Trotspotting: Everything you always wanted to know about sects (but were afraid to ask)...

Trotspotting: Everything you always wanted to know about sects (but were afraid to ask)...

A guide to the mysterious world of the British far left.

From the anti-war movement to workplace struggles, wherever you find people struggling for a better world, you'll also find Leninists hanging around looking for a chance to build their "vanguard party". While, in many important respects, there's not much difference between these groups - crucially, we know that none of them will ever be able to deliver the liberation they promise - the sheer amount of different micro-parties can get overwhelming. So we've produced this handy guide to help you keep your International Committee of the Fourth International separate from your United Secretariat of the Fourth International.

This guide is not comprehensive, nor does it aim to be: if, after reading it, you're still disappointed that you haven't learnt the difference between Socialist Resistance and the Socialist Equality Party, then seek professional help immediately, because there's something wrong with you.

Socialist Workers Party:

Unique Selling Point: My front group's bigger than your front group

Description: The grand-daddy of them all. Like a democratic centralist chameleon, it can camouflage itself as a different front group for every occasion: the Stop the War Coalition, Unite Against Fascism (previously the Anti-Nazi League), Respect/the Left List (now deceased), Love Music Hate Racism, Another Education Is Possible, Campaign Against Climate Change, Globalise Resistance, Defend Council Housing, the People Before Profit Charter...statistics show that since I started writing this list, they'll have set up at least three more front organisations. Currently going through a period of crisis, since their strategy over the last few years of forming alliances with egocentric celebrity politicians and right-wing Islamists ended up falling spectacularly to pieces, so they're struggling to turn themselves around and work out a new plan. It remains to be seen whether this old vanguard is capable of learning new tricks.

Since they're quite effective at portraying themselves as the organised, effective face of revolutionary anti-capitalism, and they'll hassle anyone they can find into joining without checking whether or not they actually agree with anything the SWP says, there's a reasonably high proportion of decent, sane people in the membership; but they also manage to lose people as fast as they recruit them, largely because of the same lack of principles. One notable recent loss was the comedian Mark Steel, who spent decades as a dedicated party member, then messily broke up with them in 2008 when he realised they're batshit crazy, and they realised he had a sense of humour. More than any other left group, the SWP plays a vital role for capitalism by enticing new people in and presenting them with the most undemocratic, ineffective, dispiriting version of revolutionary activity imaginable. Some ex-members drop out of politics altogether, understandably enough; others get sucked into the orbits of the smaller groups discussed below; and in the worst-case scenario, some even become libertarian communists and end up writing dull sectarian articles slagging off the authoritarian left that nobody in their right minds would bother reading.

Do say: "Wow, the size of this ineffective, liberal, passive protest certainly shows that we're finding a mass audience for our politics. Um, what are our politics?"

Do say: "Anyone want to join the SWP? No? Well, how about buying our paper? C'mon? Anyone want a paper? Anyone at all? Please? Tell you what, call it half price? And I'll throw in a copy of our magazine as well? Anyone?"

Don't say: "So, remind me again what sucking up to religious fundamentalists has to do with socialism?"

Definitely don't say: "Remember that George Galloway bloke? Whatever happened to him?"

Trotspotting score: 1 point for an ordinary member, 5 points for a full-time party bureaucrat, 30 points for someone actually buying a copy of their paper.

Socialist Party:

Unique Selling Point: A rare ability to talk about stuff that normal people actually care about, like buses and jobs.

Description: Formerly known as the Militant Tendency. Reached their high point in the mid-80s when they managed to get a few councillors elected on a Labour Party platform. Then they got thrown out of the Labour Party for being too left and had to set up as a separate group. They're a bit lost at the moment, since their whole strategy was based on being the most left part of Old Labour; now Old Labour doesn't exist any more, they're left floundering around trying to rebuild it. While they do have their priorities relatively sorted in terms of concentrating on basic working-class economic issues, they're not immune to outbreaks of really terrible politics, such as after the great poll tax riot when they promised to "name names" and "root out the trouble-makers", or their belief that prison guards and border control officials are just workers the same as everyone else. Most recently seen embarrassing themselves in the European elections by launching an electoral front called "No2EU" which attracted pretty much no support whatsoever, probably because no-one could work out the difference between it and UKIP.

