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.
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
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
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).
funny stuff, and some good
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!
As Weeler pointed out, this
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.)
Putting the Sparts and the
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.
weeler wrote: I would fear
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.
weeler wrote: I would fear
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.
J wrote: As an aside, it also
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: JK, if trots
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.
Exactly. And it should be
Exactly. And it should be borne in mind that this is a blog piece, not a library article.
This is really funny, even
This is really funny, even I'm not from UK :)
weeler wrote: I would fear
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.).
To reply to some of the
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?
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.
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
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.
Quote: Apart from the general
i've added some images,
i've added some images, because i'm avoiding doing work
weeler wrote: JK, if trots
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.
i found it informative.
i found it informative.
A brief but worthy update to
A brief but worthy update to the classics of this important field of study.
As Soon As This Pub Closes:
More Years For The Locust
One that Posi missed, and one
One that Posi missed, and one of the ones I gave Jef was:
I feel that the Sullivan ones have a bit more understanding, and also wit than the one reproduced above.
this article is formatted for
this article is formatted for printing as a zine at:
IrrationallyAngry wrote: I
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.
They frequently write highly inaccurate articles about anarchism, it would actually be more entertaining if they made one in the style of this guide.
I got 200 points in one day.
I got 200 points in one day. Is this win?
is this affiliated to
is this affiliated to redwatch in some way ? :lol:
Btw I found the article an interesting and funny read.
888 wrote: IrrationallyAngry
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.
Quote: snide whining I don't
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.
hilarious. so the sparts are
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.
Dead End wrote: SWP sounds
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
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
Would you mind if I made a US
Would you mind if I made a US version (abeilt expanded beyond just Trots)?
Dead End wrote: Someone
go to it, JackR
Quote: a lot of anarchist
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.
my only trot experience: a
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.
reminds me of an experience
reminds me of an experience with a member of the People's Mojahedin of Iran around 20 years ago; the guy was offering me a leaflet, after I took it, he wanted that I pay one Deutschmark for the flyer, he even tried to take it back after I had said, that I never pay for leaflets
Entdinglichung wrote: after I
old commies (actual CPUSA) would stand on streetcorners giving away the Weekly World, and then ask for a quarter. but at least they didn't get huffy about it.
weeler wrote: I would fear
weeler is absolutely right here. I even attended one of their recent parties celebrating the election of Joe Higgins. At least most of them dont dress like crusties
That is what is important
That is what is important after all, what clothes you happen to dress in. Worth putting aside all ideological issues and that.
Platformist upset about like
Platformist upset about like minded Trots being slagged off shocker! Sounds like a more interesting article than the cack you wrote for the Belfast Skidmark today no doubt.
I left school a long time ago and college finished in the summer. Plus, look at you, you've a job and everything but you're still a knob. So evidently, it's not quite the be all end all. Perhaps when I start work at the end of the month, I'll be banging on about paedophilia constantly and making inane posts too.
you've gotten a good head start on that front.
jweidner, have you heard of
jesuithitsquad, have you heard of irony? You are good at it.
i heard about it once because
i heard about it once because of this. really deep stuff. probably why i'm so good at it and all.
No I'm not. Members of the AF
No I'm not. Members of the AF are, not the entire AF. Reading the finer points is a idea totally lost on a hack like you eh? Sensationalism, sensationalism! I think the IWW is a sack of shite for what it's worth.
Oh no, it's the Dublin Skidmark rather than the Belfast one, big difference.
I'm 20. But more importantly, I'm not sure what it would matter either way. I imagine you're not 19 yet you still sling shit like a child. The whole age obsession is getting a bit tired now, isn't it? Is it likely to get funny at any point?
And that's quite often, isn't it?
will the two of you just shut
will the two of you just shut the fuck up.
It's a shame this discussion
It's a shame this discussion turned into such an utterly useless pissing contest, cos I think there is an actual topic worth working out here. Given that we all know that a) a lot of what self-proclaimed anarchists do is pointless shit, and b) some trots do some worthwhile workplace stuff, is there much we should be trying to learn from them? My view, obv, would be no - I think that overall the trot milieu is a dead-end mess exactly the same as the anarchist scene, with the exception that I think anarchism does have the potential to develop into a real revolutionary movement and trotskyism doesn't. As far as worthwhile activity goes, it may be the case that, thanks to their larger size, the best trot groups are able to get a bit more of it done, but in quantitative terms, I don't think there's anything categorically different that they're doing that the better class-struggle anarchists aren't.
