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The SWP on anarchism, John Molyneux speaking at Marxism 2012

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Mark.
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Sep 19 2012 10:33
The SWP on anarchism, John Molyneux speaking at Marxism 2012

Any responses to this?

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the button
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Sep 19 2012 12:50

Cock. roll eyes

Will that do?

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Entdinglichung
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Sep 19 2012 12:59

don't insult cocks!

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Railyon
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Sep 19 2012 13:21

SWP and Marxist in the same sentence?! Oh the irony!

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Arbeiten
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Sep 19 2012 13:22

I love it. I was about to say 'he is only doing this because anarchism threatens to become more appealing than selling papers', which is basically what he says in his first sentence.

I honestly can't be fucked to listen to this for an hour. Can someone summarise the greatest hits?

N.B. Does anyone have a video of Harvey getting boo'ed at Marxism 2012?

yourmum
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Sep 19 2012 13:30

his argument goes like: revolution situation - we need state and armed forces to beat up the white guard. then we need taxes (money) to keep the hospitals running and pay them workers. greatest hit is probably his sentence towards military stregism: if every commune defends itself, the white guard will hit the weakest commune and take it from there.

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jura
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Sep 19 2012 15:35
Arbeiten wrote:
N.B. Does anyone have a video of Harvey getting boo'ed at Marxism 2012?

It's not really booing, but here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbqcxFS2P40&feature=player_detailpage#t=3... (54:05).

andy g
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Sep 19 2012 20:28

(deep breath)

Hi. My name is Andy and I'm a SWuPy....

gonna try not to proselytize (tough crowd) but Molyneux is very careful to point out he regards class struggle anarchists as "comrades" and does enjoin any anarchists present to join the debate. there is also a little warning to fellow SWP drones not to be sectarian in response.

glad to see we're all on the same page (he says, haughtily.... wink )

andy g
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Sep 19 2012 21:06

oh and did you notice we got the member most closely resembling Bakunin (or possibly Hagrid) to do the meeting on anarchism? sneaky trots......

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EastTexasRed
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Sep 19 2012 21:12

He sums up his opposition to anarchism as "it cannot win". I can only think of two (obvious) situations in which this proposition was ever tested. The first saw a dictatorial centralised marxist counter-revolutionary state suppressing all forms of revolutionary opposition; the second saw - oh, hang on - a dictatorial centralised marxist counter-revolutionary state etc etc. When those are your 'comrades', it's pretty hard to win. But then winning as he means it is about power. And all socialist parties are utterly obsessed with power, so I don't even know why I'm bothering.

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EastTexasRed
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Sep 19 2012 21:15

SWuPy? That's very cuddly.

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JoeMaguire
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Sep 20 2012 06:48
andy g wrote:
(deep breath)

Hi. My name is Andy and I'm a SWuPy....

gonna try not to proselytize (tough crowd) but Molyneux is very careful to point out he regards class struggle anarchists as "comrades" and does enjoin any anarchists present to join the debate. there is also a little warning to fellow SWP drones not to be sectarian in response.

Coming from someone who has distorted anarchism regularly, I think the 'comrade' bit gives away how viable the SWP are at present time and how much they need to 'mop up and fuck off' - as a member once illustrated their strategy to me.

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jonthom
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Sep 20 2012 07:27
andy g wrote:
(deep breath)

Hi. My name is Andy and I'm a SWuPy....

gonna try not to proselytize (tough crowd) but Molyneux is very careful to point out he regards class struggle anarchists as "comrades" and does enjoin any anarchists present to join the debate. there is also a little warning to fellow SWP drones not to be sectarian in response.

glad to see we're all on the same page (he says, haughtily.... wink )

I've had time to watch the video yet, but I did read the pamphlet he wrote on anarchism last year (I think?). Assuming this covers the same sort of ground, I find it kinda difficult to read the word "comrades" here with a straight face; the pamphlet, at least, was full of the sort of misrepresentations and simplistic cliches that I've come to expect from the SWP on anarchism, to be honest.

(fwiw I do have plenty of friends in the SWP who I like and respect; I do find however that the "party line" is often rather dire.)

A few obvious examples: castigating anarchists for refusing to form organisations on the one hand, then criticising anarchist organisations (such as the CNT) on the other; attacking direct action as "elitist", then arguing it's useful and every movement has it, then arguing that actually what's needed is mass action (which is, in the swuppieverse, incompatible with direct action - except when the SWP does it); refusing to talk about anything more contemporary than 1936; criticising the actions of the CNT or processes like consensus as some sort of indictment of anarchism, despite some of the most incisive criticisms of these having come from anarchists themselves; endlessly referencing Marx, Engels and various SWP publications on anarchism while barely quoting a single anarchist directly; etc., etc.

