Response to SWP call for a new left-wing initiative

Louis Proyect

To start with, I think it is a step forward to hear things like “We do not believe we have all the answers or a perfect prescription for a left wing alternative.” This is the beginning of wisdom for such groups and bodes well for the future, at least on the verbal level.

But here is the problem. The SWP just went through a wrenching experience in building a broad left political party called RESPECT. The resulting split cost it members, influence and the drawing of factional lines in their party. Unless the comrades are willing to reject the methodology that led to this fiasco, I am afraid that they will simply repeat past mistakes.

SWP has clearly decided their old path wasn’t working. May other far left groups follow and please, toss all the factionalism out the window while you’re at it. No one in the real world knows or cares about your divisive squabbling about who carries the real torch of Marxism. Besides, you are needed. Those on the far left are often the most tireless, dedicated organizers. It goes with being fanatical. It’s time to channel all that hard work into genuinely organizing the people. All of them. Instead of just recruiting for the party.

Left Luggage

Louis Proyect makes the point well, arguing that another “united front” style formation with different “tendencies” coexisting, or contending, would be disastrous. Instead she suggests the Left should leave aside questions of socialist dogma, become more democratic, and begin to address the immediate problems facing the working class:

Most centrally, unity will get the Left nowhere unless it begins to relate to the concerns of working class people.

Working class people now. Not back in Marx’s day. Right now.