Andy Newman and Richard Seymour are trying to destroy the SWP. Most sectarians have been wading in. I guess that is the thing sectarians do.
These people can unite against their largest competitor on the left in the tragedy lampooned in Life of Brian. What these sectarians are unable to do is unite themselves on anything more substantial than giving the SWP a good kicking.
Andy Newman’s blog a dog turd feast for sectarian flies. They are like cannibal trolls wasting each other’s time. They have the solidity of dust and that is why Andy Newman’s hope of smashing the SWP will prove more difficult that he had hoped.
No Leninist fist will be forged out of these mutually repulsive ions. Their destructive infighting turns workers off. Leave them to their own devices.
Our class is not that keen on gossip mongering. They want due process. Put up or shut up. You got evidence of a crime then you produce it. Otherwise, go fuck yourself.
No socialist who wants to junk due process is going to get a hearing within our class when the genuine issues are debated. The SWP doesn’t have anything to worry about. It is those who have been witch hunting them who face problems.
Their obsessions will come back to haunt them. The SWP can pick itself up and get back into the serious business of championing the unity of the working class and acting as the tribune of all the oppressed.
But in order to maximise its effectiveness, the SWP would be well advised to ask themselves why this witch hunt began? It is possible that there is no simple answer to that. Shit happens. Just your run of the mill cock-up. No conspiracy? I guess that’s possible. However, I’m not buying it.
Capitalism today has plunged into the kind of crisis that poses a question mark over its very existence. Socialism or barbarism are the choices humanity faces today as it did in the 1930s, with similar alternatives back on the agenda: popular front, cross class alliances, including some very radical ones, as waits in the wings in Greece; others much less radical, such as the one in France that immediately lived up to its lack of promise, paving the way for an immediate bounce-back by the right.
Maybe there will be a restoration of capitalist prosperity, as eventually happened after Trotsky’s death. However, maybe such a restoration of the rate of profit in the advanced capitalist world will require similar kinds of pain our grandparents had to endure: fascism, war and civil war, mass unemployment, the ever-present threat of nuclear holocaust.
It is not inconceivable that a tsunami or two of class struggles in country after country might open up vistas of a genuinely democratic society based on working class solidarity, like the Paris Commune. Indeed, I think it is inconceivable that we won’t see such examples as was commonplace at the end of WWI, 1930s Europe, globally after 1968.
Maybe the capitalist state will fragment, necessarily coinciding with the birth of organs of workers’ power. And maybe both classes will challenge each other for hegemony. And maybe parties of the left will attempt to unite our class a la Lenin’s Bolsheviks and those who tried to emulate this in German, Italy and everywhere else.
Maybe key sections of the ruling class have gotten Marxist history books out of the library. I’ve heard that kind of thing is not uncommon when global capitalism faces an existential crisis. Maybe such establishment figures will want to see to it that the SWP are out of the picture long before Ed Miliband’s One Nation Tory Party ‘alternative’ is swept aside by a rising tide of mass political strikes.
Maybe the idea of a democratic centralist vanguard party constructed along the lines of Lenin’s Bolsheviks, surfing a tsunami of mass political strikes and other forms of mass civil disobedience, fills the establishment with dread. I think so.
Maybe this is why their undercover cops degrade themselves into stealing the identities of our dead children, sending vile individuals likes of Mark Stone Kennedy into our ranks to frame activists, while sexually and psychologically abusing women activists which they deem a state-subsidized perk which the police insist must not be criminalized. Pass the sick bucket.
And maybe all the above goes part of the way to explaining why we find deluded academic Marxists like of Richard Seymour and hopeless buffoons like Andy Newman trying to paralyze the SWP, framing individuals, fomenting faction fighting designed to give innocent bystanders the unedifying spectacle of fisticuffs at branch meetings and on public paper sales. Richard Seymour knows exactly that this is what he is doing. The question is why is he doing it.
The SWP must not defend democratic centralism in an anti-dialectical manner. Leninist organisation is not counterposed to united fronts, electoral pacts or democratic forums. On the contrary, all the above are indispensable to helping the SWP transform itself into a democratic centralist tendency within a broader workers’ party. The SWP must aspire to do this in precisely the same way the Bolsheviks worked constructively within the RSDLP, did so for year after year after year, did so to the mutual benefit of the entire Russian labour movement. The SWP’s future has to be as that kind of a tendency within a broader, democratic TUSC.
TUSC is vital today because elections are as important as they have always been. The SWP cannot become a mass workers party overnight. It cannot accomplish this without exploiting parliamentary elections in the precisely the way that the Bolsheviks did, or the KPD, PCI et al did. The first-past-the-post electoral system requires that the SWP pulls its resources alongside others in the Socialist Party and the ISN.
Chris Huhn’s resignation has the potential to shake things up. Nigel Farage has chosen not to stand in the by-election. Even so, I believe Tory infighting may lead to UKIP pulling off a dramatic win, not because they offer the voters anything, but simply due to a further fracturing of the coalition, which may accelerate the talk about dumping David Cameron. Not many pundits see mileage in the idea that Cameron could be toppled this side of the general election. I don’t care what the consensus is. I can see him falling as a consequence of Andy Coulson’s evidence.I can see the supporters of Andrew Mitchell taking revenge against David Cameron. His pulling the referendum rabbit out of a hat is a con-trick. It’s not real magic at all.
Unity within the Tory Party won’t last for long. Ed Miliband can’t think on his feet. He can’t inspire. He can’t galvanize those who want an alternative to capitalist austerity for two simple reasons: he is uninspiring in general and he supports capitalist austerity.
UKIP are simply the latest in a long series of safety valves for the capitalist class who fear (with good reason) all those alienated from the parties of the establishment. But UKIP can be taken on. Nigel Farage’s hard-line Thatcherism, anti-trade unionism, xenophobia, regressive taxes need to be focused on. A progressive electoral alternative has to be posed. The SWP has to be part of that. And the witch hunt against the SWP is almost certainly related to the British establishment’s growing anxieties that TUSC is waiting in the wings.