[Marxism] Re: Building the revolutionary party
gojack10 at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 19 09:53:00 MDT 2004
Lou Paulsen: "WWP is not going to grow by merger with other groups whose
core values are antithetical to our own. It is going to grow by recruiting
people who share our core values, which, we believe, more workers will
share as the times become more revolutionary."
There will be pie in the sky when we die. What I mean by this, is simply
that Lou Paulsen's statement highlights a fact about how WWP sees the world
in terms of thinking of this period as being too conservative to recruit
members almost. Too conservative to even openly advocate in its own name as
a socialist organization! The WWP operates as if it's really a semi legal
organization that might be closed down at any moment. It operates locally
almost as if it were the CP in the early '50s. How can a group recruit
cadre in this manner?
Louis Proyect concentrated on the 'purity' aspect of WWP ideology as being
self-limiting to being able to grow. But there is another self-limiting
factor, and that is simply that the WWP hides itself behind the names of
'coalitions' where their members are really almost the only activists.
Now I know that that might not be readily apparent to many on the list,
since it seems that the WWP prominently and publicly carries its banner in
national demos. But locally this is not the case. Instead, the WWP cadre
hides itself behind names like 'The Job is a Right Coalition' or 'Texas
Death Penalty Abolition Movement', etc. And it is almost invisible as a
distinctly, directly anti-capitalist organization, the Workers World Party.
That would be too communist in conservative times, as the WWP sees the
Unlike Louis Proyect, I do not see the jellyfish structure of Solidarity as
being more a vehicle for socialist growth than the WWP. But he is right
about the self-limiting nature of sectarian, insular organization. A WWP
that is too scared of the real world to even celebrate its own nature as
being a group of commies that wants revolution and not mere reform, cannot
grow in this period. And like the 'Turn to the Working Class' American SWP,
the current WWP seems almost scared of working in places like Berkeley,
Madison, Austin, and Ann Arbor, where an openly socialist message might find
adherents that want to join.
Once again, I am not out to flame the WWP or Lou Paulsen as an individual
membe of WWP. It's just that I feel it frustrating to see the WWP as not
being able to overcome its own self-limiting behaviors. The WWP puts up
obstacles to its own growth, much as the SWP of another era once did. It
puts its own sympathizers at arms length by setting up a series of tests and
obstacles to coming around. Whereas Solidarity makes it totally easy to
come around the group, simply because it is a jellyfish without a core
program beyond wishy-washy.
Net problem, in the US socialists that want organization are caught between
two seemingly hard choices: that of the insular WWP, or that of the jelloed
out Solidarity, which is promoted in the US from afar. But yes, there are
also some other splinterized choices, too. Meanwhile, there are thousands
of socialists afloat individually, unable to coalesce together with such
There is nothing wrong in this period with trying to build a revolutionary
party instead of just trying to build a vague progressive tendency. It
would be nice if the WWP saw more the potential in itself that it has been
doing. That means that it must not hide itself in 'coalitions' of itself
under other banners. It is possible to grow by declaring that it is THE
socialist alternative, and not just an ANSWER, or whatnot..
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