Future elections

May 2024 Forums World Socialist Movement Future elections

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 139 total)
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  • #92580
    Ed
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
      The project fizzled out due to the fact that reformists cannot run capitalism in the interests of our class.  

    I would substitute reformists with workers. Workers cannot run capitalism in their own interests they are reformists because they think/thought they can.

    #92584
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    First, I am not accusing SP of being reformist but making a point about local election activity. No matter how well meaning a candidate is, it will lead to disillusionment if elected in a situation where there is not a general upsurge in socialist consciousness and activity. IWCA made that very clear.We are socialists not social workers. If we engage in that within the community socialist activitiy will be subsumed.John Bissett was very active in his neighbourhood yet I recall his disappointment when it did not transfer into votes.It was related to the thread…standing for elections. At this time it can only be for propaganda purposes so whether local or euro the issue is which provides the wider audiene. It should not be as i think SP was saying as providing  examples of socialist democracy in practice. I'm not sure how we could do that at this point in time. We need to understand why we stand in elections. At this time certainly not to get elected or we would face the problem IWCA faced. It is IMHO simply to spread the idea of socialism to an audience that rarely hears the case for it.  I was not making any comment on decentralisation. But to address you question, some council/region admin areas will be used…others will be adjusted and adapted . How much and what responsibilities a parish council will have compared with a large city council or regional council will have to be agreed but what we have now will be the spring-board. There will be multiple structures of organisation not just geographic, there will be industrial ones, as well as social/affinity sector, all having to somehow merge at different levels for different purposes. The process will start as the numbers of socialists grows. We too will see the rise of study groups and sports and cultural clubs. As the early 20th C also witnessedSince I was in the IWW your impression I'm against co-operative decentalisation is wrong but how Industrial Unions relate to federated communes, will be a question that will answered when we are closer to that objective. What technology will be used to express democracy is another issue we will meet.There is a lot of things we at the time can only generalise about and cannot be specific about.

    #92585
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Alex Woodrow wrote:
    If the majority of party members want us to contest in the next european election then fair enough. Though we need to ask ourselves, would standing in a european election benefit the party as much compared to what it would standing in local elections?

    It probably will not come down to a vote of party members; the Executive Committee is largely responsible for the day-to-day running of the party and if we are to contest the 2014 European Parliamentary elections then we have to start planning for that almost immediately.Delegates at Conference have given a thumbs-up to proceed with what is considered by the EC to be the most viable option.  Look at it this way.  The SPGB is a small organisation by any definition and our political outlook very much a minority one.  If we are to be noticed by the greatest number of fellow-workers and our opinions taken seriously by them we have to plan strategically and use our limited resources in the most efficient way. I defy anyone to propose a serious alternative to contesting these elections that will get our message through as many letter-boxes in the UK together with the very real possibility (if we contest enough regions) of radio and television broadcasts, however short, for the same, or less, financial outlay.BTW, we've recently stood candidates in two local council by-elections.

    #92586
    Alex Woodrow
    Participant

    We won't be able to get everything we wnat if elected on a ward, as the capitalist pseudo democracy will deny the people a voice. However, I think local elections is the only way that people will take us seriously. Think about it, we have members and supporters up and down the country, if we get many different members and supporters to stand in local elections then the people will start to realise that socialism is a populist movement and that we, socialists, unlike capitalists, do care about the people as we are trying to communicate more with local people by helping them with their day to day struggles, unlike the minority capitalist elite in Westminster and Brussels who are simply pigreedy buggers who only want to make money.Also, your idea of Councils/Governments sounds all right, though the only way this idea would work and be compatible with socialism/democracy is by everyone having an equal amount of control in the Council/Government so then this will be cooperative management of the economy and democratic ownership of the means of producing and distributing wealth.The main question I want to ask you, though, is what is your plan on how the world should transition from capitalism to socialism?  

