Free Cde. Sparrow from his sectarian bird cage!
nibs at nibs.org.au
Mon Nov 11 05:18:31 MST 2002
For comrade Sparrow, the pages of the Communist Manifesto are useful only
for lining his sectarian bird cage.
"In what relation do the Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole?
The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other
Wow! An argument based upon the peculiarity of my name! Gotta love those
sophisticated polemicists. Its a shame Jose agrees with Peter Boyle he
could have had a field day there.
As for the substance of the post, suffice to say that its quite perverse
to think that a quotation from the 27 year old Marx, written in an era
before modern political parties even existed can settle a dispute about how
communists should organise today. Any serious attempt to deal with the
question has to at least come to terms with (irrespective of whether one
agrees with them) the arguments made in the twentieth century its daft to
simply that one can ignore them by returning to Marx, particular in the
form of the most misused quotation in the entire canon.
Communists like Marx and Engels, profoundly convinced of the correctness of
their ideas and the justness of the proletarian cause, had no "sectarian
principles of their own by which to shape and mold the proletarian
Marx spent his life polemicising against the lets all just be friends
school of socialism. Hence the debates in the First International, hence
the Critique of the Gotha Program, hence just about everything he wrote.
Im quite happy to defend the continuity between Marxs attitude to party
politics (taken in context) and Lenins. Of course, theres a whole shabby
tradition that tries to use the quote above to make a contrary case, but I
didnt think it had much currency any more. Perhaps Im wrong.
Comrade Sparrow believes there are different groups BECAUSE there are
differing points of view on these "underlying issues."
I want to propose a radically different explanation, a --dare I say it--
MATERIALIST explanation. At the risk of being accused of the most vulgar
kind of reductionism, I believe that today the REAL basis for the existence
of a lot of these "differences" is, quite simply, the existence of different
Yeah? You could argue with just as much legitimacy that the difference
between the various views put forward on this list could be eliminated by
us all turning off our computers!
The material basis for the myriad of tiny groups lies in decades of defeat.
I would have thought that was obvious. But thats a legacy that cant
simply be wished away. It needs to be overcome which is why I keep banging
on about the importance of fresh forces or political victories.
Underneath all the hoopla of these we all should simply get together
arguments lies a terrible pessimism. The tiny numbers of people already on
the revolutionary left are all were ever going to get, therefore we should
just make the best of each other, cos it aint never getting better than this.
Well, I dont buy it.
The results of Peter Camejo's campaign for governor of California, where he
got 5%+ of the vote statewide, and even beat out Simon (the Republican) in a
couple of Northern California counties, shows that when left forces can
punch through the media blackout, we can and will win a hearing, and a
significant layer of adherents. And from all the press coverage I've seen
Camejo did not run some milquetoast "sewer socialist" campaign, but a
hard-hitting campaign on the biggest issues, including the war, rights for
undocumented workers, and so on.
This would be the same Peter Camejo who now devotes himself to playing the
stock market and investing ethically? This is fellow with whom we should
bury our differences and unite?
Thanks very much, but I think Ill stick to my bird cage.
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