A Marxist student group at Swarthmore College disbanded itself earlier this year after realizing that its members were too rich and too white to be real commies.
According to screenshots confidentially provided to Campus Reform by an individual with access to the group’s private Facebook page, the demise of the Swarthmore Anti-Capitalist Collective (SACC) came in the wake of a farewell letter from a member who had decided the group could never be an effective proponent of “unproblematized anticapitalist politics” due to its “history of abuse, racism, and even classism.”
"Their main support base was middle-upper class white kids who enjoy jogging."
“From my understanding SACC disbanded because they realized the makeup and tactics of their group was at odds with their espoused principles,” Swarthmore Conservative Society President Gilbert Guerra told Campus Reform. “Their main support base was middle-upper class white kids who enjoy jogging.”The farewell letter corroborates Guerra’s understanding, asserting that “SACC’s fundamental failure” was that “at its formation, it was made up of entirely white, with the exception of one person of color*, students,” and to make matters worse, “not one of [the founding members] are from low-income and/or working class backgrounds.”
Arguing that “low-income people of color should never be an afterthought in a group whose politics supposedly focus on their liberation,” the author then went on to accuse SACC of having a “history of abuse, racism, and even classism that was never adequately addressed or recognized despite constantly being brought up as an issue.”
The screenshots provided to Campus Reform do not include dates, but the SACC Facebook page suggests that the group may have folded at some point in late-March or April. The page has seen no activity since March 26, prior to which posts had been added on a fairly regular basis.
Campus Reform reached out to other former SACC members for their take on the group’s disbandment, but none were willing to comment.Guerra agreed strongly with the letter-writer’s assessment that SACC was ineffective, telling Campus Reform that “SACC didn’t do anything noteworthy during their existence,” and had little impact on campus discourse.
“If anything,” he said, “I think the legacy of that particular group will turn out to be motivating some apathetic students to become involved in the Conservative Society.”
As for the future of Marxist groups on campus—which the SACC letter optimistically predicted would provide a “future for anti-capitalist organizing on this campus”—Guerra said that he expects there will be a “new Maoist group on campus in the fall,” but didn’t seem terribly concerned about its prospects.
Saying that such a group is “a foregone conclusion” because there are many leftist students at Swarthmore who want to actively “resist during the Trump Presidency,” Guerra noted that the only question now “is whether this new group will be any more sustainable that [sic] the past couple of leftist groups that have splintered and fizzled out.”