It's not that every single criticism being made is entirely groundless (though some are); more that he's picking certain arguments and using them to attack the whole, ignoring certain issues and perspectives altogether. The whole pamphlet felt like (and, in fairness, was promoted as iirc) an attempt to discredit anarchism in favour of the SWP's brand of socialism - and the resulting bias was fairly clearly obvious, IMO.

That said, I'll try to give the video a look in a bit.

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Sep 20 2012 09:03

Surely Anarcho must have written a review of Molyneaux's poxy hack job by now, somewhere?

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ocelot
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Sep 20 2012 09:33
andy g wrote:
(deep breath)

Hi. My name is Andy and I'm a SWuPy....

gonna try not to proselytize (tough crowd) but Molyneux is very careful to point out he regards class struggle anarchists as "comrades" and does enjoin any anarchists present to join the debate. there is also a little warning to fellow SWP drones not to be sectarian in response.

Erm, is that "comrades" in the same way as the SWP used to regard George Galloway and his pals from the Muslim Brotherhood (MAB)? Only, if that's the company we'd be keeping, I'd rather pass, thanks all the same...

Also how exactly does the superiority of trotskyist analysis lead to getting into bed with George "Inserrrtion" Galloway, compared to the incoherent, unstrategic anarchists who instinctively wouldn't touch the prick with a bargepole? Surely anarchist instinct can't be superior to SWP analysis? Just curious...

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Sep 20 2012 10:08
ocelot wrote:
Surely Anarcho must have written a review of Molyneaux's poxy hack job by now, somewhere?

When David Broder and I were still in The Commune, David wrote a review that I remember as being much more caustic than what I've linked to. We must have edited it down, which is a shame.

andy g wrote:
(deep breath)

Hi. My name is Andy and I'm a SWuPy....

Really?

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Sep 20 2012 11:24

doublepost

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Railyon
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Sep 20 2012 10:22
jonthom wrote:
refusing to talk about anything more contemporary than 1936

This is obviously a problem not particular to the SWP. It's an epidemic really. So fucking sick of hearing Lenin, Trotzky and Bordiga quotes all the damn time on all topics imaginable. And people won't shut up about the October Revolution either.

Communists seem to be lost in (or to) history books and collected works of their favorite dogmatist over which they go over and over again to revive the dead once more (like Lih)

Angelus Novus
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Sep 20 2012 10:24
georgestapleton wrote:
Quote:
Hi. My name is Andy and I'm a SWuPy....

Really?

I'm in Die Linke. C.L.R. James was a member of the Labour Party until his death.

Is it really surprising to also have an SWP member this forum?

Angelus Novus
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Sep 20 2012 10:26
Railyon wrote:
Communists seem to be lost in (or to) history books and collected works of their favorite dogmatist over which they go over and over again to revive the dead once more (like Lih)

Isn't Lih's intention quite the opposite, though? i.e. not to promote the notion of "Lenin the universal and eternal revolutionary theorist", but rather to relativize Lenin as merely another figure of the Second International?

Jason Cortez
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Sep 20 2012 10:29
georgestapleton wrote:
ocelot wrote:
Surely Anarcho must have written a review of Molyneaux's poxy hack job by now, somewhere?


When David Broder and I were still in The Commune
, David wrote a review that I remember as being much more caustic than what I've linked to. We must have edited it down, which is a shame.

Is David no longer in the Commune?

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Entdinglichung
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Sep 20 2012 10:51
Angelus Novus wrote:
georgestapleton wrote:
Quote:
Hi. My name is Andy and I'm a SWuPy....

Really?

I'm in Die Linke. C.L.R. James was a member of the Labour Party until his death.

Is it really surprising to also have an SWP member this forum?

violations of the Reinheitsgebot smile

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Sep 20 2012 10:51
Angelus Novus wrote:
Isn't Lih's intention quite the opposite, though? i.e. not to promote the notion of "Lenin the universal and eternal revolutionary theorist", but rather to relativize Lenin as merely another figure of the Second International?

Not quite sure about his intent in particular, but there seems to be a current that uses Lih to try and kickstart a rebirth of social democracy pre-1914 of some sorts. Lih may be a bad example in hindsight though.

Angelus Novus
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Sep 20 2012 10:58
Railyon wrote:
Not quite sure about his intent in particular, but there seems to be a current that uses Lih to try and kickstart a rebirth of social democracy pre-1914 of some sorts.

