[Marxism] Mike Gonzalez and the ideological priesthood

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 12 16:05:44 MST 2013

> I agree with this Lou, but then I would having been through the Leninist
> meat grinder twice. To be frank though  I am saddened by the hostility that
> the CC have whipped up to protect their asses.  It is a very bad sign.
> Things are said and done in the heat of these factions fights that are
> never forgotten and can take decades to heal.  Everyone needs to calm down
> and take a serious look at Kimber & co.  BTW for my money the real villain
> of the piece is Callinicos.  His reading consists of more than internal
> bulletins.  He should know better, but he is content to play the role of
> the party intellectual while the hardliners do the shit work. Almost
> certainly he is consumed with jealousy and hatred of Richard Seymour.

A key problem is that the Leninist way of working is to exaggerate
differences, to put people in the position where they are exposed as
"softies" who must be purged from the body politic if the membership is to
toughen up.  That is how Cliff worked.  For example he took on the feminist
caucuses inside IS and had them banned.  The debates served to harden the
membership and the "softies" and the feminists were driven out.

 On the old Spoons Marxism list there was a young SWP (IS) comrade who used
to say very sensible things.  Once I called him the "acceptable face" of IS
politics.   He was seemingly deeply hurt by that.  He wrote saying he
didn't want to be acceptable to those outside the organisation.  He wanted
to be saying things that outsiders would find difficult to agree with. He
wanted to be a hard line comrade. That is exactly the attitude we need to
transcend. People in other organisations are not heretics. But the
ideological priesthood continually comes up with key articles of faith that
must be adhered to, and those that do not believe become the feared and
despised Other.

I talked at the weekend to my old comrade John Boyd and we both agreed to a
feeling of shame that when we were in IS we had gone along with our cloned
debate on women's caucuses and voted with Mick (From little things)
Armstrong who was doing his very best settler-colonial imitation of the
metropolitan centre.

Instead of polarisation and the "bending of the stick",  what is needed in
the SWP is some old fashioned consensus.  But to say that is the equivalent
of shitting one's pants to a Leninist.   Still, the CC needed to listen and
needed to think and then admit they had made a shocking mistake.  Instead
 "All the way with the DC" was Kimber's war cry and he should have been
medicated for that. Now he has let slip the dogs of war and disaster will



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