WRP SPLITS

Chris Bailey chrisbailey at gn.apc.org
Thu Sep 14 15:13:49 MDT 1995


Sorry if this discussion on WRP splits bores some people on the list,
but my email does seem to indicate interest from at least a few list
members. Actually, I have no interest myself in tracing the various
sects and their activity today. I haven't followed what they are doing
for several years. I know that both the Torrance group and the Vanessa
Redgrave grouping still exist, but I have little idea what they are
doing except that they fight each other as to who are the true heirs
of Healy. They actually did fight at his funeral for possession of his
body!

However, I do feel strongly that there are important issues here for
the Marxist movement as a whole. The Healyite sect represented an
extreme, but I see elements of the same thing in many other
organisations claiming to be Marxist. I agree with Louis Proyert's
recent statement:

>I would argue that this list in its embryonic form represents the kind of
>socialist organization that is needed world-wide as we approach the 21st
>century.

During the chaotic events following Healy's overthrow I clung onto a
quotation I found by Rosa Luxemburg. I can't find it now or remember
where it was from, but it said something like this:

"There is nothing more detrimental to revolution than a lie and
nothing more beneficial than plain blunt truth."

The ultimate "plain blunt truth" for some of us was that we had to
smash up and destroy an organisation we had put our lives into. We did
it, and, for our efforts, are now labelled as MI5 agents, etc. by the
likes of Ken Livingstone MP.

During the events that ultimately led to my expulsion from the WRP,
Bill Hunter, urging an end to "endless discussion", stated: "We cannot
build a movement on a question mark." He is, of course, right. But the
Marxist movement *is* today faced by a whole series of question marks.
I think the kind of socialist organization Louis poses is needed to
begin finding real answers that can ultimately build a genuine
movement in the working class. Sects are produced by the attempts to
bypass this by ignoring the question marks and pretending to have all
the answers. This ultimately amounts to acts of faith similar to
religion.

Tim asks whether a residue exists in Britain from the Healy experience
that plays a positive role in British left politics. I think the main
positive role for British left politics was the removal of a major
sect from the scene. We are still in that same process; last year
_Militant_ blew up. That's two down, one to go. I am convinced the
demise of the sects is a difficult, but totally necessary step in
laying the foundations for a genuine working class socialist movement
based on the present global developments taking place in world
capitalism.

BTW Tim, I think its important to stress that previous oppositions to
Healy within his international organisation played a role in his
ultimate demise. We avidly read everything we could get hold of from
these previous confrontations. As you probably know, I personally
found some of your own writings vital at the time. After the Healy
expulsion I went on a kind of world tour of the Trotskyist sects
explaining what had happened. Against considerable opposition from
these quarters I did try to contact you whilst I was in the Bay Area.
I only had one day spare and could only get your answerphone. Thought
you ought to know!

Chris Bailey


     --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---

     ------------------



More information about the Marxism mailing list