Do say: "This shows the need for a new workers' party"

Don't say: "So, is it UKIP who're the goodies and NO2EU who're the baddies, or is it the wrong way round?"

Definitely don't say: "If there's one thing I hate more than a fucking screw, it's a fucking grass."

Trotspotting score: 2 points

Alliance for Worker's Liberty:

Unique Selling Point: Saying the opposite of whatever the SWP's saying.

Description: Fancy themselves as the most libertarian of the Leninist groups. While groups like the SWP side with Islamic fundamentalists against the West, the AWL are much more consistent about feminism and gay rights (they also have a relatively healthy gender balance, and are less of a boy's club than most of the left sects), but are notoriously soft on Western imperialism, to the point of writing bizarre articles about whether Israel starting a war with Iran would really be that much of a bad thing. They're also considerably more direct action-orientated and willing to work with (read: try and recruit) anarchists than most of the other left groups. Also noteworthy for their passion for front groups, with Education not for Sale, Feminist Fightback, Workers Climate Action and No Sweat under their belts. Another oddity is their belief in a mystical creature known as the Labour left, which no-one has ever seen.

Do say: "Well, if the Israeli state wants to start a war with Iran, that's their business."

Don't say: "Wow, isn't a coincidence that all these people from Education Not For Sale are at this Workers' Climate Action event! What're the odds?"

Trotspotting score: 5 points

Communist Party of Great Britain:

Unique Selling Point: Unparalleled navel-gazing ability.

Description: Have you ever thought that you'd like to read a paper made up entirely of articles like this one? No? Well, the CPGB write one anyway - their paper, the Weekly Worker, is almost completely dedicated to stories about what the other lefty groups are getting up to. Since most workers have problems that don't involve being oppressed by the SWP or AWL, it's hard to see how this is meant to have any appeal at all outside the tiny circles of the revolutionary left, but they seem to enjoy it. Their criticisms of the other sects are often quite accurate, but the sheer amount of effort they put into it, coupled with their failure to do any real-world activity at all, is just baffling. Their lack of practical activity is shown by the fact that, while other Leninist groups tend to have as many front groups as they have members, they can only boast a single measly front, Hands Off the People of Iran. Oh, and despite not actually being proper Stalinists, they insist on having a name that makes them sound like proper Stalinists, and become wildly enraged whenever anyone finishes a sentence without invoking "Marxism" or "Communism" at least three times. Also claim that it's still a good idea for communists to vote for the Labour Party. In 2009.

Do say: "Wow, I was impressed by your extensive coverage of Workers' Power's reply to the Socialist Party's criticism of the SWP's latest statement."

Don't say: "Have any of you ever even met an actual worker? Do you even know what a fucking picket line is?"

Trotspotting score: 10 points

Revolutionary Communist Group:

Unique Selling Point: They think Che was, like, really cool, yeah?

Description: Pretty straightforward. They like Cuba. They like Cuba a lot. They also really don't like Israel, so a large proportion of their activity goes into trying to get people to boycott businesses that trade with Israel (which some observers might feel is slightly too similar to just saying people should boycott Jewish-owned businesses). Also, their newspaper is called Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, because everyone knows that people are more likely to want to buy a paper if it looks like it's shouting at you. To date, no-one has one-upped the RCG by producing a newspaper written in ALL CAPS, but it's only a matter of time.

Do say: "Hasta la victoria siempre! Viva el Commandante Che! Um, y tu mama tambien!"

Don't say: "So, this gay bloke, this anarcho-syndicalist and this independent journalist walk into this Cuban bar..."

Trotspotting score: 20 points

Workers Power:

Unique Selling Point: They say they're the Fifth International, one up on all the other trots.

