[Marxism] Resignation letter from SWP CC member

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Feb 8 05:42:59 MST 2013


 From Facebook:


     MARK BERGFELD’S RESIGNATION LETTER FROM THE SWP CENTRAL COMMITTEE

     FOR SWP MEMBERS ONLY. DO NOT DISTRIBUTE OUTSIDE THE PARTY. DO NOT 
PUBLISH ONLINE.

     On Monday 4 February I resigned from the SWP central committee and 
from my role as a national student organiser for the party. I would like 
to outline my reasons for this decision, which was not one I took lightly.

     As comrades may be aware, I have disagreed with positions taken by 
the central committee, and more recently by the national committee, over 
the handling of the dispute concerning Comrade Delta.

     I made no secret of these disagreements at our national conference, 
and debates at that conference were in my view conducted in a comradely 
and fraternal manner. Despite misgivings, I agreed to serve on whichever 
CC slate was elected.

     Since conference, however, there have been a number of developments 
that run against both the spirit and the letter of the decisions taken 
there. These developments have not just made my position on the CC 
untenable. They also threaten the integrity of the party. This has left 
me with no choice but to resign from my positions in order to voice my 
concerns to the wider party membership.

     At conference we decided to “draw a line” under the dispute and 
move forward in a spirit of unity. Instead the CC has decided to “draw a 
line” right through the middle of the party. It has misinterpreted the 
vote over the disputes committee report as an “exoneration” of [Delta] 
and as an expression of total confidence in the disputes committee process.

     The effect of this, consciously or otherwise, has been to 
exacerbate the tensions that existed inside the party prior to 
conference. More worryingly, differences over the dispute are now being 
dressed up and rationalised as political differences. This threatens to 
severely distort both our perspective and our wider political practice.

     What has happened in the student office since conference is a case 
in point. Up until the days immediately before conference, the CC did 
not express any concerns with the student office, its work or its 
political direction. Now the CC warns that students are “pandering to 
feminism and autonomism” and insists on the need for a sharp 
“ideological turn”.

     This change in direction is based solely upon the CC’s position 
regarding the dispute. In my view, the charges of “feminism” and 
“autonomism” are baseless. Their aim, consciously or otherwise, is to 
split the party. Instead of addressing the widespread concerns over the 
way in which the dispute was handled, the CC has attempted to shut down 
discussion and create artificial political divisions over it.

     Here’s just one minor example of this. One of our leading student 
activists was barred from standing again for his position on the NUS 
national executive committee. The only reason given for this decision 
was his disagreement over the dispute. This CC decision was sprung on 
him two days before the nominations deadline. It ignored negotiations 
with other left forces in the student movement.

     We cannot dismiss the widespread and serious disagreements over the 
dispute, its handling and its fallout somehow amount to a “break with 
the IS tradition”. Nor can we pretend that these disagreements stem from 
a rejection of revolutionary socialism or of Leninist democratic centralism.

     The new CC is set on a course that will do immense damage to the 
party and its work. If it pursues this direction further the inevitable 
result will be an irreparable breakdown in relations within the party 
and with wider forces on the left. This has already created huge damage 
among our student groups. It now threatens to spread much further.

     I still believe it is not too late to reverse this course. I 
continue to be an active member of the Socialist Workers Party. I 
continue to fight for socialism from below and for the revolutionary 
party as a tool for working class self-emancipation.

     In solidarity,
     Mark Bergfeld
     mxxxxxxxxx at gmail.com
     7 February 2013
     FOR SWP MEMBERS ONLY. DO NOT DISTRIBUTE OUTSIDE THE PARTY. DO NOT 
PUBLISH ONLINE




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