[Marxism] Re: RESPECT direction after the election
Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Mon May 23 07:40:40 MDT 2005
>Yes, I only wish the Labour Party would go back to the basic
>'Old' Labour, like cracking down on militant trade unionism in the
>anti-Imperialist strikes and struggles in Ireland since the party's
>existence, bombing and killing people in Iraq, India, Malaya, signing
>contracts with South Africa's apartheid regime, sending gunships to
>secure gains made by British imperialism during the Opium wars, sending
>troops into Ireland, opposing Egyptian demands on Suez, Kenyan national
>liberation demands in late 1940s, supporting Zionist demands in
>not-so covert support for US imperialism in Vietnam, Special Powers
>torture of prisoners in north of Ireland, In Place of Strife trade
>legislation in 1970s, increasing inequality, vouchers systems and
>snatch-quads for ayslum seekers, selling hawk aircraft to Indonesian
>military for use in East Timor, and a million other 'red' measures.
>they supported the Welfare State. But, then, so did the tories.
>And much of this with George Galloway in the party. Eh?
Quite. Though Galloway opposed all of those measures, has been at odds
with the leadership for years and then expelled for being too left
wing. Still, I am uncomfortable with the formulation that RESPECT put
forward on being "real" Labour - which is posed in terms of what
workers thought the Labour Party would deliver, but never has. In my
book that doesn't go far enough in explaining the nature of parliament,
reformism and the ruling class. -- Tony
There is the same problem here with Ralph Nader, with the additional
problem that, despite his political courage in the face of despicable
personal attacks, his program and that of the Green Party is solidly
This is why I thought that there should have been a Socialists for
Nader* organization that could have supported him while pointing out
that his genuflection to the Democratic Party of the past, of
Roosevelt, etc. was completely misplaced.
Some of our inaction was because of the continuous ballot status
crisis, requiring a laborious state-by-state process that cut across
any national left political effort. It didn’t help that from time to
time in the past Peter Camejo has used language that indicated he
rejected bringing socialism or other criticism into his campaigns.
At the end of the campaign, Camejo praised the work of the ISO; but I
am not sure that he would have done so had the ISO, along with
supporting Nader, consistently differentiated or laid out their own
program where it differed from his.
* * *
Tony writes that he “suspect[s] events, combined with the influence of
the revolutionaries within respect, are pushing Galloway’s trajectory
more and more to the left. I hope so anyway.”
This seems vague and implies that an opportunity to build or coalesce a
tendency or group of like thinkers who can work together now and in the
future, no matter what happens to Galloway or RESPECT, may slip away.
Certainly that is what has happened here over the years regarding Nader
and The Green Party.
Sorry if I have overlooked other posts on this very subject.
* It was pointed out by someone on Marxmail that the American ISO was
such a group. However, what was needed was an independent group in
which ISO and others could have participated--even if the ISO itself
had initiated it.
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