WRP SPLITS

Jeffrey Booth booth2 at husc.harvard.edu
Thu Sep 14 10:05:18 MDT 1995


	Get a grip babe.  Militant didn't "blow-up" at all.  It's
stronger than ever and it's called Militant Labour.  Or maybe all that
poll tax and election stuff doesn't figure into your sectarian calculus.

				-- Jeff Booth

On Thu, 14 Sep 1995, Chris Bailey wrote:

> 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
>
>
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>



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