Socialist Labour Party
Louis N Proyect
lnp3 at columbia.edu
Mon Nov 20 08:35:04 MST 1995
On Mon, 20 Nov 1995, Steve Wallis wrote:
> I agree with Ryan Daum that Louis' "advice" that Militant Labour
> dissolves itself into the Socialist Labour Party is a recipe for
> However much you may personally abhor factions, you cannot simply wish
> them away. If the left is not organised, then that is not going to
> stop the right from being organised. Undoubtedly, reformists of
Louis: I am not at all opposed to factions. I am opposed to *permanent*
factions, which pretty much defines the identity of Marxist-Leninist,
Trotskyist, democratic-centralist groups in the larger mass movement. I
speak from experience on this matter. We used to have "fraction" meetings
of the SWP before mass antiwar conferences where the line was explained by
our floor leaders. "Remember, the date is Oct. 21, not Nov. 4 as the CP
proposes. Also, the line is 'Bring the troops home now', not 'Bring the
troops home now, and withdraw the National Guard from Watts', as some of
our opponents propose. If you have questions about which way to vote,
just look to our floor leader Fred Halstead. (Fred was 6'9" tall and 300
pounds, so there was no missing him in a crowd.)"
What if an individual member of the SWP was persuaded by the passionate
antiracist remarks of Scott Marshall and wanted to vote with Scott? Too
bad, you couldn't break discipline. You had to wait until the next SWP
convention which might have been 18 months away.
Is this the way the Militant Labor will function in a Socialist Labor
Party? Will you vote differently from your floor-leader if your heart and
mind tell you to?
This is not the type of democratic-centralism we need. It is not the kind
the Bolsheviks practiced. Bolshevik newspapers and politicians were
arguing *in public* the week before the November 1917 revolution whether
or not to take power. Stalin, Zinoviev and Kamenev spoke against and
Lenin for. Not only did Stalin and the others argue publicly, they
actually *broke discipline* during the November days. They were not even
expelled for this indiscipline.
This has nothing to do with the cult-sect understanding of
democratic-centralism that prevails in the Maoist and Trotskyist
left. Up with Lenin, down with Marxism-Leninism.
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