More about that relativ

Paul W. Cockshott cockshpw at
Fri Oct 7 07:10:21 MDT 1994

On Fri, 7 Oct 1994 andy at wrote:
> >smash the state. If Maoist revolutionaries had been more numerous and
> >had they been in a position to continue leading rather than merely
> >initiate the campaign things might have been different, but even so
> >to describe the campaign as moderately reformist is wrong.
> I don't get it. Is the bit about Maoist revolutionaries supposed to be funny?
No. The point had been made that although the poll tax campaign suceeded
its only effect was to replace one capitalist government with another.
The only way things could have been different would have been if it
had developed into an armed uprising leading to the overthrow of the state.
Given the generally non-revolutionary character of the marxist left
in Britain this was an unlikely event. The reason I mention Maoists, is
that international Maoism is the only international political tendancy that
bases its politics on preparing for or organising armed uprisings.

Maoism is almost non-existent in Britain today, but at the start of
the Anti-Poll Tax movement some Maoist groups did exist. In Scotland the
leading figure in initiating the campaign was Matt Lygate, a Maoist
revolutionary who had just been released from 14 years in prison. The
WPS which he led, inititated the campaign and popularised the direct
action tactics that were later used throughout the country. However
after the first year of the campaign, leadership inevitably passed to
the much larger and better organised Scottish Militant whose orientation
is basically electoral.


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