Left Unity must defend the ideas of Karl Marx and Rosa Luxemburg:

  • Tom
  • May 20, 2013 at 4:36 am
  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
  • I have no idea who Jimmy is, but who does he think is swooning on this website over Mao Zedong? Certainly not me.
  • Neither do I ‘swoon’ over Lenin or Trotsky. But I am certainly not going to sit back let a long queue of anti-Marxists on Left Unity lie about what Lenin and Trotsky argued.
  • Isaac Newton used to say that he saw further than others not because he was a giant but because he stood on the shoulders of giants. And Gramsci made that point with respect to socialists in his Prison Notebooks, taking issue with crude ‘Marxists’ whose ignorance actually damages the cause of socialism.
  • While Gramsci is often contrasted to Lenin and Trotsky (typically by those who pose as socialists but remain in reality every bit as determined to defend capitalism as was Eduard Bernstein, or Neil Kinnock), in every key respects they share the exact same politics. But that didn’t stop Lenin, Trotsky, Luxemburg and Gramsci arguing over the details as ferociously as Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr did, to the benefit of the scientific community. And Marxists in Left Unity will argue with each other without it necessarily descending into the notorious so-called ‘snake-pit’.
  • The method of Marxism (of scientific socialism) is what is important. And those who support the scientific socialist method of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky and Gramsci need to be accepted as an indispensable pillar of Left Unity. I am not calling for any rational and constructive critics of any of these Marxist to be excluded from Left Unity; I don’t want that. However, supporters of Marxism must not be excluded neither. Ken Loach calls for Left Unity to be an explicitly anti-capitalist group and he is absolutely right about that.
  • To attempt to build Left unity on the basis of Tony Blair’s and Eduard Bernstein’s explicit commitment to capitalism (or even the agnosticism of the soft left in the Labour Party) is to build on sand. There are far too many pro-capitalist parties fighting for a share of the capitalist vote in Britain today: Tories, Lib Dems, Labour, UKIP, Greens, nationalists in Scotland and Wales. Every one of them now splitting each others votes, proving to be a nightmare for the lot of them.
  • David Cameron’s Tories are the latest victims of Britain’s anti-democratic first-past-the-post electoral system, thanks to the hapless but nonetheless dangerous Nigel Farage.
  • Left Unity has to mount our electoral challenge with a unique selling point: people before profit. You can’t control what you don’t own.
  • Left Unity needs to repopularize the Clause Four vision of a society based on public ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange.
  • Left Unity needs to make the case for production being democratically planned for social need, not private greed.
  • Left Unity has to give a voice to all the atomised members of our class screaming at the television sets to expose the broadcast media’s lies about what is and what is not popular.
  • Left Unity needs to tap into the massive well of support for shifting economic resources from warfare to welfare.
  • These priorities are all – at the very least – potentially extremely popular. Left Unity can take the alienation that’s been fueling the rise of the xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, ultra-Thatcherite UKIP. We can take a substantial section of this none-of-the-above sigh of the oppressed and redirect it in a positive direction. Without the intervention of Left Unity, UKIP are getting an easy ride. They are being aided and abetted by most of the broadcast media to peddle a series of scapegoating, divide and rule diversions. This is done quite consciously to stop voters focusing on the source of all our misery: the profiteering parasites.
  • Left Unity not only can but must debate fraternally how to end the system of wage slavery. But we cannot waste too much time debating whether it should be ended. This is why we need to discuss the ideas of Luxemburg, Gramsci and the rest of the Marxists. And it is why I for one will not be intimidated by any supporter of wage slavery into shutting up about Karl Marx, Rosa Luxemburg or anyone else.

[an edited and extended version of a comment that I left on Left Unity’s website: http://leftunity.org/the-significance-of-the-political-psychology-of-individual-leaders/]

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3 Responses to Left Unity must defend the ideas of Karl Marx and Rosa Luxemburg:

  1. Dane says:

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    • TomDelargy says:

      Thanks Dane. I don’t get a lot of comments, which is a shame. I don’t mind getting critical comments provided they are constructive. When I get something as positive as this I am surprised. Part of me wonders if you are pulling my leg. If you are I don’t mind. And if you are serious, then thanks. Nice to know I am appreciated. 🙂


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