Description: Workers Power themselves are fairly dull, a standard orthodox Trot group. The main distinguishing feature is that, unlike most of the other Leninist sects, they actually managed to build up a fairly decent "independent" youth group called Revolution, mainly by stealing the imagery and language of the post-Seattle global anti-capitalist movement, and conveniently forgetting to mention the bit where that movement was solidly opposed to bureaucratic, hierarchical organisations like Workers Power and their Fifth International. Even today, there are a few cities where Revolution has a functioning section, attracting angry teenage recruits in with non-specific, anarchic "anti-capitalist" imagery and then expelling anyone who gets too critical of the correct line (as laid down by Workers Power, of course). Also notable for the fact that a few years back, this tiny group made itself even tinier by expelling a third of their members (and, hilariously, this bout of infighting in the British group meant that the entire Fifth International had to split, meaning that all their Australian members got expelled).

Do say: "Yeah! REVOLUTION!"

Don't say: "You know what was great about the anti-capitalist movement? The emphasis on autonomy and non-hierarchical organisation."

Trotspotting score: 30 points

Permanent Revolution:

Unique Selling Point: There is nothing interesting about Permanent Revolution.

Description: The minority faction expelled from Workers Power for reasons that no-one knows or cares about, they were either deemed a bit too mad or not mad enough. Like Workers Power, but without the youth group. Mostly, just too dull to bother with, but they did earn a moment of fame during a controversy over censorship in the movement against Israel's attack on Gaza, when they declared that criticising Hamas was the same as refusing to support the miners' strike, because defending trade unionists against a state that attacks them is the same as being a scab, and that anyone promoting real international working-class solidarity instead of just pushing Palestinian nationalism should be ready to "get defence squads together". Also known for saying that if the UK attacked to Iran, "Victory to Iran" would be the right slogan to use.

Do say: "That Workers Power, eh? What a shower of centrist counter-revolutionary bastards."

Don't say: "Why the fuck should I or anyone else give a shit about anything you have to say, you miserable little shit?"

Trotspotting score: 50 points

International Bolshevik Tendency/Spartacist League:

Unique Selling Point: The craziest of them all.

Description: Most of these groups are quite weird to some extent. But none compare to the glorious madness of the IBT and Sparts (as with WP and PR, they split some time ago in a heated argument about how many angels can fit on one of Marx's beard hairs.) There doesn't seem to be much difference between the two, except that the IBT call their paper 1917, which always makes it sound like a good place to read about the latest news from the First World War. Read those slogans again. They actually, genuinely believe they're going to win people to socialism by telling them to "DEFEND THE NORTH KOREAN DEFORMED WORKERS STATE'S RIGHT TO NUCLEAR WEAPONS!" (They've also been known to stand outside the SWP's annual Marxism event denouncing them for not supporting the glorious people's Red Army in Afghanistan in the 1980s. I'm not making this up.) Truly, this is the face of madness: look on it and despair.

Do say: "Defend North Korea's right to nuclear weapons!"

Don't say: Anything at all. Just back away slowly.

Trotspotting score: 100 points

Super-secret bonus round: Socialist Action and Socialist Appeal

Unique Selling Point: We're not selling anything, guv. Honest. In fact, we don't even exist. Now vote for Ken Livingstone.

Description: The end of a relationship is always difficult, and we can all find it hard letting go at times. But most of us handle it better than Socialist Action and Socialist Appeal, two tiny groups that continue to cling onto the Labour Party long after it's officially abandoned any pretence of being socialist in any way. Socialist Action are notable for managing to turn themselves almost completely invisible, running the front group Student Broad Left, and being major supporters of Ken Livingstone, managing to get themselves several comfortable bureaucratic positions while he was Mayor of London. When not trying to worm their way into the Labour bureaucracy, they can also be found worshipping Hugo Chavez.

Do say: "Ken and Hugo's glorious names will live forever! Long live Marxism-Leninism-Livingstonism-Chavism!"

Don't say: "Well, now Boris has taken over, you lot are a bit fucked, aren't you?"

Look out for future Trotwatch publications including Tankspotting: Who still thinks the Soviet invasion of Hungary was a good idea and how come they're not dead yet? and The Hundred Greatest Trot Front Groups of All Time (as voted for by viewers of Channel 4).

