SPGB Reaches Out To Non-state, Non-market Groups

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ajjohnstone
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May 28 2021 22:30
SPGB Reaches Out To Non-state, Non-market Groups

It may be of interest to some and a total irrelevancy to others but the SPGB carried a motion at its online annual conference.

Quote:
'This Conference is of the view that the Party should take positive steps to contact others who stand for a non-state, non-market society and invite their participation in friendly forums, combined talks, day-schools and social events, so as to put our perspective'.'

It now requires ratification by party poll to become official SPGB policy.

Previously it referred to 'fellow-travellers (e.g. anarchists, libertarian socialists, etc)' but fellow travellers was thought to possess a negative connotation so to make things clearer and highlight what we believe in and locate those who believe in our case, it was rephrased

For any who wish to take us up on this invitation, I would refer to the logistic advantages of possessing a well-equipped premise to hold any meetings and such like.

Also, note the non-adversarial use of the words such as 'debates' being dropped

Maybe the Thin Red Line can be made a little bit broader?

ajjohnstone
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May 29 2021 09:40

I was idly speculating to myself where we could all collaborate constructively since it would be fairly easy to identify points where we disagree and how after a few beers emotions could be riled up and rancour prevail (or am I the only bad drunk?)

It seemed to me that the present situation of 'no war but class war and that includes so-called wars of national liberation is one we could have all coalesced about.

Anti-nationalism in general is another principle where we would have more in common than in differences. But now that Brexit has disappeared from the political headlines, other than the prospect of another Scottish referendum, and I'm not sure it would draw much interest.

So that leaves the pandemic and the lessons that could be learned. Even some members of the SPGB felt lockdown and social distancing was a pretext for authoritarianism and it did raise the question of global administration V. local decision-making.

But i think for all of us...the way we could adapt to online democracy within our organisations and conduct Zoom and Discord public meetings was perhaps the most immediate impact for us all.

Just thought i put some meat to the bones of the SPGB more related hostility clause.

Dyjbas
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May 29 2021 10:49

Regarding "no war but the class war" the CWO and ACG did put out this little platform back in 2019 as a basis for internationalists to come together and we held meetings throughout the country attended by comrades from various tendencies.

For us in the CWO the slogan is always relevant but the current situation with Israel/Palestine makes it all the more so.

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darren p
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May 29 2021 13:04
ajjohnstone wrote:
But now that Brexit has disappeared from the political headlines

On the contrary this one is going to run and run. The troubles in Northern Island are likely to flair more due to the fact of there being a customs border in the North Sea and there's already stories of EU citizens being detained in immigration centres after turning up in the UK without Visas...

imposs1904
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May 29 2021 14:32

What a pious and laughable bullshit motion. I honestly hope that other groups in the 'non-market socialist' sector dismiss it for the meaningless gesture that it is.

To say I'm an increasingly semi-detached supporter of the SPGB is to put it mildly. Anyone want to buy a shop soiled socialist blog? It's yours for the knockdown price of nineteen pounds and four pence.

alb
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May 29 2021 16:57

Actually the amended motion specifically excludes “anarchists, libertarian socialists, etc” who do not stand for both a non-state and a non-market society. Which of course excludes most of them, and it only envisages events to put the SPGB perspective and doesn’t envisage any “collaboration” with them. It merely reflects practice in recent decades of a move from confrontational debates to discussion forums. But if anyone wants a confrontational debate the SPGB is always up for one.

ajjohnstone
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May 29 2021 22:45

ALB, of the groups who are active on Libcom, could you name those who are not for a non-state, non-market society and who you would still exercise the hostility clause against for being a pro-capitalist political party.

But my focus was on shifting the consciousness of our fellow-workers, where we all suffer trouble to convey a message that we do all generally accept within our separate groups. (Brexit may indeed be one of those continuing topics, DarrenP, and I think it another that we all view as British nationalism and present a reasonably coherent opinion upon).

I think it is clear that none of us has any influence with certain messages and one answer is to combine our voices so that it is louder and possible is heard by more. We all have a pitiful audience.

Working together on specific projects is not unity but I do consider it as a step towards such a goal, even if Imposs considers it a meaningless gesture. I acknowledged that there exists still fundamental differences among us all which may not be reconciliable.

