A World To Win?

LCMRCI global at uk.pi.net
Mon Aug 19 11:41:35 MDT 1996


A WORLD TO WIN?
REPORT ON WP’S SUMMER SCHOOL

On 25-28 July the LRCI had its first open summer school. In the past the LRCI organised 3 kinds of separate schools in different places every summer: one for the English speaking supporters, one for the German speaking supporters and one for the leaders of all the sections that come to the Interna
tional Executive Committee. All of these schools were held with selective criteria with the aim of avoiding hostile groups and  to allow more freedom for the members to criticise and elaborate the group’s line.
This year, however, the LRCI decided to merge these schools and in an open way. Despite the fact that this time the event had new people who belonged to different groups there were fewer people than when the schools were separate. Despite some new recruits in France and Australia the LRCI no longe
r has anybody from the Americas and it is disappearing in places where it used to be some of their more important areas (like Ireland or Birmingham). WP is becoming reduced to a mostly Londonian group with few members in the rest of England . They have practically no industrial workers or black su
pporters.
WP’s event aped Marxism in most of its defects. The rank and file members were forbidden to put their own critical points of view which prevented the possibility of elaboration of the internal line in a collective way. In every plenary slips of paper were distributed and some ‘aparatchiks’ censore
d who could speak or not. The members were pressed to defend unconditionally what the leaders said no matter what they were saying, to tell everybody how wonderful the party is which everybody should join and avoid engaging in discussions with critical trotskyists organisations or dissidents.
The LRCI avoided discussing many important issues like restoration of capitalism in the former USSR and Eastern Europe or Bosnia, where it has a completely inconsistent policy. The level of the courses were lower (with some exceptions like the debate on the SLP). A central attraction for the WP’s
event was the arrival of one leading PTS (Workers’ Socialist Party) cadre from Argentina. The PTS decided not to send anybody and its presence was covered by few of its supporters resident in London.
In the rally on Latin America the main LRCI leader  made a Stalino-phobic speech which only criticised Cuba and ignored completely the five-week-long general strike in Bolivia, the Paraguayan strikes and mass actions that defeated the April coup or in fact any workers’ struggle in that continent.
 He even said that Castro was destroying the working class in Cuba which is a complete exaggeration. Instead of inviting a member of Poder Obrero (Bolivia) to the platform to make a report on the general strike, he only had 3 minutes to contribute and after he received several replies and attacks.

Nearly all the small  number of groups that were present in the event were complaining of how WP was distorting their positions. The Workers Internationalist League and the Committee for Revolutionary Regroupment were particularly upset by the way in which their positions were misrepresented with
the aim to attack them.
WP forbade anybody outside the LRCI to sell or distribute publications in
the building or within 30 feet of the entrance.  The only exception to that
rule was to anyone that could pay extra money to have their own stall for
only two days away from the main area,  while the LRCI groups had a big
stall for the four days of the event. The only group which booked for that
two days was the CPGB which allowed the LCMRCI to put their staff in their
stall. On the first day the WP leaders forbade comrades from the CPGB/LCMRCI
stall from saling its publications one foot outside and adopted a
provocative attitude. Next day one WP leader come to where the CPGB stall
was and aggressively ordered everybody around it to leave the main room.
Shortly afterwards he said that the CPGB stall could not continue despite
the fact that the CPGB claimed that they had paid for it. When the LCMRCI
complained about the authoritarian decision of WP to remove the CPGB stall,
one of its leading cadres started to shout at the entrance that he wanted to
physically provoke them.
One of the LCMRCI comrades was cut off from every plenary and from most of
the debates when he tried to intervene. In all his speeches Harvey, the main
LRCI leader, said that the LRCI only expelled the Latin American cc. for
disciplinary and not internal repressive measures. Nevertheless, in the
debate on the SLP which was the first forum over which he presided he
decided to ban any LCMRCI comrade from speaking. When one LCMRCI comrade
asked the chair to reconsider his position he was answered in an aggressive
manner and threatened with expulsion by stewards.
In a political debate it is possible to attack ideologically other
tendencies. LRCI leaders, incapable of this, were reduced instead in some
cases to relying on personal abuse (for example, they criticised one comrade
for being a simpleton,  scam, etc. When another comrade complained about him
being excluded from the speaker list, and asking why the vilified comrade
could not have the right to reply,  a core of full timers came to him to
threaten him with expulsion.
Politically the LRCI is in a big theoretical crisis. It claims that Bolivia,
which is the only country in the planet that had recently 3 one-month-long
general strikes in 2 years, suffered an strategic defeat comparable with the
destruction of the Paris Commune, while they don’t want to see the strategic
defeat in Eastern Europe when bourgeois states were reconstructed. It said
that Serbia is a workers’ state but the LRCI opposed defend it against NATO
bombs and asked explicitly imperialism to send men and arms to their Bosnian
proxies. It said that in former Yugoslavia there are until now
post-capitalist states with "restored capitalism". It defended Argentina and
Iraq in the wars against the US but it rejected to defend any kind of
military resistance in Haiti against the US invasion. In all the school they
couldn’t answer several of these questions.
On the SLP, WP had, as Mark Fischer said, a different position in every
paper. WP was criticised because it didn’t want to adopt some tactical
actions and participated in the SLP founding congress. If it could happen
the composition of the NC could have a decisive change. WP answer was very
unsatisfactory. In Fact, WP is not doing any kind of work inside Labour,
which they advocate to vote, and is rejecting to vote for Scargill or the
SLP anywhere.
Now around 8-10% of WP members decided to renounce publicly to the LRCI and
to join the SLP. Despite the fact that WP is claiming that these comrades
wanted to fight for similar positions inside the SLP there is a serious
problem. While these ex-WP members inside the SLP would advocate vote for
Labour in places in which the SLP doesn’t stand they are advocating vote for
the SLP everywhere. We called to that ex-WP comrades to work with other WP
dissidents inside the SLP with the aim to form a tendency and to promote the
Revolutionary Platform.
The LRCI is not only in numerical decline but is also in theoretical decline. WP is becoming a small version of the SWP. It is aping its former party in the kind of paper, internal regime and in its way to approach politics combining propagandism with self-proclamations. WP is changing positions l
ike the wind. In that sense they are becoming a Wind Power Group.
Such kind of eclectic organisations could only have a bureaucratic regime based in loyalty to the ruling clique with the aim to avoid internal criticisms to their zigzags. The arrogance and intimidation methods are a manifestation of its impotence.  No wonder why its dissidents have to be vilify w
ith any slander the leaders could invent.
G. James




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