The SWP and Pandora
The Odd Couple
volume 3
issue 1
Spring 1977

Who would have guessed that Lindy Laub, reporter for the feminist paper Pandora at the Radical Women Conference, was a secret member of the Socialist Workers Party?

Laub posed as an “impartial” observer at the Conference, and both she and the Pandora editors carefully neglected to mention that her subsequent article was actually an SWP critique of RW.

So the SWP, which pretends to deplore FBI infiltration and deception, utilizes identical tactics in its war against RW. Some revolutionary morality!

Laub’s self-serving report of the Conference was replete with red-baiting and gratuitous plugging of the SWP and its reformist policies and candidates.

Her volley of distortions began with the charge that RW and unnamed “other groups” are “fronts” for the FSP. The term “front” describes organizations that conceal the political motives and affiliations of members. But, in contrast to Laub’s deception, the RW-FSP affiliation, formalized in 1974, has been open and public. Laub’s accusation is analogous to calling YSA, the SWP’s youth section, a “front.”

Laub then red-baited United Workers Union-Independent as “Radical Women’s own union,” accusing UWU-I of “dual unionism” — i.e., subverting the interests of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). United Workers, however, is composed of members with varied or no politics who work both inside and outside AFSCME in order to pressure that bureaucratic monolith into protecting workers’ rights.

UWU-I grew out of a staff strike at the University of Washington which AFSCME scabbed on, and militant campus workers scorn AFSCME. Without UWU-I, an innovative and responsive union, low-paid minority, white and women workers would belong to no union.

Discussing the floor debate at the Conference between RW and Spartacist League over feminism, affirmative action and the fight for reforms, Laub confusedly endorsed the SL stand, directly contradicting SWP policy!

A major Conference focus on the developing leadership of minority women was completely omitted in Laub’ s article — a deplorable mark of racism-by-omission.

At first sight, Pandora and the SWP are strange bedpartners, particularly since Pandora recently featured an “exposé” of SWP’ s super-cautious, single-issueism in the women’s movement. However. they both deal in red-baiting, slander. provocation, and attempts to discredit RW/FSP by any unprincipled means available, blithely using each other.

Spartacists hit RW from the radical ultra-left, SWP from the radical ultra-right, and Pandora from the camp of bourgeois feminism. Given the nature of its opponents. Radical Women must be doing something right!