Tag - SWP

Is Leninism finished? Tedious article ponderously says No

Lenin said it, we believe it, that settles it.

Lenin said it, we believe it, that settles it.

In the aftermath of the SWP-UK implosion over rape allegations comes the usual lengthy, tedious, rote apologia for Leninism and Socialism. Raise the banner high, mates, we shall triumph over the capitalists and their running dog apologists by consulting the dusty tomes to determine what Saint Karl of Marx might have done and recite yet again the deeply stirring (and mostly irrelevant) history of what happened during Marxism’s glory days almost 100 years ago. Then we will deem ourselves to be without error and carry on as before, careful to change nothing about how we do things.

It is crucial that such articles never have graphics or pictures because that would certainly detract from its Seriousness and would probably be boojie anyway. Humor is also forbidden as it is deeply frivolous and counter-revolutionary. Finally, such articles must be unending paragraphs of turgid prose.

Is Leninism Dead by Alex Callinicos in Socialist Review is a nigh-on perfect example of the muddled, archaic thinking too prevalent on the hard left. It’s preachy, dull, boring to read, looks continually to the past for ideas, resolutely doesn’t get the internet or social media, and includes this gem of confusion.

One thing the entire business has reminded us of is the dark side of the Internet. Enormously liberating though the net is, it has long been known that it allows salacious gossip to be spread and perpetuated – unless the victim has the money and the lawyers to stop it. Unlike celebrities, small revolutionary organisations don’t have these resources, and their principles stop them from trying to settle political arguments in the bourgeois courts.

This is, of course, rubbish. The Internet allows small players to publicize themselves and refute rumors quickly and easily. A few tweets to the right people on Twitter can lead to rumors being stopped fast. But doing this does require understanding how the net works, something Callinicos and Socialist Review clearly do not. In an almost comical example of this, the article doesn’t allow comments. You have to email the editor instead. How quaint. How backwards. This also clearly demonstrates one of the biggest problems of current Marxism and Leninism, especially when it comes to the little baby revolutionary party groupuscules. You are expected to listen as they enlighten you to the truth they received when Lenin spoke to them through the burning bush. They don’t want feedback. They aren’t interested in your thoughts. They preach, you absorb. Any questions? And then they wonder why fewer and fewer are listening to them.

Socialism still has lots of good ideas. But many of its zealots are so wedded to the past they can’t see, much less work towards change in the present.

Richard Seymour denounces SWP leadership

Richard Seymour

Richard Seymour

I’d figured Richard Seymour of Lenin’s Tomb would be a hard-line SWP member and defend the current diseased regime. I was wrong. Good. Not only is he refusing to knuckle under to the SWP don’t discuss it order, he’s telling SWP members to fight and overturn their current, corrupt leadership.

This is the thing that all party members need to understand. Even on cynical grounds, the Central Committee has no strategy for how to deal with this. A scandal has been concealed, lied about, then dumped on the members in the most arrogant and stupid manner possible. The leadership is expecting you to cope with this. This isn’t the first time that such unaccountable practices have left you in the lurch. You will recall your pleasure on waking up to find out that Respect was collapsing and that it was over fights that had been going on for ages which no one informed you about. But this is much worse. They expect you to go to your activist circles, your union, your workplaces, and argue something that is indefensible. Not only this, but in acting in this way, they have – for their own bureaucratic reasons – broken with a crucial component of the politics of the International Socialist tradition that undergirds the SWP. The future of the party is at stake, and they are on the wrong side of that fight. You, as members, have to fight for your political existence. Don’t simply drift away, don’t simply bury your face in your palms, and don’t simply cling to the delusional belief that the argument was settled at conference. You must fight now.

Socialist Workers Party UK – How the far left makes itself useless

The Great Dictator

Oh gosh, the Socialist Workers Party UK is undergoing yet another of its regular blood-lettings. Their Stalinist central committee demands thought control and departing from their directives is not permitted, even if rape allegations have been made against one of them. After all, they’ve  investigated themselves and declared themselves pure as the driven snow and are just gobsmacked that some people believe them to be duplicitous, hypocritical weaseldicks.

The Party is demanding loyalty oaths from members. Walker notes that Party workers are being told that they must guarantee not to mention the case again at the pain of losing their job.

I was a member of a similar far left group here in the US until I was purged (I was walking away from them anyway.) In retrospect, it all seems a bit comical. A central committee of humorless zealots imposes their views on members and deludes themselves into thinking they are the vanguard of the revolution. In reality, the working class they fancy themselves leading generally thinks Marxist ideologues are idiots, when they think about them at all.

This is why the far left is basically dead. They have no support among the general population and mostly just engage in fratricidal infighting. I’m beginning to suspect most of their leaders don’t really want to lead a revolution when they can be tin pot dictators over their itty bitty empires instead.