Comrades in the Socialist Workers Party should feel a degree of pride. The enemies of the party are indulging in a smear campaign. These people tell lies. They expect to be able to get away with it. Some comrades might not feel confident about standing up to the smears. But they need to console themselves with the knowledge that there is nothing new in Leninist parties having to go through such a baptism of fire.
In July 1917, Lenin had to go into hiding and Trotsky was tossed in jail. From the start of the February Revolution, the Bolsheviks had been going from strength to strength in terms of recruitment and growing influence within the workers and soldiers councils. Lenin’s party tried their very best to use their influence to hold back anarchist moods in Petrograd. They were not completely successful. But the Menshevik government ministers who were selling out the masses, whose support had been haemoraging to the Bolsheviks as a consequence of this, decided that if they couldn’t defeat the Bolsheviks by fair means, they’d make shit up.
The Mensheviks decided that their only hope of stopping the growing influence of the Bolsheviks was to invent a myth about Lenin and his supporters being German spies. Given that the Russian soldiers were still at war, since the Mensheviks refused to negotiate peace, the workers, peasants and soldiers were not enthusiastic about tolerating German spies in their midst. But it was all a lie. And the Mensheviks knew it was a lie. They simply did not care: the ends justified the means as far as the Mensheviks were concerned. And that brings me today’s witch hunt against the SWP by Andy Newman and his Trojan Horse Tendency within the SWP.
Where is the evidence for any of their allegations of criminality? It simply does not exist. Or if it does it has not been produced by anyone, which begs a question: why the hell not? Does Andy Newman care? Do any of the sectarians engaging in poisonous gossip on his blog care? No, not a jot. No more than the Mensheviks cared that Lenin and his supporters were being framed. But this witch hunt didn’t last all that long. The witch hunters were easily exposed for what they were. The witch hunt merely steeled Lenin’s party, which in turn accelerated further growth in terms of recruitment and influence. The same should hold true for the SWP.
It is not going to be the SWP who suffer from Andy Newman’s pathetic witch hunt. It is Andy himself who is going to be exposed for what he is. If his victims sue him for slander and libel, I for one will shed no tears. This is a mess of his own making.