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An unsent letter

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alanjjohnstone
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Joined: 22/06/2011
An unsent letter

In the shortest letter i have ever drafted to Weekly Worker, I was about to click send then had second thoughts. I decided most of its readers would be too pre-occupied with thoughts of the result of the election.

Anyway here it is

"Peter Manson ends his article (Weekly Worker 8 June) with his declaration, “The world belongs to all its peoples and our long-term aim as communists is to abolish all borders and achieve universal emancipation within a single global entity.”

I couldn't agree more. My only caveat would be is that this is not a “long-term aim” but one of our immediate demands."

http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1158/left-should-not-stand-on-sidelines/

"I have no country to fight for; my country is the Earth, and I am a citizen of the World." - Eugene V. Debs

alanjjohnstone
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Joined: 22/06/2011

Unfortunately, i felt a need to send this letter with the addition of an extensive lengthening due to another person's reply, so it no longer ranks as my briefest commentary.

http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1160/letters/

"I have no country to fight for; my country is the Earth, and I am a citizen of the World." - Eugene V. Debs

gnome
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alanjjohnstone wrote:

Unfortunately, i felt a need to send this letter with the addition of an extensive lengthening due to another person's reply, so it no longer ranks as my briefest commentary.

http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1160/letters/

Excellent letter and while it may not have ranked as your "briefest commentary" neither did it rank as your lengthiest or most discursive.

wink

alanjjohnstone
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Joined: 22/06/2011

As expected, Dave Vincent did not take kindly to my reply to his letter

http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1161/

Which required a further response from me

http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1162/letters/

I am sure he will try and answer it but perhaps i might not bite...depends on how provoked i feel at the time.

Darren Williams added his supportive comments in WW letters which echoed my own surprise that supposedly knowledgeable left-wingers are ignorant of our attitudes. I can't imagine earlier generations of lefties could make such assumptions as Vincent did. 

"I have no country to fight for; my country is the Earth, and I am a citizen of the World." - Eugene V. Debs

Bob Andrews
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alanjjohnstone wrote:

"...one of our immediate demands."

 

Never heard the Party's Object called an immediate demand before. What other immediate demands does the SP have by the way?

alanjjohnstone
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Joined: 22/06/2011

Isn't the end of capitalism and the establishment of socialism our immediate demand? And that does entail many other abolitions such as the wages system, the profit system, the exchange economy and this involves the end of private property, money and nation-states. Aren't these our immediate demands...or d you suggest that the SPGB has a process of reforms and half-measures to accomplish the socialist revolution.

But i did accept that my initial letter could have been misconstrued that we expect capitalism to act against the capitalist class self-interests.

"I have no country to fight for; my country is the Earth, and I am a citizen of the World." - Eugene V. Debs

alanjjohnstone
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Joined: 22/06/2011

Darren's and my letters in WW elicited three replies, now mostly focusing on the merits and demerits of the SPGB itself as a socialist party. 

I won't answer since i'd rather not over-stay my welcome but would appreciate if other comrades could respond to the criticisms.  

http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1163/letters/

"I have no country to fight for; my country is the Earth, and I am a citizen of the World." - Eugene V. Debs

jondwhite
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One of the letters reads

Quote:

Quaint

Does anybody know what the SPGB is for, other than writing letters to the Weekly Worker? Their sect has nothing to say and has been saying it very quietly for over 100 years. One really has to wonder how they rationalise their continued existence, whereby they repeat the same methods over and over and still get the same results - mass indifference to their existence!

When will we all see the light and sit the entrance exams to become a member of their elitist little safe space? As Lenin didn’t say, ‘If they had manure for brains, it would be a major software upgrade.’ That comrade Dave Vincent isn’t an expert on their particular shibboleths and positions is hardly worthy of their great sport in last week’s paper of proclaiming how amused they were.

Surely, the amusing thing is that, after all these years of plugging away at their quaint little version of socialism, they have never registered as an organisation of any influence, and that in terms of impact on British politics they flounder behind the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, let alone the achievements of the political traditions that quote dead Russians now and then.

John Masters
Bedfordshire

gnome
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Quote:
One really has to wonder how they rationalise their continued existence, whereby they repeat the same methods over and over and still get the same results - mass indifference to their existence!
The same could just as easily be said of the CPGB, SPEW, SWP and all the other leftist "sects" who not only do not offer any "version of socialism", "quaint" or otherwise, but repeatedly expect the Labour Party to do the impossible and run capitalism "for the many, not the few", despite all past experience that this can never be achieved.
Quote:
When will we all see the light and sit the entrance exams to become a member of their elitist little safe space?
Well now, who can tell?  What is certain though is that the SPGB doesn't have any exit exams - anyone is free to leave whenever they want...

alanjjohnstone
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Joined: 22/06/2011

 

Quote:
they repeat the same methods over and over and still get the same results - mass indifference to their existence!

As you say, Gnome, when we are put alongside the Left, this critique is indeed very much one of the pot calling the kettle black.

While we cannot deny the accusation that our influence and impact upon our fellow-workers over the past century has indeed been negligible and insignificant, how many on the Left can justifiably claim differently of any sustained success?

They have as you say aligned themselves shamelessly with self-avowed capitalist parties (and not just solely the Labour Party but in Scotland the SNP), they have promised workers in their manifestoes practically every palliative under the sun with no great return at the ballot box and they have invested themselves with many a charismatic figurehead to capture the personal individual vote, only to have these leaders reveal their flawed personalities and distance workers from them.

"I have no country to fight for; my country is the Earth, and I am a citizen of the World." - Eugene V. Debs

Bob Andrews
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Quaint

Does anybody know what the SPGB is for, other than writing letters to the Weekly Worker?

Perhaps this will have a salutary outcome in that you stop looking to 'engage ' with these Bolshevik fleabags. Because I'm not a close student of the Socialist Standard these days I am prepared be disabused on this but when was the last time there appeared an article attacking the far from quaint ideas of these flabby Stalinist murderers?

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