[Marxism] SWP and Respect

Nick Fredman srcsra at scu.edu.au
Tue Nov 6 16:51:52 MST 2007


> Well, let's see, the experience of sitting at meeting on Latin  America with
> socialists and Marxists of divergent views on Cuba   and finding yourself
> spending an hour arguing with your fellow members of a  united front on
> whether 
> Fidel is a dictator or not is hardly  enlightening or edifying. More draining
> in actual fact...
> Again, I repeat, state capitalism is a quixotic theory. If you are  happy to
> debate that let's do it now.

Nothing to debate with me about state cap or Cuba, you seem to be pretty
much correct about those issues. When I previously wrote "some of what jsot
wrote may be true", I was referring to your view of Respect per se, mixing
posts up a bit, apologies for that.

What I find absurd is that state cap or Cuba should be a block to working in
together in a revolutionary group and/or a broader party. Maybe I've been
living in a region well-known for its hippy milieu (and it's lack of far
left groups beyond 3 DSP members and 20 other Socialist Alliance members)
and I just want the left to be shining happy people holding hands.

In general differences like these - historical, theoretical and/or not
relating to key questions in the class struggle - should be neither
submerged nor flogged unnecessarily in any kind of unity effort. I presume
the SWPers didn't demand debates on Fidel within Solidarity (that's what
you're in, isn't it?) but you went along to SWP meetings. I admit I haven't
been to an ISO event since 1993 when yes some well-fed Pom held forth about
gays being locked up in Cuba (only about 25 years out of date, comrade), and
haven't really wanted to since (I did earlier that year go to a couple of
sessions of Marxism in London, not on Cuba, which were interesting).

I don't want to join the Proyect school of lecturing you on your country and
organisation, but I would think in general that the extent such differences
are problematic in a unity effort is reflective with the extent of problems
over the broader effort. In the early days of Socialist Alliance here all
differences were aired pretty amicably. Despite differences over the Labor
Party far more pertinent than differences over Cuba a fairly extensive joint
position was worked out. Also as I've mentioned differences over the
direction of SA completely cut across differences over Cuba. It was when the
ISO got jack of the whole process that they became hyperactive and quite
disingenuous over differences regarding Labor. Conversely I understand that,
whatever problems there have been with the SSP, the unity dynamic there led
comrades from the Militant tradition to gradually join with the vast
majority of the left around the world in having a positive appreciation of
the Cuban revolution.

I guess also in building anything in Britain it'll be hard to go around the
SWP, whatever problems there are with their practices and their sectarian
positions on particular questions.

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