[Marxism] Paul Le Blanc on the SWP crisis

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Sun Feb 3 16:09:59 MST 2013

Tony wrote:

On the other hand its not impossible that Leninist organisations like Soc
Alternative/RSP can find a way forward also. Despite Gary's eternal shudder
of disgust, you may have to concede that Soc Alternative learnt something
through past faction struggles (Mick, Sandra, Jeff and Jill Sparrow and
myself were all expelled from the IST), and the last 18 years of slow and
steady building. I mean you have to take some hope from that fact that past
bitter rivals decided that they were able to get along after all - perhaps
there's hope for the rest of us as well.

My reply:

Never disgust Tony. Never as in not ever. My predominant emotion is sadness
about all the people who have been processed through Leninism.  Where have
they all gone? Does it ever occur to the "Leninists" to think of all those
thousands who have fallen by the way side?  Generally they are dismissed
with the comment that the ex-member has "moved to the right".

I have made this point before, but the weight of empirical evidence is that
the Leninist party builders are doing something wrong, because they have
failed miserably to build the party.

The crisis in the British SWP is of great significance to the Australian
Left generally and to the Socialist Alternative in particular despite what
John has argued.  Mick and Sandra etc have all as you say been in the IST.
Now I sincerely hope that the discussion with the RSP are legitimate and
help to build an impetus towards a larger and more open organisation.

But it could also be a maneuver designed to mop up a rival organisation.  I
have been through that process before with the Communist League and the
then SWP. the end of the "unification process" was that the Communist
League did not exist and most of its members were depoliticised.  My own
belief is that the organisation, which will form the embryo of the broad
organisation we so desperately need, already exists and it is the Socialist

But is say that in no partisan or sectarian sense at all. If Mick and
Sandra really have learned something they would be in discussions with the
Socialist Alliance, but I know Mick and I know Sandra and I also know pigs
don't fly.



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