Comments

Steven.
Sep 18 2009 08:35

funny stuff, and some good points too. Thanks for that.

However, I think you're a bit harsh on permanent revolution. Despite some of their quite barmy lines, there are a few sound people in there. Workers power basically kicked out the people who were actually workers, who also committed the crime of trying to say that the revolution wasn't just about to happen. They do have the worst name of any political group though.

Just a couple of quick points on sub editing. This isn't having a go,, just some advice for future submissions.

- the intro paragraph should be a very brief one or two lines explaining what the following article will be about. I will edit this one as an example.
- with the tags, just tag Trotwatch in the authors/groups tag, don't tag it twice.
- instead of "funny", we tag all humour content with the "libcommunity", so please use that.
- in general, please only choose tags from the options which show up, which already exist. Please don't create new ones (like trots spotting here for example)

But again, thanks and look forward to more submissions in the future!

Yorkie Bar
Sep 18 2009 09:05

As Weeler pointed out, this article is shite. The worst part is that it could have been ok if it hadn't been written in this ridiculous 'Lefty Banter' tone. The idea of providing a roadmap of the trot left in Britain is actually not a bad one - I for one find it confusing as fuck - but this so isn't that. Nor is it actually funny, so it fails on both counts.

(As an aside, it also conflates being anti-Israel with being anti-semetic, which is frankly racist, and in the circs utterly stupid. The idea that the far left hate Israel because of some closet hatred of Jews is just dumb, considering that it's been a central principle of these groups for decades to support the losing side in every major conflict, regardless of race.)

~J.

Anarchia
Sep 18 2009 09:52

Putting the Sparts and the IBT together? They'll both hate you for that. The Sparts' book length denunciation of the IBT's leader is amazing (and available on their website). You missed the IBT's unique selling point - the only international Leninist grouping headquartered in New Zealand.

no1
Sep 18 2009 10:07
weeler wrote:
I would fear that an underlying fear of 'trots' is often just anti-organisationalism dressed up, I mean Steven I am sure would come across quite a few trots in his union work and they're not all mental people as individuals. The organisations are obscure but they're far from sects. I'm only defending trots because the level of bizarre anti-trot stuff on here is pretty much betraying people's complete isolation from other working class militants.

The article here doesn't criticise trots for being organised but for having shit politics - like the opportunism of the SWP alliance with reactiony Islamicists or the insane Spart support for North Korea. It's true that most trots you come across while organising are pretty decent - up to a point, usually it's the point where their party's sectarianism kicks in. Others are bat shit mental - something of which there's a lot among anarchists too.

Joseph Kay
Sep 18 2009 10:12
weeler wrote:
I would fear that an underlying fear of 'trots' is often just anti-organisationalism dressed up, I mean Steven I am sure would come across quite a few trots in his union work and they're not all mental people as individuals. The organisations are obscure but they're far from sects. I'm only defending trots because the level of bizarre anti-trot stuff on here is pretty much betraying people's complete isolation from other working class militants.

i was on a demo with a bunch of miscellaneous trots last night, then we had a meeting. this kind of thing is useful precisely because anyone doing decent stuff will find themselves working alongside or in close proximity to Trots and it's good to know who you're dealing with, since individual members aren't always devout parroters of the party line (although i did find myself explaining anarcho-syndicalists rejected all the old workers' parties, so we're hardly likely to campaign for a new one). yes, a lot of anarchist anti-Trot sentiment eminates from the anti-organisational 'anarchists' who are never to be seen on picket lines or whatever, but i don't think this blog falls into that.

Farce
Sep 18 2009 10:33
J wrote:
As an aside, it also conflates being anti-Israel with being anti-semetic, which is frankly racist, and in the circs utterly stupid. The idea that the far left hate Israel because of some closet hatred of Jews is just dumb, considering that it's been a central principle of these groups for decades to support the losing side in every major conflict, regardless of race.

