The UK Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party (SWP) is in deep crisis after rape accusations and faction fights have ended in the leadership reimposing some 'order' , and oppositionists leaving the party in droves. Some analysis, and some ideas on what attitude anti-authoritarians might fruitfully take.
The SWP crisis and ongoing implosion is a horrible, yet fascinating, development. It is horrible, for – again – hundreds of serious people will drift out of the party, and many of them will be too demoralized and exhausted to pick up class struggle activity. Those among them that will remain active will not necessarily turn to anti-authoritarian revolutionary theory and practice.
This article takes ‘dinosaur marxists’ to task for refusing to treat rape as a political issue. The author looks at events in the SWP, RMT and across the British left in the light of what Marx and Engels – so often invoked by these ‘dinosaurs’ – wrote about sex and its connection with class.
‘Feminism is a Dirty Word’. What Would Marx and Engels Think Today?
A number of pieces have been written recently on “unity” amongst the left and the ways we can achieve that. What follows are the reasons I reject left unity as a notion and the kind of real unity that the workers' movement needs – and, to a large extent, already has.
An account by one of its former activists of the breakup of the UK Trotskyist group Workers Revolutionary Party following widespread sexual abuse by its leader, Gerry Healy in the mid-1980s. Trigger warning for discussion of sexual abuse.
In the controversy surrounding the Socialist Workers Party, and the way it has dealt with accusations of rape and sexual harassment by a leading member, the break-up of the Workers Revolutionary Party in 1985 has been referred to as a worst-case scenario. Warnings have been issued that, if the SWP is not careful, it will end up like the WRP.
A personal account of life in the Socialist Workers Party.
The Weekly Worker is known to many as the unrivalled gossip rag of the British far-left. Most workers wouldn’t give a toss about anything published in it, but to those of us who have passed through any of the various ‘revolutionary vanguards’ during our political lives, the newspaper can be a bit of a bit of a guilty pleasure.
A piece discussing the Left Opposition and Trotksyism from the point of view of left communists around the IWW in the United Workers Party of America
A follow on to my post Lobbying for the limited yet impossible, now that the Trades Union Congress has voted in favour of a motion on calling a general strike.
The British left is jubilant.
This is a well-researched obituary of Ante Ciliga, the Yugoslav communist who wrote the wonderful book about the Soviet Union - The Russian Enigma in English, Au Pays du grand mensonge in French.
As this text reveals, however, Ciliga's politics took a dubious turn after WWII - he became a fervent, and even CIA-funded, Croatian nationalist. But, as the document suggests, perhaps Ciliga was always a rather ambiguous figure, with his nationalist and internationalist sentiments always in tension with each other?
Eduard Martynovich Dune, a member of the opposition group "Democratic centralism". For his opposition activities he was arrested and spent many years in Vorkuta. Fled during the Second World war. Analysis made in 1947 for the Menshevik émigré organ "Socialističeskij Vestnik". Died in 1953. Source: Archive of L.D. Trotsky, vol. 2 ; Chernyavskiy, Felshtinsky.
Also see Dune's Notes of a Red Guard.