Far left alternatives to vanguard parties

Tim of Green Left Infoasis commented on my post about the inherent problems with the Leninist vanguard party model

I’m interested in Louis Proyect’s ideas about left organizing as well, Bob. The US Solidarity org, Canada’s New Socialist Group and France’s New Anticapitalist Party are other interesting examples in my opinion.


  1. Actually both examples are sort of facilitations rather than parties. Sure they suggest that there are ways that registered socialists can come together but neither, as yet, have morphed into the new party dynamic.

    The main game is precisely that — the stuff you do — rather than what you don’t do. Inherently this penchant for an “anti vanguardist shibboleth” can be a false argument because its not about generating schematic options or hesitancies but of delivering the goods. And Louis for all his complaints, cynicism and bluster doesn’t deliver a new org except denigrate the ones that exist.

    Even his once upon a time favorite — the Salvadoran FMLN — is a party today in the more traditional sense we view socialist parties.

    Ongoing discussion on some of these points here.

    The reality is that even “Leninist vanguard parties” despite what may be their inherent problems born from years of marginalisation, are better than no party activity at all.

    • I agree. The problem maybe, especially in the US, is the microscopic base the far left has. It’s hard to get traction when hardly any one knows you are there.

      • Most political parties (Left and Right) want to TELL people what are their problems and what is the solution. The wave of the future (begun at least 50 years ago) is to ASK people what their problems are and how they want them solved. Then empower them do it.

        The dangerous part about that approach is, they may decide on something you disagree with– and put someone in charge other than you. That’s the scary part about “unmanaged” democracy: it doesn’t cater well to powermongers of any political leaning, hence politicians (and would-be and wannabe politicians) don’t like it.

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