World Party of Socialist Revolution

Shane Hopkinson s.hopkinson at
Wed Jul 17 08:35:52 MDT 2002

> From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at>
> >It's experiences like this that have made me stick with the "sect" form of
> >organisation, despite its obvious drawbacks. Those who would persuade us
> >otherwise need to suggest a convincing practical alternative.
> >Tom O'Lincoln
> Speaking for myself, I have already offered an alternative in my "speech
> that Jack Barnes should have given."

Both Steve P and I have been working at updating your 'report' in the
context of Australian conditions.  Its too early to start drawing conclusions
about 'what is to be done?' yet.

> That being said, I am afraid that Tom
> and the DSP'ers are not looking for an alternative but a recipe. In other
> words, they want a set of prescriptions about how to organize *themselves*.
> I am afraid that unless you lose the concept of yourself as a distinct
> current, you will never get anywhere.

I think this is unfair. No one wants a recipe we want to know what your alternative
would look like.  I like Draper's piece for its analysis of what the Bolsheviks were
really like but I think he's pretty light on for details.  You have criticised the DSP
being a sect and now we need to abandon the concept of ourselves not just as a
party (or mass party in miniture) but even as a political current.  I don't want a
recipe I want to be able to see what you have in mind and how it you see the process
unfolding (not in detail but in general) as Draper does.

> While Jon Anderson's bio of Che
> Guevara is deeply flawed, it is worth reading for the material on how the
> July 26th movement came together. Put succinctly, it was the organizational
> expression of a *mass movement*, as was the Russian social democracy (we
> should never lose sight that the Bolsheviks were simply *part* of this
> broader movement.)

Indeed. I have rad stuff on this list and elsewhere on the early days of the
and how they constituted themselves out of workers circles held together around a
newspaper.  Its the early stuff that interests me moreso than 1917.  We all want to be

part of a broader movement - but which mass movement is it that you think we should
submerge ourselves into (giving up our identities as sectarians) and thereby moving
world closer to fundamental change.

> Unless you begin to see the big picture, it will be
> impossible to think in terms of what should be done next.

Indeed and so Steve and I are sketching stuff out to see the 'big picture' from
different angles.

> Habit, routine and tradition are intrinsic to organizations of the type that James
> P.
> Cannon inspired. A true revolutionary movement will have to shun these
> characteristics like the plague.

Indeed - as long as they don't give up any form of organising at all in the process.

> I should add however that all forms of socialist organization, even the
> sect, are useful.

Well yes I wouldn't ne here having these debates if it weren't for DSP educationals
the question is how to move forward.  Lenin found a way to bring the workers
circles together as a marxist current in the Russian labour movement. Now we need
to find ways to move forward from here drawing on the experience of many comrades


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