On the Logan Show Trial
Appendix D i
Excerpt from 17 August 1976 document by Libby S.
When Y. [Rad] was in New York over two years ago, he stayed at [Steve] Green’s place in Chicago for a week. He later told me that in one discussion with Green, Green had remarked that he “wished Robertson had quit instead of Geoff White.” Y. was a bit disturbed by the remark, as by certain words and actions of other members, as evidence of anti-Robertson feeling in the organization, notably in the cadre. (During Y.’s visit, he was disturbed also by Robertson’s behavior in that it was apolitical and personalistic and irresponsible. Y., the putative leader of a new to-be section, had a difficult time getting to speak with Robertson at all and, when he did, Robertson drinked and joked and wouldn’t talk politics. Y. was further disturbed by Robertson’s political pessimism and a statement that, if he had to do it all over again, he, Robertson, would be an archaeologist.) In any case, Green’s remark was one isolated comment and both of us basically forgot about it. About a year later, when Robertson visited the nucleus, he was discussing with us Green’s planned sojourn in Europe and the projection that Green would in the future be a good candidate for National Secretary of the SL. I remembered the remark of Green’s to Y. and told Robertson about it. Robertson reacted in an extreme manner: he asked Y. to write an affidavit and me to sign as wit-ness—he told us he intended to confront Green with it in New York, with Gordon as witness. “This may be the end for Green,” said Robertson. Both Y. and I were taken aback by the sharp reaction and the affidavit business (especially Y., who was annoyed with me for behaving like a little reporter over some slight remark—I think Y. was right and it represented my partial assimilation into Robertsonism). The story on Green was true and so we wrote the affidavit, but were quite uncomfortable about it. ([Reuben] Samuels later remarked to me that, because of that affidavit, Green went to Europe “with a cloud over his head”). As for Green’s “vehement denial”: we both saw Green in Europe last summer. He mentioned to me that Robertson had discussed the matter with him. I asked him what had been said. He replied: nothing much, that he explained to Robertson that it had been a harmless comment of some sort and that was the end of that. He added that he did not think it was incorrect for members to pass on such comments to the leadership if they thought the comments were of political or organizational importance. Green did not indicate any anger and certainly did not accuse either of us of “libelling” him. In fact, the three of us spent some very pleasant personal and political time together in Vienna and, later, Y. and Green spent 1-2 weeks working together in London, during which time they got along fine. I’m quite sure that Green never made this charge of “libel,” but that it came from the feverish mind of Robertson as he sought reasons for “expulsion” that he could put into writing. It is not true, as your letter states, that Y. ever said that Green approached him on the question “of a possible bloc against the international tendency.” I simply reported the one remark of Green’s, as noted above, and neither of us characterized it. It is an excellent example of the hysterical exaggerations (which are no more than lies), born of paranoia and bureaucratism (related phenomena), typical of the Robertson regime that the remark “I wish Robertson had quit instead of Geoff White” becomes translated into “an approach to Y. to make a bloc against the international tendency”—not even a simple exaggeration like an approach to make a factional struggle (which was also not true) but a bloc against the whole tendency! What a fantastic paranoid bureaucratic mind!
I was present for the remarks of Logan, which he made in a discussion with Y. and myself when he visited the nucleus [in October 1974]. Samarakkody had just visited North America and it had become clear that there was no longer any perspective for fusion with his group. Both Y. and I were intensely disappointed and felt it was a real blow for the tendency. I expressed myself most fully on the subject, saying that we had long understood the need for an injection of experienced cadre, the need for a balance to the weight of the American section—so as to facilitate the forming of a correct line in international questions, and to redress the organizational balance internationally (the “authority” of the tendency having its overwhelming weight in the U.S. organization)—and without the Samarakkody group there was not, at the moment, the perspective of such a balance developing. This evaluation of the importance of the Samarakkody group to the tendency had been the line of the PB [Spartacist League/U.S. Political Bureau], until the perspective fell through. (Of course today the “international” Spartacist tendency is completely lopsided with all power within the organization residing in the American leadership—a “sympathizing section,” another new animal, becomes a “full section” after demonstrating its submissiveness to the Robertson regime.) Logan responded to my concern over the Samarakkody question by saying that I was exaggerating the importance of the Samarakkody group to the tendency—and that the tendency was not so unbalanced, really, as I said. After all, said Logan, “if Y. and I blocked on a question, we would be a real force within the tendency.” That’s all he said (we both thought it was an odd comment and weren’t quite sure what to make of such a comment, but said nothing to Logan at the time) and, to my knowledge, all Y. ever said to Robertson was what I’ve reported above. Y. told the story to Robertson in the heat of a sharp argument between the two of them (I don’t believe anyone else was present) during the March  events—when Robertson said something like: “why can’t you be good like Logan?” While Logan used the expression “bloc” and Y. repeated this to Robertson, again, neither Y. nor myself has ever said anything about Logan approaching Y. for a “bloc against the international tendency.” More gems from the fertile mind of Robertson. In addition, Logan has never said a word to us about this, nor us to him.
Posted: February 2008