The rupture seems complete. SWP, the Marxist vanguard party that burrowed itself into Respect, has apparently succeeded in mangling, maybe even destroying it, as well as hurting themselves too. And here I thought solidarity was a bedrock principle of Marxism, silly me.
Whether the rupture was precipitated by Trotskyite design or simple blundering is unclear. Are their other causes for this? Sure. But SWP has played a central role.
Respect was co-founded in Britain by George Galloway, now a member of parliament. It is (was?) the major Left party in the country. But the sectarianism of SWP, convinced of their own inerrancy, managed to alienate and disrupt to point that Galloway himself has now left Respect. No doubt SWP saw Respect as a big juicy mass organization to recruit out of and control except for all those pesky non-SWP members who didn’t see things their way.
I guess SWP forgot the vanguard party led by Lenin allowed and encouraged dissent including opposing views and newspapers and didn’t force the wearing of ideological blinders. In a lot of ways, zealot Marxists are quite like zealot Christians except they bludgeon you with their beliefs by quoting from Marx and Lenin rather than the Bible. Dave Barry once said, “ever notice how people who want to tell you about their religion never want to hear about yours?” Indeed. But if you want to build a mass anti-war, anti-imperialist coalition then by definition it will include groups with differing views. How could it be otherwise?
Whether this turns into yet another Left circular firing squad or somehow everyone can just go their separate ways remains to be seen. Sigh.
From the Respect supporters blog
Just got back from a meeting with George Galloway and friends. Lots of very exciting news which will be posted on this site and the Respect (Renewal) Web site over the next few days.One thing I can promise you is that ‘Respect lives on’
See the comments for more.