On the issue of "internal" discussions -- ISO/SWP opposition

Paul Flewers hatchet.job at SPAMvirgin.net
Mon May 22 07:21:44 MDT 2000


José < The argument is made that this is to prevent the police and other currents
(so-called "opponents")  from intervening in the discussion >   Lüko: <  It is
not just "the cops and the sparts". It is the pressure of the bourgeois society
as a whole which bears heavily on a small group. >   So is the answer to seal
oneself off from 'bourgeois society' -- which includes the very people we're
trying to attract, the working class -- and end up like some of the more
stranger groups on the left that have believed in imminent economic catastrophes
and revolutionary situations, even through the postwar boom; or develop habits
resembling those of religious cults that can only repulse the average worker; or
find a workers' paradise in some bizarre faraway Ruritania?   Even if you mean
'bourgeois ideology' rather than 'bourgeois society', the answer is the same.
The ideas and pressures of conservatism, liberalism and social democracy cannot
be fought by refusing to confront them. Do we not have any confidence in our
ability as Marxists to counter these ideas?   Are left-wing leaders afraid that
the slightest exposure of their flocks to alien ideologies or class pressures,
or even to question the tactics and strategies of their groups, will lead them
to give up revolutionary politics, or join a rival left-wing conglomerate? Do
they really have such a poor opinion of their members and supporters?    Yes,
the Internet has opened up left-wing debate. And a good thing too. The attempts
of petty-minded left-wing leaders to restrict debate is doomed to fail. The
attempts by Cliffite leaders to stop their members looking at certain websites
and going on certain newsgroups, etc, is hilarious -- what are they going to do?
Insist on inspecting each member's PC? The attempt of Cliffite leaders to get
ISPs to suppress information from rival groups being displayed is, however, a
serious business, and constitutes censorship of opinion, and shows their
stupidly authoritarian tendencies.   Paul F



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