I think that's more or less true, or more accurately, I think ex-Trots use Lih as a means of criticizing Trots, Maoists, and other Leninists over the fact that their fantasy worldview is constructed upon a myth.

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Entdinglichung
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Sep 20 2012 11:05
Railyon wrote:
jonthom wrote:
refusing to talk about anything more contemporary than 1936

This is obviously a problem not particular to the SWP. It's an epidemic really. So fucking sick of hearing Lenin, Trotzky and Bordiga quotes all the damn time on all topics imaginable. And people won't shut up about the October Revolution either.

Communists seem to be lost in (or to) history books and collected works of their favorite dogmatist over which they go over and over again to revive the dead once more (like Lih)

I've met people who even have this funny (or better: totally weird) hierarchical system of quotations used in polemical discussions: one from Marx overrules one from Engels, Engels > Lenin, Lenin > Trotzki, Trotzki = Korsch, Korsch > Bordiga, Cliff = Mandel, etc. ...

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Sep 20 2012 11:09

Reminds me a bit of DDR Marxism where the books are full of Lenin quotes but little actual Marx.

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Sep 20 2012 11:12
Railyon wrote:
Reminds me a bit of DDR Marxism where the books are full of Lenin quotes but little actual Marx.

even reading complete Lenin texts was considered subversive in GDR

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Sep 20 2012 11:15
Entdinglichung wrote:
Railyon wrote:
Reminds me a bit of DDR Marxism where the books are full of Lenin quotes but little actual Marx.

even reading complete Lenin texts was considered subversive in GDR

The MEGA project must have been blasphemy then! Well, in the SSSR it was, at least (Moscow Trials and all that jazz).

Edit: Oh look, we're talking about history and Lenin again! Those damn self-fulfilling prophecies...

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Sep 20 2012 11:21
Angelus Novus wrote:
georgestapleton wrote:
Quote:
Hi. My name is Andy and I'm a SWuPy....

Really?

I'm in Die Linke. C.L.R. James was a member of the Labour Party until his death.

Is it really surprising to also have an SWP member this forum?

Yeah, I think it is. I can understand why somebody would be a member of the old Labour party, die Linke, or the ULA in Ireland or even modern Labour, the Socialist Party, Eirigi or Sinn Fein and be on this forum. But not the SWP.

My shock is that they would be in the SWP and be looking at different political ideas. The group is a bit like a-political sparts. Everyone outside the SWP is wrong and an idiot, despite the fact that the SWP don't have coherent politics.

So where as lots of groups are really sectarian and uninterested in different ideas by saying something like "Anarchists are wrong because they don't support the deformed workers state of North Korea" or "Anarchists are wrong because they don't understand the objective structures of capitalism entering its decadent phase and are therefore unable to provide leadership to the working class", the SWP say "Anarchists are wrong because they aren't socialists, whereas we are socialists and believe in working class struggle for socialism".

It's very odd to come across a member of the SWP who isn't in academia, or in the leadership of the party, or isn't a new recruit who is genuinely and honestly interested in the ideas of the non-SWP left and is not extremely sectarian.

Honestly, after 11 years of activism I can think of two people I've worked with who were in the SWP who didn't fit into the above statement.

Jason Cortez wrote:
georgestapleton wrote:
ocelot wrote:
Surely Anarcho must have written a review of Molyneaux's poxy hack job by now, somewhere?


When David Broder and I were still in The Commune
, David wrote a review that I remember as being much more caustic than what I've linked to. We must have edited it down, which is a shame.

Is David no longer in the Commune?

Yeah maybe I should have said "active in" rather than "in". Afaik, we are both technically still "in" it. But neither of us does anything. The group is pretty much dead. And David isn't in the UK anymore anyway.

bastarx
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Sep 20 2012 12:40
andy g wrote:
(deep breath)

Hi. My name is Andy and I'm a SWuPy....

gonna try not to proselytize (tough crowd) but Molyneux is very careful to point out he regards class struggle anarchists as "comrades" and does enjoin any anarchists present to join the debate. there is also a little warning to fellow SWP drones not to be sectarian in response.

glad to see we're all on the same page (he says, haughtily.... wink )

Andy I don't regard members of your gang as comrades in any way shape or form. Your lot continually attempt to steer proletarian struggles back onto the safe terrain of the unions and elections. and in a revolutionary situation I have no doubt the SWP would be openly siding with the state.

Angelus Novus
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Sep 20 2012 15:58

Don't worry, Andy, I consider anybody a comrade who isn't a member of Platypus Affiliated Society. groucho