[Marxism] Duncan Hallas on the "reformists"
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Nov 15 15:16:43 MST 2017
One of the things that characterizes the SWP in England is its liberal
(in the sense of profligate) use of this term. There are the
"revolutionaries" in the SWP and just about every other group is
"reformist" such as Syriza, Podemos, et al. The problem is that this can
apply not only to the leadership such as Tsipras but also to the
rank-and-file that might fail the "state capitalist" theory litmus test.
Here is Duncan Hallas describing the rank-and-file of the British Labour
Party in the 1930s:
The Labour Party did, of course, contain “masses of politically
conscious workers”. Individual membership grew from 297,000 in 1931 to
447,000 in 1937 and it was considerably more proletarian in composition
than it is today. But these workers, including that smallish proportion
of them who actually attended their Labour Party organisations, were
reformists. Their thinking and expectations were far, far away from
those of the little band of Trotskyist entrists and the magic of
“Transitional Demands” could not begin to bridge the gap.
The workers in the Labour Party were "reformist"? Including the coal
miners and the steelworkers and the shipyard workers and the railway
workers? Really? If that is to be taken seriously, it would mean that
what was inside someone's brain was more important than their class
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