Post-Trump North American left trends

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Battlescarred
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Feb 4 2021 14:50

Just more of the same old stale politics , I'm afraid. To place any hope in any of the groups mentioned is beyond belief .RS21, an attempt by ex-SWP members to go back to the early days of the IS, yet still unrelentingly Bolshevik; Anti*Capitalist Resistance, a lash up of two terminally ill groups that have issued out of the fragments of USFI Trotskyism, still stuck up the arse of the Labour Party; Red Fightback, a nasty little split from the Revolutionary Communist Group. To place these next to "a more diffuse extra-parliamentary left including collectives organizing against carceral and border violence, small trade unions representing precarious workers and migrants, and organizations in the autonomist and left-communist traditions like Angry Workers of the World" is absurd. And yes, the failure to fully condone anti-parliamentary and anti-electoralist politics condemns it.

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R Totale
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Feb 4 2021 15:21

Yeah, the proof is in the pudding I suppose. A lot of the things that writer says I'd broadly agree with, even if I wouldn't use the same Leninist/Trotskyist reference points, but then back in 2015/16 there were Momentum types saying all sorts of things that sounded good about the importance of grassroots workplace and community organising and so on, and we've all seen how that turned out. Didn't realise the UK had a "Marxist Centre" now, but again, it remains to be seen what, if anything, their practical activity will look like.

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sherbu-kteer
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Mar 2 2021 10:49

Since late 2019, a number of people have resigned from Black Rose/Rosa Negra. Out of the 59 people who left, 33 of them have signed on to this statement:

https://medium.com/@thistlewritingcollective/every-rose-has-its-thorn-74...

They essentially state that the organisation had a lack of commitment towards applying the feminism they nominally stood for. The main points they give are:

- Soft Power and the Weaponization of Bureaucracy
- Inability to Disagree
- Accountability
- Performative Politics and the Tokenization of Feminist Labor
- Inability to Respond

The conclusion seems to indicate that they're still interested in organised anarchism and will be using their experience in future projects, which makes me hopeful.

Spikymike
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Mar 2 2021 10:29

sherbu-kteer, Thanks for this but please include a short introduction rather than post an unidentified link for anything else related to this libcom thread.

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sherbu-kteer
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Mar 2 2021 10:49

My bad. Edited in a quick description.

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Reddebrek
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Mar 2 2021 13:53
Spikymike wrote:
I'd be interested in what other libcom readers/posters make of all this?

Seems pretty typical of the Cosmo group

I don't know, it seems for lack of a better word to be very studenty in its framing, it puts a lot of faith in quotations and seems to use the fame of the quoted to do the work of the argument for them. And examples of negatives like Lenin on joining the labour party are explained away as mistakes.

For example

Quote:
‘Marxists, who wish to oppose the present state rather than to manage it loyally, can then only be in partial unity with the loyalist [i.e. reformist] wing of the workers’ movement. We can bloc with them on particular issues. We can and will take membership in parties and organisations they control – and violate their constitutional rules and discipline – in order to fight their politics. But we have to organise ourselves independently of them. That means that we need our own press, finances, leadership committees, conferences, branches and other organisations.’

This is a quote from Macnair and is used as a strategy to adopt, but its literally Militant's entryism logic, the strategy that has failed every time its been tried, and based on the title you'd think the author would be arguing the opposite.

The only to square this I can think of is if the author thinks the problem wasn't the strategy but that the entryiers were too small and weak when they gave it a try, so is suggesting that this independent marxist force should spend its time building up a strong and entrenched independent movement and then start joining Labour and the TUC to give it a go.

Quote:
Dual power strategy should further address the role of working people’s councils at the district level. The surviving ‘Leninist’ parties in Britain have largely forgotten the need for independent working-class self-organisation capable of displacing the capitalist state machine, amounting to a paradoxical situation of ‘Bolsheviks without soviets’.

The hell does this mean? What strategy? It jumps from saying the revolutionary left needs to do things to acting like this is sufficient to Like base building, Dual power strategy is just jargon repeated because its what these types favourite thinkers said in their best sellers.

This is another recent political trend I've noticed amongst a lot of the new north American left that's popping up elsewhere. They don't know what they actually want, I went back and check and base building and dual power are never explained despite apparently being the most important features of a successful movement.

So they just commit themselves to these strategies that sound impressive when you don't scrutinise them. But when you do just give them even a slight bit of thought they don't make sense. This article doesn't make sense, if you assume they're being genuine at the beginning. It isn't escaping the labour safety valve its sad that they can't replace it with another.

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R Totale
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Mar 2 2021 16:15

Also on that article, of all things that you could possibly criticise the SWP for, saying that they're too obsessed with workers’ self-activity is a very weird one. And looking it up, their source for their criticisms of the SWP appears to be one of the obscure splinters that came out of the break-up of the WRP. What relevance that has to all the article's talk about "shakeup and rethinking within the radical left milieu", "a strategic orientation towards building counter-power and planting deep roots in working-class communities" and so on is anyone's guess.

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comradeEmma
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Mar 2 2021 17:59
Quote:
Seems pretty typical of the Cosmo group

That really depends on what you mean by the "cosmo group", the people I have talked to around cosmonaut disagree with the usage of "dual power" and "base building".

Some of the Cosmo group are currently doing preparations for the DSA convention.

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R Totale
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Mar 2 2021 19:13

That looks a bit - well, a lot - electorally focused to me. Frankly, I'd take vague platitudes about base building over a socialist slate for the House any day.

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sherbu-kteer
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Mar 3 2021 09:33

Response to aforementioned critique of Black Rose from another former member:

https://twitter.com/WildfiresSunse1/status/1366993605127200769?s=20

Black Badger
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Mar 3 2021 14:33

too bad it's only on twitter

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sherbu-kteer
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Mar 4 2021 07:00

Yeah it's annoying. Why do people insist on awkwardly spreading a few hundred words of info across many tweets, when you could write a single coherent blog post? Oh well.

There's some responses from supporters of the medium letter to these tweets in the replies.

ajjohnstone
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Mar 29 2021 01:25

misplaced post - apologies