Initial reactions to Peter Waterman
Part of a dialog on Labor-L, April 2000
From: Bob Rosen <bobrosen@HOME.COM>
Peter Waterman is here. Jumpin' Joe McCarthy rides again. When is the last time you read the term "Communist front organization" when it actually appears to be taken seriously? End the Cold War in Labour, indeed. Send Waterman to collect his CIA paycheck and then shut his mouth. This kind of paranoid (not to mention self-aggrandizing) "analysis" doesn't really serve to enlighten anyone.....
From: Kim Scipes <sscipe1@ICARUS.CC.UIC.EDU>
Bob Rosen just posted a very dismissive message in response to Peter Waterman's lengthy report on the WFTU--I can't repost it without reposting all of Waterman's original piece, which I assume all have already seen.
Having personally known Waterman for 16 years, and knowing of his work at the WFTU, I found this report very worthy of consideration. To my knowledge, he is the only person who has ever reported on working for the WFTU from within the organization.
You might not like his irreverent style, but I believe his argument must be seriously considered: the WFTU, even in its supposed heyday, was a joke, especially for workers.
This may have changed, or it may not. If one thinks it has changed, then it is your responsibility to present evidence to that effect. Dismissing Waterman's account is not sufficient--the man has done too much good work, for too long, to be blown off by some cute little smart ass statement. (And I say this after having numerous arguments with the man over things where I have presented evidence contrary to his. And we're still friends!)
Attacks on a person in order to discredit his/her argument just don't get it. If we cannot treat each other with respect, how can we expect anyone else to treat us with respect?