[Marxism] Some of my thoughts

Rohan Gaiswinkler rohanger at yahoo.com.au
Wed Nov 15 22:30:04 MST 2006


Louis:
   
  >The fact that the DSP has never (within the last 20
>years at least) expelled anyone on these grounds is,
>presumably, irrelevant.
>
>Alan Bradley

Quite right. I am not concerned so much about expulsions as I am about 
ideological monolithism. 
   
  You can enforce this through harsh bureaucratic measures such as was the case in the American SWP in the period from 1980 to 1985. You can also enforce this through creating an atmosphere that heavily favors consensus around positions coming down from the top, as was the case in the American SWP from 1970 to 1980.

I am dead-set against group-think either in such "vanguard" formations 
or in Walter's case reading the latest article in the Cuban press and then 
beating us over the head with it.
   
  Rohan:
   
  I think Louis is correct that Parties that apply democratic centralist organisational methods and develop "collectivist" political positions on their active work and broader descriptions of the political reality are at risk from the centralist method being abused by the Party leadership.  This clearly happened in the US SWP under the misleadership of Jack Barnes.  This is the flaw in the democratic centralist method that Lenin refers to in Left Wing Communism, rather briefly in my opinion, when he says [I'll paraphrase] that if the Party is not guided by a strong connection to the working class movement it can easily result in the Party resorting to "clowning" and "empty phrasemongering".
   
  However I think if Lou's argument is to really have weight, the onus is on him to show us what other method of organisation a class combat political party should adopt that doesn't lead to DRAMATIC PROBLEMS IN OTHER AREAS, such as with achiving unity in action, in avoiding debilitating permanent factionalism, or turning into a talkshop.  Pluralism is a virtue, but not an overriding one in the way Louis implies - it ought to be weighed against the fighting capacity of unity in action.  This is not to argue that the DSP's organisational method is the only correct one.  Whichever OM is chosen by a Party, their will be strengths and weaknesses in it.  Lou says the above weakness condems the DSP method but I am not satisfied by the veracity of his argument.
   
   
   

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