Passive Support or Intervention

Tue Aug 13 19:30:24 MDT 1996

We seem to be rather taking over this list at the moment with our
inconclusive ramblings about the UK Labour Party.

Do other comrades feel ready to vote yet?

Or even raise their voices, and venture an opinion?

For myself, I would value the contributions of those who have so far stayed
silent. If you think I'm talking bullshit, tell me, and I'll go and read
Jim's and Richard's submissions more closely. On the other hand, if you
think I'm talking sense, tell me that, and I'll go and publish a pamphlet.
> I am glad that you will not be cruel Nick. We take different approaches.
> That does not mean that we are in opposition.

Very true. In fact, with a bit of luck, I could get you to come and do some
canvassing for me at the next election....

> > It sounds from the above as though you are saying that impact means
> > and since the CPUSA cannot hope to get many votes, a presidential
> > would have little impact.
> >
> > But that is not how you judge elections, surely?
> No, that is not how I judge elections. I agree with you, but I was trying
> to look at it from the perspective of the CPUSA in a heavy-handed sort of
> way.

Er, right. I see. I think. It's tough enough on here when people argue what
they think, never mind when they don't!

> > It is not against my principles to give succour to the homeless. To give
> > to the bourgeoisie, on the other hand....
> You are contradicting yourself here. Surely that is what you are doing
> when you will be fighting to get Blair elected? I really do not see why
> advocating support for the lesser evil while denouncing the system is
> contradictory. It is not ideal, but it is not contradictory.

Because basing yourself on a doctrine of 'lesser evils' accepts the logic of
the system you then denounce. It is destabilising.

I work for Blair to become the next Prime Minister not because he is the
lesser evil of two capitalist candidates. But because his victory will mean
certain things will have happened in the working class generally, among them
a rise in class confidence to defeat the Tories. You are right that
defeating them and replacing them with Blair ain't much, but Blair (right
now) is all they've got.

Electing Blair will mean a political setback (not massive, but potential
significant) for the bourgeoisie, and a step forwards from where they are
now for the working class. Not a big step perhaps, but a step. I'm not
explaining this too well (as I can tell from the length of Jim's replies),
but my point is about judging the next election as part of a class process,
not as an event in and of itself.

> > > In election campaigns we have found it a good opportunity to meet
> > > Party members and show them that we do not have two heads and eat
> > > We sell them a few papers, get some individuals to work with us in
> > > campaigns, we even occassionaly recruit a new member.
> >
> > But jou say to them both, "continue to work for Labour's electoral
> > and "leave the Labour Party and join the NCP".
> > Doesn't that fry their heads? I know it does mine.
> No Nick, I do not tell people to leave the Labour Party, but it happens
> sometimes. I have tried to persuade people not to do that and to hang on
> in there.
In that comrade, with the greatest possible respect, you ought to join them.
If you think what they are doing is worth their effort, it has to be worth
yours as well. Otherwise you are asking them to do something you are not
prepared to do yourself. This must mean either (a) it is a horrid but vital
task that you don't feel up to attempting, or (b) it is a task which you
don't think is worthy of you, but you dn't mind others doing if they feel
like it.

If the answer is (a) then have a bit more self-confidence, and if it is (b)
have a bit more respect for those in the Party, and pull them out into your
group. But don't say, it's OK for them to do one thing, and for me to do
another - that's just not Bolshevism.

> > > who I would still call Comrades. As I have said before, our position
> > > our relations with the Labour Party may change, but I think our
> > > on the Labour Left still need our help.
> >
> > We sure do. Tell me again why you will not join the Labour Party and
> > it to us.
> Because I am a Communist, and it is important to keep an independent
> perspective. The Labour Left are our friends and allies, but we are not
> the same.

The Labour left are not the same. Believe me.

You don't have to become a Tony Benn clone to join the LP left. You can keep
an independent perspective.

And you'll make lots of new friends.

> Not true! You said in an earlier posting that 50% of votes are from the
> Trades Unions. I do not know your background, but I would say that I do
> just as much to strengthen the position of the Labour Left as a member of
> the NCP than as a LP member.

But as both?


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