[Marxism] Reply to Rev. Jerry re publish or perish

Octob1917 at aol.com Octob1917 at aol.com
Wed Dec 22 16:03:52 MST 2004

Jerry writes:

For all of you who scorn the left groups-What are you going to do when the shit hits the fan?   


I couldn't agree more. On this list a deep hostility towards organised left parties and groups permeates a substantial number of posts placed here, and to those who dare indicate their own membership of just such a group or party, or their belief in organising and mobilising within one, is levelled a deluge of derision.

I think a lot of this is down to what seems a congenital tendency within and among the far left to a deep demoralisation during periods when consciousness and response to left wing politics is weak among the workers and oppressed. This demoralisatio manifests in a need to apportion blame on each other, resulting in splits, expellations and internecine squabbling.

The Marxist parties that I've been exposed to both in the US and the UK have all had one thing in common: imperfection. When I was new to socialist politics and activism I was given to impatience and frustration over disputes with the leadership and various comrades - dispute that would invariably end with me leaving said group bitter and angry.

This was a mistake, I've come to realise, borne of my own naievity, inexperience and ego. Now, rather than take the easy way out by resorting to acrimony to solve disputes or disagreements, I stay with the knowledge that it can never be about ego, or personal vanity, at least not for those committed to the struggle against the ideology that emphasises those very character deficiencies.

Of course, there may come a time when principle demands that you cannot remain silent or inert within a party, but the reason/s for leaving or effecting a split should always and only be political.

As for Marxmail, as Louis has pointed out time after time, it is designed as a forum for scholarly debate and discussion and not as an organisational tool. As such it serves an invaluable purpose, for which he is to be commended.

But let's not delude ourselves that scholarly debate and discussion can ever take the place of activism and action. For there is nothing like engaging in struggle as a means of equipping ourselves with the knowledge required for effecting progress in the struggle for social and economic justice in our world.


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