    #92587
    Alex Woodrow
    Participant

    If the executive committee denies giving all other members a say then, correct me if I am wrong but, doesn't that contradict what we, as a party, stand for?We do need to be taken seriously by the general public and hence this involves lots of planning, and this is why standing in local elections is the best way forward because people then won't think we are sensationalists like other parties, but instead see that we are a party for the people that brings with it people power democracy.We can get our message through to as many letter boxes as possible without needing to stand in the upcoming european election, as we can just stand in many local elections instead due to the fact we have many hundreds if not thousands of members and supporters up and down the country who would be willing to work very hard to help people within the community.P.S. Thanks for informing me about two candidates standing in local by elections. I knew that one stood in Junction ward in Islington but, may I ask, where did the other candidate stand?

    #92588
    ALB
    Keymaster
    Alex Woodrow wrote:
    P.S. Thanks for informing me about two candidates standing in local by elections. I knew that one stood in Junction ward in Islington but, may I ask, where did the other candidate stand?

    It was in Brixton Hill ward of Lambeth Council in South London. See this thread:http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/forum/world-socialist-movement/brixton-hill-local-electionThis time we don't need to choose between local elections and European elections as they are likely to fall on the same day, Thursday 27 May 2014. So we can do both. One thing you are overlooking is that in European elections (as for Parliament) candidates can get their manifestos distributed free by the Post Office whereas in local elections we have to deliver them ourselves door-to-door.

    #92589
    Alex Woodrow
    Participant

    Thanks for the response ALB regarding the other candidate and where they stood.Anyway, I still think it would be better only to stand in local elections even if they are on the same day as european elections because, correct me if I am wrong, though I think that, by only standing in local elections, this will clearly show people that we stick to our principles and that we are not sensationalists like all other parties.

    #92590
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Alex Woodrow wrote:
    If the executive committee denies giving all other members a say then, correct me if I am wrong but, doesn't that contradict what we, as a party, stand for?

    You misunderstand, I think.  The EC is elected by the membership to administer the day-to-day affairs of the party.  It wouldn't be feasible for the membership to vote on virtually everything.  However, there are mechanisms in place to prevent any 'abuse of power'.  The EC is not a Central Committee and we are not the SWP!

    Quote:
    We can get our message through to as many letter boxes as possible without needing to stand in the upcoming european election, as we can just stand in many local elections instead due to the fact we have many hundreds if not thousands of members and supporters up and down the country who would be willing to work very hard to help people within the community.

    If only that were true.  The number of "members and supporters up and down the country" is considerably fewer than you may think.  Sorry if that disappoints.

    #92591
    steve colborn
    Participant

    Thanks for that Gnome, appreciate the reply. I, and others realise, that it would not be feasible for the membership to vote on every single issue but surely, spending that much of the resources of the Party on a single campaign and given that is not until "next year", would give the SPGB time to consult the membership on such a significant outlay and to have a discussion on the same!I realise I am no longer a member but is this not a pertinent question and solution? Steve. 

    #92592
    SocialistPunk
    Participant
    Alex Woodrow wrote:
    It's fair enough you are question SocialistPunk's views, though SP has not expressed any reformist views so why are you trying to make out that SP is reformist?

    Thanks for the support Alex, much appreciated.I in no way advocate any kind of reformism. Attempts to tar me with that brush are juvenile. I am simply trying to thrash out an approach the WSM could take, that makes positive connections with people. I don't have all the answers, no one does. But what I do know and am not afraid to point out, is that so far things are not going so well in that department, for the SPGB. I see little progress from when I was in the North East branch, in the nineties. I am in no way suggesting that SPGB councilors will lead the way into a socialist future. The first SPGB councilor would be shut down by the mainstream politicians protecting the controlling party doctrine and their nest eggs. But like Alex, I see the future of socialism taking off at the local community level. The pieces will not slip into place with propaganda alone. Do any socialists seriously think a switch will one day flip to the "revolution on" position in most peoples brains as a product of propaganda? Somehow the WSM needs to find a way to connect to everyday people. To help to empower people.Most political election manifestos end up in the bin. Why would the SPGB ones see a different fate if not backed up by some sort of worked at trust, at a local level?

    alanjohnstone wrote:
    We are socialists not social workers. If we engage in that within the community socialist activitiy will be subsumed.John Bissett was very active in his neighbourhood yet I recall his disappointment when it did not transfer into votes.

