Challenge to Paul/Jeff/Marcus: A case for Triangulation

Marcus Strom MSTROM at nswtf.org.au
Wed Sep 13 17:31:28 MDT 1995


Jeff

I've been busy working and haven't got the quotes here, but I will
respond to your response. You have completely misunderstood my
position. Maybe partly my fault. To just label any criticism as
ultra-left is very dangerous. Here is a bitsy response


Marcus:
>
>
> > Jim, the differences have nothing to do with which side of the pond
> > you're on - if the working class is an international class, then it
> > needs an international program (Militant recognise this - their
> > Australian program is quite similar to the British one). Also,  if
> > the class struggle is taken through its contradictions to a postive
> > resolution; ie a workers socialist revolution, and in order to
> > achieve this it needs a party and a program, then these differences
> > are actually quite important. I will maintain that the logic of
> > Militant's program is counterrevolutionary. This claim is not made in
> > a subjective / sectarian way: people in Militant are among the better
> > people I've worked with in Britain and Australia (Jeff, I was even on
> > picket lines facing the cops with your comrades in Scottland), but
> > their program is wrong. It is sectarian of Jeff to rant and rave and
> > dismiss any critique of militant from the left. It is the repetition
> > of the Labourist crap that if you aren't in 'the' party (the Labor
> > Party), you aren't in the movement. Militant's program is not all
> > that different from the old CPGB's and the current CPB's "British
> > Road to Socialism". You are kidding yourself if you think socialist
> > 'revolution' will be through an Enabling Bill in Parliament (backed
> >
Jeff:
> 	Wow.  Lots of assertions and distortions in the above.  The call
> for public ownership of companies threatening redundancies or to close
> down is a very practical demand that on the one hand could be won and on
> the other hand raises the need for socialism.  A marxist political party
> needs to fight for immediate demands (many of which would be seen as
> reformist by ultra-lefts) AND organize and fight for socialist
> revolution.  Your problem is that you ignore the need for a bridge
> between workers' consciousness at present and the type of consciousnes
> needed by at least some sections of the working class in order to have a
> successful revolution.  One way of building up for larger and larger
> fights is to put forward demands from the movement that people can
> understand and fight for.  Going around yelling:  "Revolution now!" just
> makes you look like an ultra-left wanker and most workers won't join your
> little group.

Marcus:
I have no problem at all with such demands. I repeat I HAVE NO
PROBLEM WITH SUCH DEMANDS!!! (About nationalisation of companies
threatening redundancies). I do not think they are NECESSARILY
reformist. You completely misrepresent my position if you think I am
saying 'revolution now'. I have never made such an assertion.

>Marcus:
> by the labour movement) - the bastion of the bourgeoisie. The word
> > 'backed' is a dead give away. Jeff you didn't address this point. You
> > cannot equate nationalisation under 'democratic' control with
> > socialism (as the first 'stage' of communism where class society
> > still exists, with the working class the ruling class). And if this
> > isn't really the case, then it should be in your program! It is
> > dishonest and
>
Jeff:
> 	You lost me here mate!  A lot of Militant Labour material puts
> forward formulations like:  "For a democratic socialist world to end
> hunger, war and environmental destruction"  -- Labor Militant Sept./Oct.
> '95.  But as I'm trying to explain, Labor Militant, Militant Labour,
> etc...  also put forward more immediate demands and try to link them
> altogether with a method of analysis and a guide to political action
> (marxism).  Guess you just don't get it mate.  Too bad.  Put another
> shrimp on the barbie!  (BTW... You're from New South Wales, right?)
>
Marcus:
Yes, it does seem I have lost you here. " Militant: Where we stand",
claims to be a marxist program. If this is the case, it should
clearly state the general 'line of march' from this historical period
to that of the victory of the socialist revolution. If this is the
case - you call for this 'victory' to be presented to us through a
bill in parliament! YOU STILL HAVE NOT ADDRESSED THIS ISSUE!
I agree with making demands that are 'winnable' in the here and now
(such as mobilising against a hospital closure) and linking this with
the need for socialism. Yes. Workers need to come to this conclusion
through their own experience, not have it shoved down their throats
by some little sectoid. AGAIN. LISTEN. I AGREE.

It is the method of stalinism (which I grew up with) that make straw
figures of an opposing position to knock it down. I am not saying any
of the things you are claiming I am. I oppose them as do you. But, I
maintain that Militant's program is reformist because of its reliance
on parliament.

>Marcus
> patronising to have the 'real' program only available
> > to those in the organisation. It will be politically developed people
> > who read your program anyway
>
 	
>Jeff
 	Last night a guy that works the deli counter at a local Stop and
> Shop said he really liked Labor militant's program.  He's not politically
> developed in the way that you mean.


Again - words in my mouth "in the way that you mean". For him to be
picking up a document that proports to be the program of a
revolutionary socialist organisation, I'd say he's pretty politically
developed, or well on the way.
>
>Marcus
 - aren't they smart enough yet to
> > understand that a demand is only a minimum and is transitional to
> > achieving revolutionary goals? Where does it say in your program that
> > 'community control of police' is a transitional demand. All the
> >
> Jeff:
> 	It is what it is.  People readily understand our goal.  What
> they're rightly sceptical of is how we're going to achieve it and how's
> it gonna work.  So that's what we end up talking about a lot.
>

Marcus:
"It is what it is". How scientific! What do you mean? A transitional
demand means that the core of the demand is not realisable under
capitalism. When it comes to the police - there won't be any after
the revolution. There will be local workers militia who are part of
the state power because they will have smashed the old one - the
police being part of it. The police have a concrete class position -
and if you think they are part of your class, I have doubts as to
which class your final alleigance lies

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