[Marxism] Reply to Lou re: When Left Parties Are Appropriate.

Scotlive at aol.com Scotlive at aol.com
Thu Aug 19 01:03:21 MDT 2004


I have first hand experience of the WWP - I was a member for a short period 
of time. I continue to work with them in the IAC and I can vouch for the fact 
that they are very dedicated and committed. However, they are small and, like I 
said, lack both the numbers and resources to form a movement strong and 
effective enough to be relevant. All the various parties in the US concentrate 
their efforts on mobilizing around international issues. However, unless they are 
able to mobilize around domestic issues in the oppressed communities, there 
will be no real growth or strength. To think that you can call a permitted 
demonstrations against the war in Iraq, or the coup in Haiti, and expect to advance 
the cause of socialism is political fantasy. All these demos do is make the 
people who attend feel better, but that is not the same as being effective.

You mentioned the Panthers, asking if their methods is what I meant. 
Absolutely. And not just the Panthers. In the occupied territories of Palestine the 
militant groups attract support because they provide services for the people. 
They provide schools, food, housing and transport. The same in the nationalist 
communities in the North of Ireland. In both cases they have made themselves 
relevant to the everyday lives of their people.

If we are to end imperialism abroad we must first end social and economic 
injustice at home. To think that you can sit around and wait for the revolution 
to come is nonsense. 

I was in Scotland and attended a Scottish Socialist Party conference a few 
months back. In a country of 5 million they have a party of 5000 members. This 
is quite considerable. They now have six seats in the Scottish Parliament. 
Their secret is democracy. Branches can put forward motions and proposals on 
policy, etc. and these are then voted upon by the membership. Once a motion has 
been passed or denied the rest of the membership abides by the majority decision. 
This has allowed different tendencies to come together in common cause. They 
also understand that different objective conditions demand a different 
approach. For instance, the WWP ( and like I've already said I like the people within 
your Party) are overly secretive and undemocratic, in my opinion. They are 
organized like a Party which is underground when the present circumstances 
dictate that they don't have to be. There are no elections, policy is handed down 
by the secretariat to the NC, and then  down to the branches. The members of 
the NC are selected by the secretariat and not by the branches themselves.

The recent split was a result of the lack of accountability of the leadership 
to the membership, with a few people in high-profile  postitions able to 
amass too much influence and prestige. I hope the WWP learns from that and take 
steps to reorganize and change a few things. 

Once again, I am utterly convinced that there needs to be a reorientation of 
priority to domestic and local issues in order to build a viable, cohesive and 
strong socialist movement within the US.


More information about the Marxism mailing list