The only thing in the article that actually comes close to saying that is the bit about the RCG's obsession with businesses that "support Israel". Since, in practice, that does effectively mean Jewish-owned businesses, I think it's legitimate to be a bit suspicious of it. And yeah, they support the losing side in every conflict, but they don't always get obsessed with the losing side the way that they get worked up about Israel.

weeler wrote:
I would fear that an underlying fear of 'trots' is often just anti-organisationalism dressed up, I mean Steven I am sure would come across quite a few trots in his union work and they're not all mental people as individuals.
the article wrote:
Since they're quite effective at portraying themselves as the organised, effective face of revolutionary anti-capitalism... there's a reasonably high proportion of decent, sane people in the membership
Joseph Kay
Sep 18 2009 10:44
weeler wrote:
JK, if trots wrote something this dismissive about anarchism people here would cry their little eyes out. Is this the level of engagement anarchists think will win the battle of ideas?

it's obviously not aimed at people weighing up the pros and cons of anarchism and trotskyism though is it? it's a piss-takey guide to the Trot left for anarchists. Trots are this dismissive of anarchism all the time, but if the SP or someone wrote a guide for Trots on the differences between SF, AF, L&S, Organise!, WSM, IWW etc i wouldn't give a shit. in fact it would signify we're enough of a threat to satirise.

Steven.
Sep 18 2009 10:49

Exactly. And it should be borne in mind that this is a blog piece, not a library article.

Iskra
Mar 11 2010 17:48

This is really funny, even I'm not from UK smile

Steven.
Sep 18 2009 15:06
weeler wrote:
I would fear that an underlying fear of 'trots' is often just anti-organisationalism dressed up, I mean Steven I am sure would come across quite a few trots in his union work and they're not all mental people as individuals. The organisations are obscure but they're far from sects. I'm only defending trots because the level of bizarre anti-trot stuff on here is pretty much betraying people's complete isolation from other working class militants.

yeah, I agree with that pretty much. You can't be rude or aggressive in your dealings with trots like that guy in the Australia Forum was the other day if you're involved in struggles, because lots of them will be alongside you in them.

However, I think some friendly taking the piss out of organisations, which do do some pretty barmy stuff, is fair enough - all the trots themselves engage in it as well. And this article does distinguish between the individuals and the organisations to an adequate extent I think (apart from permanent revolution like I said, where its rude.).

Trotwatch
Sep 18 2009 15:13

To reply to some of the criticism: Regarding the general style, I just try and write the way I talk. I could come out with a wanky sub-Vanegeimy theoretical defence of why that is, about mystification and alienation and the dangers of regarding politics as a specialised activity separate from our everyday lives, but a lot of it just comes down to the fact that I think generally people prefer to read stuff that's fun and not boring. I know I do. Of course, you can still think my writing's shit and not funny, but there's no accounting for taste.
Also, one of the things I really like about (the better parts of) the anarchist movement as opposed to the Bolsheviks is the (relative) lack of pompousness. I think that ultimately, at the heart of most humourless trot publications, there's a huge amount of arrogance (which I'd argue is one of the distinguishing features of Leninism). They take themselves so intensely seriously because deep down they actually believe that their poxy little sect will be the leaders of the glorious revolution. As a libertarian communist living through a not-particularly-revolutionary period, I have no such illusions about my own importance - I know full well that I'm not writing the Critique of the Gotha Programme here, so why should I write in a style that suggests I think I am?

Steven. wrote:
However, I think you're a bit harsh on permanent revolution. Despite some of their quite barmy lines, there are a few sound people in there. Workers power basically kicked out the people who were actually workers, who also committed the crime of trying to say that the revolution wasn't just about to happen. They do have the worst name of any political group though.

Yeah, I have heard that there are some PR members, especially in Manchester, who're meant to be fairly sound. But I've not met them myself - in my experience, every conversation I've had with a PR member has left me infuriated to some extent.

BigLittleJ wrote:
The worst part is that it could have been ok if it hadn't been written in this ridiculous 'Lefty Banter' tone. The idea of providing a roadmap of the trot left in Britain is actually not a bad one - I for one find it confusing as fuck - but this so isn't that. Nor is it actually funny, so it fails on both counts.