    I would like to ask what activity, and what good is such "socialist activity", if it is not getting across the message effectively after over 100 years? Please keep in mind I was heavily involved in all branch activity during my time in the party.I knew John Bisset when I was in the North East branch, he was a good guy, passionate, committed, but he was alone in his local area. It is why I was specific in saying any local activity aimed at gaining trust must be undertaken with full party support. One or two party members working as hard as they can, find themselves overwhelmed and exhausted with the sheer volume of effort required, year on year.  Does the "scientific" in WSM socialism apply to the practice of bringing socialism into existence or only to the analysis of the failings of capitalism?

    #92593
    Ed
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Alex Woodrow wrote:
    It's fair enough you are question SocialistPunk's views, though SP has not expressed any reformist views so why are you trying to make out that SP is reformist?

    I in no way advocate any kind of reformism. Attempts to tar me with that brush are juvenile.

    To be honest I don't think anyone has done this. I certainly did not see that in Alan's post.I am interested in both Socialist Punk and Alex's opinion on what a Socialist should do if elected to either a council seat or a parliamentary seat? I should add there's no set party position on this. Rather it would be debated and put to a vote when the candidate is elected. Just interested to know where you guys would stand in that debate.

    #92594
    Ed
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    I would like to ask what activity, and what good is such "socialist activity", if it is not getting across the message effectively after over 100 years? Please keep in mind I was heavily involved in all branch activity during my time in the party.Does the "scientific" in WSM socialism apply to the practice of bringing socialism into existence or only to the analysis of the failings of capitalism?

    twc wrote a particularly good post on the processes which determine class conciousness. http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/forum/general-discussion/social-reproductionAs a p.s. I would like to see more articles like this published in the standard on occasion.

    #92595
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Hi EdPost #27

    alanjohnstone wrote:
    I think what you would like to see, SP, is an example of local activism which would be the Independent Working Class Association centred around Oxford who successfully managed to build up a local power base and gained council seats.  The project fizzled out due to the fact that reformists cannot run capitalism in the interests of our class.

    Maybe Alex and myself read more into Alans words than he meant, but they seemed to suggest I advocate a socialist run council, trying to make the system work for the people.Sorry if I'm the one who's got it wrong!I'll give the matter of elected socialists some thought and get back to you later. I'm a bit tired now.

    #92598
    Ed
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Hi EdPost #27

    alanjohnstone wrote:
    I think what you would like to see, SP, is an example of local activism which would be the Independent Working Class Association centred around Oxford who successfully managed to build up a local power base and gained council seats.  The project fizzled out due to the fact that reformists cannot run capitalism in the interests of our class.

    Maybe Alex and myself read more into Alans words than he meant, but they seemed to suggest I advocate a socialist run council, trying to make the system work for the people.Sorry if I'm the one who's got it wrong!I'll give the matter of elected socialists some thought and get back to you later. I'm a bit tired now.

    Yeah I'm pretty sure he was referring to the IWCA. However, as I pointed out it wasn't because they are reformists that they cannot run capitalism but because workers cannot run capitalism in their own interests. They are bound to the restrictions of the market and because self exploitation does not make it any better, it's still exploitation after all.Good night mate look forward to hearing your views on what actions an elected socialist should take.

    #92599
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Here's what we said in one of the leaflets we put out for the local by-election in Islington:

    Quote:
    If elected to the council, our delegate will vote, as instructed, in the interests of the workers, but we won't kid on that we can save services within the profit-driven market system where profits always come before people.

    There is also this pamphlet by a member of the Socialist Party of Canada who got elected to the Alberta Legislative Assembly in 1910:http://www.worldsocialism.org/canada/proletarian.in.politics.htmHere's a extract:

    Quote:
    At this point, J. W. Woolf (Lib.) rose to a point of order, claiming that O’Brien was not speaking to the question, but giving a lecture on Socialism.

    That's something else a socialist local councillor could do. In fact, it's probably the main thing they could.

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