As far as the discussion on this thread goes, I get the impression that some posters, motivated by a (totally justified) frustration at the state of the anarchist movement, are trying to paint trotskyism as being something completely different to what it actually is, in order to use it as a stick to beat anarchists with. Still, if anyone has any real arguments to the contrary (preferably something more substantial than just "but they don't dress like crusties!"), I'd be happy to hear them.
petey wrote: will the two of
EDIT: Y'know, on a second reading this ain't that bad. Suspect I was on substances when I posted here earlier. Sorry for the abuse...
Trotwatch wrote: I think that
again, i only know the trot milieu from outside. however: entryism on the one hand is a coherent approach (which is not to say that it is right approach theoretically); on the other hand it has been a repeated failure because trots can be spotted and people who build orgs quite understandably don't like others joining to take over their orgs. openly trot orgs work, to the extent that they do. i don't know that there is a "fear" of trots among anarchists. trot work extends to electoralism and anarchist work doesn't, so the two tendencies are skew on that point at least, hence there is nothing to fear. some anarchists may be jealous of trot numbers, which would be understandable, but that's not fear.
I've called you a few things
I've called you a few things but journalist isn't one of them.
You've got the analysis of this article all wrong aswell.
Quote: I fucking love my job.
One might say you, feel at home in this self-alienation and feel yourself confirmed by it.
Funny article, just wish the
Funny article, just wish the Revolutionary Workers Party was included, my fave political group of any persuasion.
Yeah, the way trot groups
Yeah, the way trot groups sell the paper is idiotic. People willing to stand there for an hour holding up a paper trying to sell it, might be inefficient, but I can respect it, and I'll chat to them and say 'good luck' when I see them. The problem is when they put their stalls right in the middle of the footpath on a main road during rush hour, etc.
Weeler's not a platformist,
Weeler's not a platformist, yet he's in the WSM, a platformist group? Right...
Doesn't surprise me all that literary wit a writer is supposed to have is substituted by apparently insulting remarks about my age. Classic stuff. Why don't you plead again, for me to get warned? I thought it was really mature and becoming.
And Jack, you're right, for a Jeckyl and Hyde like you to be lecturing anyone is a bit rich. Can't pick and choose when you're a twat and when you want to act normal. I'm surprised it's not you doing the hysterics.
Quote: And Jack, you're
All right how about from me then with my lengthy history of being almost pathologically reasonable? Pack it in you both read like a pair of idiots, molly you especially.
what about the scottish
what about the scottish socialist party?
Molly and weeler, cease your
Molly and weeler, cease your petty squabbling immediately. I've deleted the last off topic post, and we will delete any future ones.
On the trots, I don't know what ideas you guys have for future articles, but one thing which might be interesting and very practical would be a look at different groups of Trotskyists approach to the Lindsey oil strikes.
Because that was a good illustrator for lots of them of how completely dead end their ideas after the working class. Most of the groups refused to support the strike with some of them, permanent revolution or workers power I believe, demanding ridiculous things like the workers call off their strike and then the TUC call a new strike with different slogans.
Well, it will be also
Well, it will be also interesting to talk about trots in Latinamerica (especially at Argentina):
-Movimiento al Socialismo -Partido Obrero- Movimiento Socialista de los Trabajadores
-Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores (Santucho) -Partido de los Trabajadores por el Socialismo -Palabra Obrera. -Frente Socialista....uff. Or this mad current: the "posadists", more than IBT, that spoked about a Trotski's book found at China's Cultural Revolution, thus "World Revolution" was sudden.
Or in France, for exemple, where they have certain electoral support:
- Lutte Obriere -N.P.A -La Commune....
There are a lot of good militants in trots partys, but like political movement it,s away form proletarian interests.
admin - off topic comments
admin - off topic comments removed with the exception of the following point of information:
EDIT btw isn't like it 3 years since Weeler left the WSM? I mean, you may as well diss Tacks for being in the AF...
are you ashamed of once being
are you ashamed of once being part of WSM or something? Nothing to be ashamed of according to my(lil red) book. :kropotkin:
Yeah, how can I too have shit
Yeah, how can I too have shit politics and knee jerk reactions to everything! Pray tell.