~J.

Sorry you didn't like it. Apart from the general style, what information do you think it needed that it didn't contain? Obviously, I'm not going to think my own article was shite, but I do think it serves as a decent roadmap - it has the basic distinguishing features making each group unique and a list of the major front groups. Admittedly, it's not a comprehensive overview of everything there is to know about each group, because that article would have been unreadably long and dull. Besides, if you're that desperate for a sober overview, there's already http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Trotskyist_organisations_of_the_United_Kingdom

weeler wrote:
I would fear that an underlying fear of 'trots' is often just anti-organisationalism dressed up, I mean Steven I am sure would come across quite a few trots in his union work and they're not all mental people as individuals. The organisations are obscure but they're far from sects. I'm only defending trots because the level of bizarre anti-trot stuff on here is pretty much betraying people's complete isolation from other working class militants.

I think it's really inaccurate to try and paint a dichotomy where trots=proper class struggle, anarchists=useless anti-organisationalist crap. Yeah, trots do some useful workplace stuff which anarchists should be doing more of, and anarchists do do a lot of pointless stuff, but a lot of leftist activity is just self-gratifying subcultural stuff as bad as anything the anarchist scene comes up with. And the level of bizarre anti-trot stuff on here is nothing compared to what the trot press comes out with - I don't think any of the anarcho papers would be mad enough to feature "SWP says something stupid" or "SWP members have an argument" as their front-page headline, which the Weekly Worker does on a regular basis.
The idea that criticising trots means we must be isolated from other militants is quite confused - I think the article shows a reasonable level of familiarity with the Leninist left, which someone who was that isolated from struggle wouldn't be able to acquire, surely? I think it'd make more sense for anarchists who had no contact with trots to just ignore them, not be writing guides to them.

Rob Ray
Sep 18 2009 16:12
Quote:
Apart from the general style, what information do you think it needed that it didn't contain?

CPB?

Joseph Kay
Sep 18 2009 18:01

i've added some images, because i'm avoiding doing work

jef costello
Sep 19 2009 10:16
weeler wrote:
JK, if trots wrote something this dismissive about anarchism people here would cry their little eyes out. Is this the level of engagement anarchists think will win the battle of ideas?

there has been more piss-taking of anarchists on libcom than anywhere else.

This reads like an edited/updated version of a guide devrim printed out for me.

petey
Sep 19 2009 12:17

i found it informative.

posi
Sep 19 2009 12:44

A brief but worthy update to the classics of this important field of study.

As Soon As This Pub Closes:
http://www.whatnextjournal.co.uk/Pages/Sectariana/Pub.html

More Years For The Locust
http://www.marx.org/archive/higgins/1997/locust/index.htm

Devrim
Sep 19 2009 14:16

One that Posi missed, and one of the ones I gave Jef was:
http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/critiques/sullivan/fourth-index.htm

I feel that the Sullivan ones have a bit more understanding, and also wit than the one reproduced above.

Devrim

pirate
Sep 20 2009 05:35

this article is formatted for printing as a zine at:

http://zinelibrary.info/files/trotspotting.pdf

888
Sep 20 2009 06:19
IrrationallyAngry wrote:
I would fear that an underlying fear of 'trots' is often just anti-organisationalism dressed up, I mean Steven I am sure would come across quite a few trots in his union work and they're not all mental people as individuals. The organisations are obscure but they're far from sects. I'm only defending trots because the level of bizarre anti-trot stuff on here is pretty much betraying people's complete isolation from other working class militants.

wink

It's pretty much impossible to be isolated from trots actually, if at all engaged in left wing politics in the UK, and about half are mental in my experience, the other half may be ok as people (also there is usually a very low level of political education in many trot parties, worse than in any class struggle anarchist group i know of.

Quote:
JK, if trots wrote something this dismissive about anarchism people here would cry their little eyes out. Is this the level of engagement anarchists think will win the battle of ideas?

