Reply to Alan Gibson: Rejecting the Working ClassLeave a comment
29/10/2018 by socialistfight
By Gerry Downing – reply in upper case.
The whole Spart Family, including the IBT/BT did not oppose the Nakba, almost 800, 000 Palestinians driven from their home in 1948. (above). See Ireland and Palestine: Interpenetrated peoples and the rights of oppressed nations to self-determination, By Gerry Downing, https://socialistfight.com/2016/01/28/ireland-and-palestine-interpenetrated-peoples-and-the-rights-of-oppressed-nations-to-self-determination/
Gerry, the issue is the type of illusions.
There are lesser-evil illusions in which pro-capitalists will attack us less which can even lead some workers to vote for capitalist parties. This is unfortunately the dominant consciousness in Ireland and is reflected in the Irish LP being effectively indistinguishable from SF or FF.
(IRISH POLITICS ARE DIFFERENT TO BRITISH POLITICS. THE IRISH LABOUR PARTY BECAME PRO-IMPERIALIST AFTER THE DEATH OF CONNOLLY AND TOOK NO SIDE IN THE CIVIL WAR, EFFECTIVELY SIDING WITH THE PRO-TREATY FREE STATERS SIDE. FIANNA FAIL WON THE ANTI-IMPERIALIST WORKING CLASS VOTE, WHICH IS NOW TENDING TO GO TO SINN FEIN, NOW A CAPITALIST PARTY. VOTE LABOUR WHEREEVER A VIABLE CENTRIST GROUP WITH MASS IMPLANTATION IN THE WORKING CLASS IS NOT STANDING)
The type of illusions I am interested in engaging with are ones based on class consciousness, even if I believe these are in the context that our separate interests as a class can be achieved through reforming capitalism. That is what needs to be put to the test of government and why we are supporting them like a rope. We say in advance they will betray their claim to be the ones who best defend and extend the separate interests of our class but maybe you are right to believe them so let us go through this together. Then when they are in power and show their true colours we are able to point this out and call on workers to break fron reformism – which is the whole point of the tactic.
(THIS IS CORRECT)
But if the reformist party is not even pretending to stand for the independent interests of the working class what test are they being put to? How can we say – look their claims to best represent our independent class interests have been exposed, break from them and join the ranks of revolutionary Marxism as the ones who fight for our class interests? What consciousness are you in engaging with, what illusions are being exposed?
(INCORRECT. THE MOST CLASS CONSCIOUS WORKING CLASS ALWAYS SEE LABOUR AS REPRESENTING THEIR INTERESTS AS AGAINST THE TORIES, AND THEY ARE CORRECT TO DO SO. THE LEAST CLASS CONSCIOUS ONES MAY VOTE TORY OR, MORE FREQUENTLY THEY CAN’T BRING THEMSELVES TO DO THAT SO THEY DON’T VOTE AT ALL ON THE WRONG BASIS THAT “THEY ARE ALL THE SAME”. THE LINKS WITH THE TRADE UNIONS MEAN IT CAN’T ACTUALLY DO THE DAMAGE TO THEM THAT THE TORIES DO. TO THINK OTHERWISE IS TO BELIEVE THERE IS A FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIGHT AND LEFT REFORMISM. THERE IS NOT AS TROTSKY POINTS OUT AND THAT YOU CANNOT ACCEPT)
The key phrase in the quote you provide from Trotsky which expresses this is:
“Both are anti-sanctionists; but for the working class.”
“…but for the working class.”
Trotsky is arguing that both the right and left refoemist leaders are projecting the idea that they represent our separate class interests. This is not a dispute between Corbynite left reformism and Blairite “one Britian”ism. Between a left of the LP who project the idea we have separate class interests which they will fight for and a right who deny the very idea their are separate working class interests.
(AGAIN INCORRECT. YOU ARE POSTULATING A FUNDAMENTAL, QUALITATIVE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEFT AND RIGHT REFORMISM. CORBYN DOES NOT FIGHT FOR ANY SERIOUS “SEPARATE CLASS INTERESTS” OF THE WORKING CLASS NOW AND HE WILL DO EVEN LESS OF THAT IN GOVERNMENT. BUT “A LEFT OF THE LP” 550,000 OF THEM, WILL DO SO IF WE CAN INTERVENE AND JOINT THE PARTY AND GIVE A LEAD. THE FIRST STEP OF THE UNITED FRONT IS “VOTE LABOUR”)
Your approach seems to be based on a simple process – count the numbers of workers. The majority still support party X therefore we will support party X.
So in Poland despite Solidarosc having a programme of capitalist resotration with no opposition to this by any faction you still say stay with the workers.