Overreaction has been well and truly has on this article but there's plenty others you can get het up about.
Everyone who's posted on this
Everyone who's posted on this thread should read http://libcom.org/library/revolution-betrayed-wrp-iraq if they haven't already.
entding: there's an SLP
entding: there's an SLP thread here and when I dig it up i'll cross-post that.
I'll refrain (for now) from commenting on the inaccuracies and distortions in this blog on the (American) SLP. But it does seem we have strayed well off the topic of 'Trot-spotting', doesn't it?
posi wrote: A brief but
Not so sure about the first one if it is as wrong about all the groups as it is about the SPGB, the hostility to all other parties is straight out of Marx, not due the circumstances of their formation.
The hostility to all other
The hostility to all other parties only makes sense if you assume that you're the one party that represents the interests of the working class and all others represent the bourgeoisie, tho. That may well have been true in Marx's time, but for us today to assume that, f'r instance, SolFed, Class War, Liberty & Solidarity, the SPGB and the ICC must all be representatives of the bourgeoisie who deserve our utmost hostility cos they're not the AF would be a bit mad.
To be fair though the ICC
To be fair though the ICC deserve our utmost hostility.
I find that the ICC make a
I find that the ICC make a very valuable contribution to libcom discussions, precisely because they differ on certain things and you need to work out why they're wrong.
no1 wrote: I find that the
exactly. they're the political equivalent of a Cartesian demon.
nastyned wrote: To be fair
I don't think they deserve hostility they are good comrades.
"To be fair though the ICC
"To be fair though the ICC deserve our utmost hostility".
Always such short posts, NastyNed, can you elborate on why the ICC deserve 'our' / 'your' utmost hostility? It is a discussion after all :D
On the rest of the thread, I know I'm in danger of making a bit of a sweeping statement but if people want to really find out about these groups - read their press and / or try to talk to them. You'll learn a lot more that way than by reading the above (and it's not funny at all! Was it meant to be?).
posi wrote: no1 wrote: I
Im not gonna google that up and pretend I know what your talking about .So what is a cartesian demon? fuck sake.
allybaba wrote: Im not gonna
well i did google it so nobody should answer this, people should do their own homework :x
morven wrote: You'll learn a
Fuck me, it's not every day you get told off by the ICC for being unfunny. In my defence, I did used to be funny, but the decadence of capitalism broke my sense of humour. :(
Humour is irrelevant. You
Humour is irrelevant. You will be assimilated.
Trotwatch wrote: morven
I don't think it's funny either. I think it is possible to be funny about these things. This article just doesn't manage it in my opinion. John Sullivan, on the other hand, was funny about these things. Sorry, but you just didn't make me laugh.
petey wrote: allybaba
I too am overcome with blinding rage when dickheads post stupid crap instead of spending five seconds googling or wiking, but really it makes more sense for one person to post an explanation, than for all of the tens of thousands of people who read this to then go and google it.
Hungry56 wrote: petey
why you calling me a dickhead. Anyway have you made contact with the people who you are trying to protect yet?
The ICC denounce a humourless
The ICC denounce a humourless troll, and now pretty much every leftist post seems to have caught the malaise. To separate one's self from the swamp, the only thing to do is lol.
"The ICC denounce a
"The ICC denounce a humourless troll, and now pretty much every leftist post seems to have caught the malaise. To separate one's self from the swamp, the only thing to do is lol".
If this isn't directed at me then I apologise but just to be clear - I wasn't denouncing anyone - merely pointing out that I didn't find the article funny, which I quessed was its aim as opposed to the ICC who, despite what some of you may think, don't try to be funny. After all, humour is a difficult thing, personally I hate most 'stand up' comedians others love them, go figure.
Devrim and others are right though, John Sullivan's pamphlets are much funnier (and more accurate), as is David Widgery in his book the Left in Britain 56 - 68, which also includes a glossary of groups around at the time including Workers Voice, Solidarity, etc.