They frequently write highly inaccurate articles about anarchism, it would actually be more entertaining if they made one in the style of this guide.

Alderson Warm-Fork
Sep 20 2009 19:08

I got 200 points in one day. Is this win?

gypsy
Sep 20 2009 19:27

is this affiliated to redwatch in some way ? laugh out loud

Btw I found the article an interesting and funny read.

IrrationallyAngry
Sep 21 2009 13:19
888 wrote:
IrrationallyAngry wrote:
I would fear that an underlying fear of 'trots' is often just anti-organisationalism dressed up, ...

It's pretty much impossible to be isolated from trots actually...

That's not me you're responding to. It was weeler.

The "guide" above's central problem is that it isn't particularly funny. Sullivan's two pamphlets managed to make a few serious points by effectively deploying humour and mockery. This article isn't witty enough to carry that off. About the only thing the piece reveals, yet again, is the marginality of Anarchism - reduced once again to snide whining about somewhat less marginal left currents.

Rob Ray
Sep 21 2009 13:32
Quote:
snide whining

I don't get that from it at all, if anything I think it comes across as a bit of fond fun-poking from a fellow traveller. If he was banging on about how amazing anarchism was in comparison maybe you'd have a point.

Juan Conatz
Sep 22 2009 09:19

hilarious.

so the sparts are batshit thousands of miles away in a different land as well?

SWP sounds like the ISO here.

Someone needs to make a U.S. version of this.

Entdinglichung
Sep 22 2009 10:35
Dead End wrote:

SWP sounds like the ISO here.

they were married but got divorced after disagreeing over the impact of the Battle of Seattle 1999

... more on the ISO: http://www.whatnextjournal.co.uk/Pages/Sectariana/ISO.html

Entdinglichung
Sep 22 2009 11:12

http://www.ainfos.ca/A-Infos97/1/0139.html ... not 100% accurate but the general description of the FAU/AP in this article is ok

JackR
Sep 22 2009 21:01

Would you mind if I made a US version (abeilt expanded beyond just Trots)?

petey
Sep 22 2009 21:29
Dead End wrote:
Someone needs to make a U.S. version of this.

go to it, JackR

akai
Sep 22 2009 21:55
Quote:
a lot of anarchist anti-Trot sentiment eminates from the anti-organisational 'anarchists' who are never to be seen on picket lines or whatever, but i don't think this blog falls into that.

Come on. I think the origin of anti-Trot criticism comes from things like their actual politics. Ever read some of the different groups' pieces on Kronstadt?

I personally have some Trot friends who are nice and worth discussing with, but I wouldn't want to work closely with them in an organization for political reasons. I also don't care if an individual Trot without sleazy ambitions wants to do something concrete with me (ie a protest), just as long as it's not going to be photoshopped, described as their event and put on the list of events to be reimbursed from the international. A lot of anti-Trot sentiment also comes from organized anarchists who are tired of seeing deep entrist provocations and so on in the left or the absolute chaos that big money foreign investments create in developing anarchist or left movements.

BTW, the biggest Trot entrist project in Poland, (together with right-wingers) the Polish Party of Labour, was apparently defunded. As a final kick in the ass, the end of the party decided to suspend the newspaper where several Trots/ leftists were employed - without telling them. They were recently crying and writing angry letters about how "authoritarian" things were in the Party. What fun. We think at least 2 Trot internationals will be compromised in the affair.

petey
Sep 23 2009 15:23

my only trot experience: a bud and i were going into a movie theater (documentary about americans in the spanish civil war) and in front of it were a pair of sparts selling a paper. the bud decided to buy one, but didn't have exact change, so gave a bill and the spart would absolutely not give back the change. would you like more literature, c'mon support the cause, but no money was going to be returned.

as this was happening, his comrade decided for some reason that i was unsympathetic, and started screaming racism. she was shorter than i was and would not look up at me to scream, as an assertion i thought of her dignity because i was white, male, and taller, and she was not going to accommodate any of that. with the result that she was screaming at my chest that it was racist.

oddly, trots never held any interest for me.