(THE IBT SUPPORT FOR THE MARTIAL LAW CRACKDOWN ON THE POLISH WORKING CLASS WHICH BROKE THE BACK OF THAT RESISTANCE AND PAVED THE WAY FOR THE RESTORATION OF CAPITALISM IN 1989, BY THE COLLABORATION BETWEEN WALENSA AND JARUZELSKI. THIS FROM MARK HOSKINSON IN 1983, TROTSKYIST BULLETIN NO. 3;
“IN REALITY THE PROLETARIAN BASE OF SOLIDARNOSC PREVENTED THE ORGANISATION EVER BECOMING A MASS FORCE FOR CAPITALIST RESTORATION. WE REJECT THE POSITION THAT A MASS PROLETARIAN-BASED MOVEMENT COULD EVER HAVE BECOME THE AGENT OF CAPITALIST RESTORATION. THE EXISTENCE OF A SIGNIFICANT TENDENCY COMMITTED TO DEMOCRATICALLY CENTRALISED PLANNING WAS AN EXPRESSION OF THE PROLETARIAN BASE. SOLIDARNOSC REMAINED A CONTRADICTORY AND OFTEN CONFUSED MOVEMENT OF THE MASS OF THE POLISH WORKING CLASS AGAINST BUREAUCRATIC PRIVILEGE AND POLITICAL REPRESSION. THE CONTRADICTION BETWEEN THE PROLETARIAN BASE AND THE POLITICS OF THE SOLIDARNOSC LEADERSHIP WAS ONCE AGAIN EXPRESSED DURING THE BRITISH MINERS ‘ STRIKE. SOLIDARNOSC BASE GROUPS IN THE POLISH COALFIELDS DECLARED THEIR SOLIDARITY WITH THE BRITISH MINERS AND DENOUNCED THE SCABBING OF THE JARUZELSKI REGIME. WALESA AND CO. STOOD IN STARK CONTRADISTINCTION TO THIS POSITION WITH THEIR REPORTED EULOGIES OF THATCHER (THOUGH THESE REPORTS WERE NO DOUBT EMBELLISHED UPON BY THE BRITISH PRESS).”
“…YOUR POSITION OF HALF-HEARTED SUPPORT TO JARUZELSKI, WHILE REFUSING TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE BRUTAL CRACKDOWN HE CARRIED THROUGH, REPRESENTS THE DILEMMA YOU FACE AS AN ORGANISATION THAT HAS NOT BROKEN FROM SPARTACISM. YOUR INNER CONVICTIONS LEAD YOU IN THE DIRECTION OF DEMANDING THE SUPPRESSION OF SOLIDARNOSC FROM SEPTEMBER 1981 –SEE THESIS 3- BUT YOUR FEAR OF BEING BRANDED AS SPARTACISTS LEADS YOU TO ONLY ACTIVATE THIS DEMAND IN DECEMBER. IN ANY EVENT IT IS A POSITION THAT LEADS YOU TO WRITE OFF THE WORKING CLASS AS AN INDEPENDENT REVOLUTIONARY FACTOR. IT LEADS YOU TO LOOK TO THE STALINIST BUREAUCRACY TO ACT AS THE PROTECTOR OF THE PLANNED PROPERTY RELATIONS. IN SHORT IT LEADS YOU A MILLION MILES AWAY FROM REVOLUTIONARY TROTSKYISM.”)
So in Popular Fronts, which are the most extreme and explicit form of this denial of the working class having its own class interests, you continue to support the workers party. Vote for the most virulent proponents within the workers movement of the idea of the cross-class PF as the way to get across the idea of separate working class interests! And this in the name of Trotskyism?
(THE QUESTION INDICATED THAT YOU HAVE NOT UNDERSTOOD THE METHODOLOGY OF THE UNITED FRONT AND THE TRANSITIONAL PROGRAMME AT ALL. “TELL THEM THEY ARE WRONG” SHOULD WORK WITHOUT EVER ENGAGING IN THEIR STRUGGLES. YOUR BEST EFFORTS ON THIS WERE WHEN YOU STRUGGLED IN THE SOCIALIST ALLIANCE WITH A REGULAR PRESS. REVOLUTIONARY STUFF COMPARED TO THE ONE-A-YEAR)
I wonder what you would have said in response to the events of 1914.
The social democratic parties retained mass support in the working class as they voted for war credits.
What would you have said to those brave few individuals who broke discipline to vote against war credits?
What would you have called that small band of mad sectarians who met in Zimmerwald to call for a break with the mighty Second International which drew behind it the masses ranks of the proletariat?
No doubt you will be full of indignation at how I could imply you wouldn’t have stood with those brave 3rd Internationalists. It is a completely different issue, blah, blah, blah.
(WHAT IS THE PROBLEM HERE? OF COURSE, SUPPORT LUXEMBURG AND LIEBKNECHT WITH ACTION AND VOTES BUT WHERE THEY CANNOT STAND? STILL THE UNITED FRONT WITH THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS UNLESS WE BECOME POST 1928 THIRD PERIOD ULTRA-LEFT LUNATICS)
But you have a problem because your political method in every other case is ALWAYS stay with the reformist parties with mass working class support no matter what they say or do.
(ALWAYS STAY WITH THE WORKING CLASS. NEVER PROCLAIM YOURSELVES THE ONLY HOPE UNTIL YOU HAVE WON THEIR ALLEGIANCE. AND YOU CAN NEVER DO IT UNLESS YOU ADDRESS THEIR PRESENT CONSCIOUSNESS WITH TRANSITIONAL DEMANDS. LENIN, THE BOLSHEVIKS AND TROTSKY THOUGH SO. YOU DO NOT.)
You drag the banners of Marxism, of Leninism of Trotskyism through the mud with this crass objectivism.
(YOU ARE DOING THAT WITH THIS SECTARIAN THIRD PERIOD STUFF)