the suited vanguard

Alan Bradley abradley1 at
Fri Nov 22 04:32:12 MST 2002

This suit business is interesting. The people who formed what became the DSP
were the biggest bunch of hippies you can imagine.

I've seen old photos - some are quite hilarious.

I actually suspect that there was a bit of a difference in how they
operated, compared to the US group, despite the closeness of the two

In any case, I was also thinking a bit today about the DSP. It doesn't train
its members in a "scratch to gangrene" methodology. This might actually be
one of the contributing factors to its "homogeneity": if differences aren't
automatically seen as matters of principle, it might be the case that
"oppositionists" are less likely to make a song-and-dance act about their
differences. This doesn't necessarily mean that they won't raise them, but
it does mean that they are less likely to push things through to a huge

This basically means that matters that in another group would lead to huge
faction fights, splits and expulsions, tend to be dealt with relatively
calmly. But they are dealt with.

Anyway, even if I am overstating the case for the DSP, this seems to me like
the way things _should_ work. The historical tendency of Trotskyism has been
different. All differences are matters of principle, and thus a potential
cause of splits and expulsions, or at least fireworks and explosions.

Funnily enough, this is the school in which most of the critics of the DSP
were trained. I actually suspect that at least some of them are projecting
their own training on the DSP, and expecting the DSP to act in the same way
that _they_ would in a similar situation, or at least in the way that they
did when they were in similar situations. Frankly, I am not sure that
projecting your own errors onto other people is terribly useful.

Alan Bradley
abradley1 at

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