I think all here accept that groups have an approach that is aimed at recruitment, even if it does mean poaching members from others with similar goals. We will still compete in the realm of ideology, especially as we all carry the baggage of the past and have been reluctant to jettison even though conditions are no longer the same to justify them.

We shall await the party poll of all individual members to see if they agree "... friendly forums, combined talks, day-schools and social events, so as to put our perspective" is the way to go

We won't stop them from presenting their own perspective on such occasions, having always held the view that democracy means offering our platform to those who do not agree with ourselves.

And a final comment to Imposs, if we do not do something soon, we will be involved in a liquidation closing down sale of much more than a very slightly used blog.

imposs1904
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May 30 2021 01:42

"And a final comment to Imposs, if we do not do something soon, we will be involved in a liquidation closing down sale of much more than a very slightly used blog."

Then liquidate it. Or do a SLP - or, for older folk, a Proletarian Party - and shut up shop. It's preferable to that garbage, pious motion. To borrow the late Al Richardson's old saying, this is nothing more than 'resolutionary socialism'. That's part of the reason it pisses me off. That, and its political and historical illiteracy.

This isn't directed at you; this is directed at the authors of that motion: Shame-faced SPGBers are a pain in the arse, IMHO.

alb
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May 30 2021 08:51

ajj, I'm afraid you've got the wrong end of the stick. What has gone out for a vote of the membership is not a new motion but an amendment to a resolution carried a couple of years ago that was so badly drafted that the movers themselves moved an amendment the following year to make clear that the proposed events would to discuss how to get to socialism, not to join campaigns for the various immediate demands of some of these groups.

What is being voted on this year is a further amendment clarifying that not all anarchists and "libertarian socialists" stand for a "non-state, non-market society":

"That, in the resolution carried at 2019 Conference, as amended by 2020 Conference, the words 'fellow-travellers (e.g. anrchists, libertarian socialists, etc)' be deleted and replaced by 'others who stand for a non-state, non-market society'."

ajjohnstone
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May 30 2021 18:07

ALB, I try not to mislead people. I made clear in my post that it was an updated clarification of an earlier resolution passed.

Quote:
It now requires ratification by party poll to become official SPGB policy.
Previously it referred to 'fellow-travellers (e.g. anarchists, libertarian socialists, etc)' but fellow travellers was thought to possess a negative connotation so to make things clearer and highlight what we believe in and locate those who believe in our case, it was rephrased

But formally as recorded in the minutes of the conference

Quote:
11. Motion: 'That, in the resolution carried at 2019 Conference, as amended by 2020
Conference, the words 'fellow-travellers (e.g. anarchists, libertarian socialists, etc)' be
deleted and replaced by 'others who stand for a non-state, non-market society', so as
to read: 'This Conference is of the view that the Party should take positive steps to
contact others who stand for a non-state, non-market society and invite their
participation in friendly forums, combined talks, day-schools and social events, so as
to put our perspective'.'
West London Branch
Buick – This is just following up on the previous discussion last year at ADM.
Foster – We discussed this in West Midlands, and everyone was in favour. Fellow travellers has
both positive and negative connotations. This makes things clearer.
Rosonov – Our branch also supports this, as it highlights what we believe in and locates those who believe in our case

By posting the outline of the motion on Libcom i was following its spirit by taking positive steps by contacting organisations that reflect that caveat "who stand for a non-state, non-market society".

I also indicated that there were some principles where agreement would not be possible but that there others where we did share a general agreement and mentioned those, war, nationalism, a need for global administration on the pandemic (I could have added global warming, too) and the more mundane matter of how groups organise and communicate remotely online to exercise fuller democracy.

Hopefully, this "practice in recent decades of a move from confrontational debates to discussion forums" and the inclusive language used in the motion which I highlighted is now noted by other groups here, and that they can approach us with their own suggestions to set up "friendly forums, combined talks, day-schools and social events" which will attract a prospective larger audience than each group perhaps could on their own, and demonstrate a unified class position on particular issues better to actually raise all of our profiles with the public and exercise whatever influence we can bring to bear on our fellow-workers understanding and awareness on those topics, and I referred to a current example that brought out tens of thousands supporting a theocratic national liberation front where all of our analyses overlapped and we could consolidate our message to contest left's.