ISOnuts: one stop activism and the gentrification of the left

ISOnuts cover

An Activist enters the bizarre and alienating world of the International Socialist Organization.

Comrade Motopu's perennial classic "ISOnuts" is a first hand account of an activist's interactions with the International Socialist Organization and their front group Students Against War (SAW). It was self-published in 2006. This was really my first attempt at political writing outside the classroom setting. Despite some fairly wacky pontificating at the end and some pretentious writing throughout, I consider it a success in that it captured the alienating tactics and attitudes of the ISO cadre. At the time I was just beginning to immerse in anarchist and Marxist literature and read labor history. Given the use of peanuts comics and general craziness of the experience, the end portion is actually in the same irreverent spirit and the general style works for its intentional and unintentional humor. I'm glad I was encouraged to write up the experience as it helped me see the possibility of sharing my own analysis with others. I sold many of the pamphlets for a dollar each at the SF Anarchist Book Fairs where it was a small hit. It also led me to insist that my comrades of the Insane Dialectical Posse create a pamphlet for the San Francisco 2005 Fare Strike, which I contributed an account to along with many other participants.

ISOnuts- One Stop Activism and the Gentrificaiton of the Left.pdf1.94 MB

Posted By

Comrade Motopu
Jun 19 2017 09:38


  • In my awakening to ISO manipulation of Students Against War, it was helpful that I had a friend in the ISO, who for some reason, and not at my behest, would post messages from their private listserv at my political chat site!


Jun 24 2017 11:32

Interesting reading, it was very familiar to my limited experiences with the SPEW in the UK. and I've read similar accounts of working in the SWP and Irish Socialist Party.