[Marxism] No Democracy in SWP an Exageration
MLause at cinci.rr.com
Sat Apr 2 16:35:57 MST 2005
Louis' point is very well taken, though none of these aspects of the
organizational problem can really be separated....
Certainly, I knew all sorts of people who had very well-reasoned and
intelligent things to say (including much with which I disagreed) that
did not air their views within the party. In fact, they felt obligated
in meetings and preconvention discussions to motivated, reiterate, "make
comrades highly conscious of," etc., etc.
All these ideas and the discussions they would have engendered
constituted an irrecoverable loss for the SWP and the wider movement.
My recollections come from a bit earlier than 1978...when there were
just oodles of full-time movement jobs in the gift of the party or its
local organizers. At one point, a handful of us tallied up over 150
full-timers working for the SWP, the YSA, the publishing operation, the
antiwar movement, the abortion rights coalitions, the campus coalitions,
etc., etc. In a party of about 1000, that was a significant portion of
"functionaries""...much higher than the German Social Democracy had at a
point where the movement identified a material base for
Of course, the real element was purely psychological. It tapped the
very real and laudable desire of members to contribute to building a
viable radical movement and channeled it into institutionalizing and
I can't tell you how encouraging it's been for me to realize that so
many of us have recognized the problem.
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