For 'serious' communism :D Morven
morven wrote: "[i]as opposed
Ho ho, no shit Sherlock.
Hungry56 wrote: but really
sorry, i'm a teacher i can't help myself sometimes.
morven wrote: "The ICC
Yeah I misread your post, thought you were telling nastyned that if he is going to slag you off then at least he could try and make it witty. Then I found the erupting threeway hungry56-petey-allybaba mini-argument to be amusing amid the humourlessness allegations. Basically I am not sure what I meant anymore and think no one should do humour again ever.
This made my day Like all
This made my day :D
Like all the best humour, it's humour you can relate to. XD
On the Revolutionary
On the Revolutionary Communist Group- just so people know- they boycott businesses that trade with Israel like Marks and Spencer which is a BRITISH plc i.e. not a Jewish business.
I hope people here see the difference between being Jewish and supporting the state of Israel.
just so peeps are clear - the RCG is NOT calling for a boycott of Jewish businesses
also - just realised that
also - just realised that this article was supposed to be about 'Trots'.... you made a bit of an error mate - Revolutionary Communist Group is not Trotskyist... its Marxist Leninist
you are thinking of the Revolutionary Communist Party, which doesnt exist anymore!!!
Even your wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Trotskyist_organisations_of_the_United_Kingdom) could tell you that
AWL are not trots they are
AWL are not trots they are Shachtmanites, but just like the RCG they are a trot revisionist group and ergo separate from the old Leninist left.
allybaba wrote: Hungry56
Just saw this today. Sorry, I didn't mean you, I meant people on the internet in general, I had in mind other more annoying examples of it.
I can't tell if that second sentence is making fun of me or serious. No, we never did, no-one else volunteered to help out, and the task of trying to talk to them was left to one (18-year old) comrade.
It doesn't surprise me that the RCG is now charecterisng itself as Marxist-Leninist. I don't think that they have always done so though. I think when they came out of the SWP, they called themselves Trotskyists.
oh ha ha hilarious - would've
oh ha ha hilarious - would've been funnier if you'd managed to get your facts straight; RCG are not trots and do not boycott Jewish companies - M&S is not Jewish, it's a plc company!!! also, so wonderful to see that you are being so destructive toward the left-wing groups in britain - with whom anyone with any ounce of decent politics should be engaging, debating and changing, in order to make the politics and movement better, more effective... instead of spending so much time griping about the left, why don't you turn your talents to actually criticising the imperialist state???
Don't listen to any of these
Don't listen to any of these mugs, was a fucking good article which made me laugh: "The only thing worse than a screw, is a fucking grass!".
From the experience i've had with the groups you've mentioned i'd say your assessment was very fair of them, and accurate. Also, i think anarchists have the same reclusive tendacy that the trots have. Some of you told me that anarchists are "outside" the left, etc etc yada yada.
super-dancer wrote: oh ha ha
Do you use your dancing talents against the state?
Good to see the Anarcho sects
Good to see the Anarcho sects have the time to write about the Socialist groups! Shame they dont have the honesty to do it accurately. Few will bother to read it except the anarchos who already believe in it.
Trot boardwars. On Christmas
Trot boardwars. On Christmas Day. AWESOME.
And the fact that they have
And the fact that they have failed to noticed the several other regular posters slagging it off. Well I can only assume that the RCG don't believe in xmas claiming it as sort of religious ceremony or something.
And the fact that they have
And the fact that they have failed to noticed the several other regular posters slagging it off. Well I can only assume that the RCG don't believe in xmas claiming it as sort of religious ceremony or something.
4WP wrote: Good to see the
To be fair, one article on libcom is as nothing compared to endless amount of time and space the socialist groups spend writing about each other.
"Ken and Hugo's glorious
"Ken and Hugo's glorious names will live forever! Long live Marxism-Leninism-Livingstonism-Chavism!"There are some on the left who make a fetish out of Ken Livingstone which is ridiculous. Extra Bonus points for me. I actually met a member of Socialist Appeal in Coventry twice!
Also went to rally at Socialism 2015 and there was International Bolshevik Tendency selling their 1917 newspaper.
Also had a negative experience of SWP and their front UAF at Anti Racism Rally. The SWP at an anti racism rally is like watching Marxism the Pantomime!