin] turned over the group's resources to a new project, CrossRoads magazine, which was a direct unitary response to the crisis in the organized left as the whole. Among the more illustrious supporters were Gil Green, Harry Hay, Elizabeth Martinez, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, David McReynolds, Muhammed Ahmad [Max Stanford] and Camejo.[6]

References

  1. Marxism, archives of University of Utah
  2. Elbaum, Max. Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals turn to Lenin, Mao and Che. Verso, 2002.
  3. LOM, Vol 1, No 1, May-June 1980
  4. LOM, No 20, Winter 1987/88
  5. LOM, Vol 1,No 2, July Aug. 1980 p 2
  6. Re: [Marxism Line of March from [Ethan Young]Date, Wed, 15 Sep 2010]