Is there a problem with non-members commenting on Party issues on Party sites?

April 2024 Forums World Socialist Movement Is there a problem with non-members commenting on Party issues on Party sites?

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 69 total)
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  • #105139
    jondwhite
    Participant

    Not really keen to derail this thread but what do you (LBird) think about the effect of Open Primaries on parties, members and non-members?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_election#Types

    #105140
    steve colborn
    Participant

    "It's odd, isn't it, that 130 years after Marx's death, there isn't a single political organisation that puts workers' democracy at its heart."So L Bird informs us!The Socialist Party, refuse to countenance leaders. We do not recognise "representative democracy" as democracy. Parliamentary democracy is a ruse to gull the uninformed and ignorant.The Socialist Party, in every part of it's existence is a Party based on the ethos of "Direct participatory Democracy". We advocate it now, we envisage that it will be one of the overarching principles of a new society, based on production for use, not profit. Where the Earth and everything in and on it will belong to "all of mankind" equally, without distinction of Race, Sex, Colour, Gender, or indeed any of the other straw men, used to divide the majority within the minority owned and controlled Capitalist system.To call such a Party a "Religious Sect", to doubt its "Democratic credentials", to misconstrue the "Administration of things" as a drive towards "elitism", is perhaps the most profoundly disreputable argument I have heard. And in a 33 year association with The Socialist Party, I have heard a few.JW, you ask; "What specific organisational features would a party in favour of proletarian democracy that was not a sect look like? How would it treat non-members?".Admit them into every meeting the Party organises, from Branch to EC. Let them peruse each and every Party document. Give them the ability to ask inumerable questions. At public meetings, answer each question individually, not as other parties do, collect 6 or 7, then "forget" to answer the "uncomfortable" ones.Defer Branch Standing orders, when a non member attends, so that the attendee can ask questions and satisfy him/herself as to the response.I could go on, but anyone with 1 functioning brain cell can see the pattern and appreciate the meaning and intent!!!Steve ColbornMember of The ("Democratic") Socialist Party.

    #105141

    Open primaries are a terrible idea, they are a form of state assimilation of political parties, that removes control of the party from an active membership and hands it over to a bureaucratic elite (also, in the states, a party has to qualify for registration for primaries).  Also, the issue of avoiding spoiler votes raises its head.  Tories could vote and select terrible candidates.  We have the membership test and formal membership for a reason: accountability.  We want to know that the people taking decisions for our organisation know what it stands for, and share the essential ideas that we exist to promote.

    #105142
    LBird
    Participant

    At least Vin admits that he's not in favour of workers' democracy.steven colborn, for all the bluster, still won't tell us why he's a 'materialist', which means that workers can't vote on what constitutes the 'material'.Look, comrades, this issue isn't going to go away, whether I stop posting (or, am stopped from posting) or not.There's a philosophical problem at the heart of Engelsism. That of 'materialism'.And its political effect is to deny workers' democracy.Surely someone reading can glimpse this fundamental problem?I'll tell you what – if no-one mentions me in their responses, and no-one wants to take this problem forward in discussion with me, I'll leave this thread alone to develop as the others decide.I hope that satisfies Vin.

    #105143
    jondwhite
    Participant

    I'm not sure why open primaries are a form of state assimilation or what the state or a bureaucratic elite has to do with them. Unless this is the way they operate in the US? In the SPGB, our ballot committee regulates votes to committees.What better way to members are not voting in the interests of members alone at the expense of non-members than to have open primaries to elect committee members?As for 'spoiler votes', I'm not sure what the point is. The only candidates for commitees are (and would be) members volunteering so why are members deemed good enough to vote (indeed the only ones good enough to vote), but 'terrible' volunteer members not good enough to be subject to a vote to serve on a committee?Or to put it another way, why should non-members be allowed to sit and speak in any party meeting but not elect committee members from party members volunteering?

    #105144

    Because our enemies could vote maliciously, and choosig the worst candidates, or even worse, voting to cause confusion.  We can hold our committee members to account, and our fellow members if they behave in such a way as to disrupt the objects of the party: we can't expell non-members.

    #105145
    jondwhite
    Participant

    What do you think the opening of Chapter 2 of the Communist Manifesto means? Or warns against? Or was this an error of Young Marx.

    Quote:
    In what relation do the Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole?The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other working-class parties. They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole. They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement.
    #105146

    We don't idolise Marx & Engels,the above is a tactical suggestion, we've chosen different tactics, we are decidedly partyists, in preference to the tyranny of structurlessness and also our specific focus upon the conscious acceptance of socialist ideas.

    #105147
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    LBird wrote:
    At least Vin admits that he's not in favour of workers' democracy.

     He certainly does! If he was in favour of a 'workers democracy' he would be  a critical realist and a reformist and he is neither. 

    #105148
    jondwhite
    Participant
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
    We don't idolise Marx & Engels,the above is a tactical suggestion, we've chosen different tactics, we are decidedly partyists, in preference to the tyranny of structurlessness and also our specific focus upon the conscious acceptance of socialist ideas.

    Sorry but the Communist Manifesto is decidedly partyist, not in favour of structurelessness and focused on the conscious acceptance of socialist ideas. I don't think it is idolising Marx to challenge some of your comments in your above statement about the passage from Chapter 2.You' might be focusing on 'The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other working-class parties.' whereas you should be looking at it in the context of the preceding statement 'In what relation do the Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole?'.In what relation do you think the Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole? Or is there no relation? Is the party on its own plane of existence?

    #105149
    ALB
    Keymaster
    steve colborn wrote:
    Is there a problem with non-members commenting on Party issues on Party sites?

    Not really. But some non-members make the same comment over and over and over again. It's boring and sometimes infuriating but we can live with it

    #105150

    The party is made up of proletarians standing under a musty banner.  We are members of the working, class, part of the working class movement, inextricably, and addressing ourelves to the working class as a whole.  We organise ourselves separately from reformist movements for clarity of ideas, and to enable us to be an exclusively working class orientated organisation.  I'm prepared to say we disagree with Chuck on this one.  Our interests are not different from the working class' but certainly different from other working class parties that are not socialist.

    #105151
    SocialistPunk
    Participant
    jondwhite wrote:
    What else is the answer to charges of sectarianism? Or the charges put by George Walford herehttp://gwiep.net/wp/?p=387As you can imagine, it takes a good deal to leave me speechless. But that did, the first time I heard it. The blind, unthinking conceit of that answer! If you disagree with the Socialist Party that shows you don’t understand them. They have nothing to learn from anybody. There is no possibility of anybody knowing more than they do and no possibility of them being wrong.

    Hi JDWDo you or anyone in the Party know if this challenge was ever answered?

    #105152
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Yes, it was. Walford was an infuriating character and incorrigible logic-chopper and nit-picker. He died shortly after attending an SPGB meeting at which a Party member tried to convince him that you can derive an "ought" from an "is".He published a magazine almost entirely devoted to criticising and trying to provoke us, but actually seems to have had a bit of a soft spot for us, as he also wrote this;

    Quote:
    The SPGB has neither a leader nor a hierarchy of committees, and it repudiates the principle of leadership. Organised as local branches, the members of each electing their own officers independently of Head Office (which serves as hardly more than a clearing-house) and sending delegates to the annual Conference, it works throughout on one person one vote and simple majorities. Subject to a minimum of procedural rules any branch can bring any issue before Conference and Conference decisions bind the Executive Committee (which, like the Party Officers, is elected annually by vote of the whole Party). Any six branches can call a Party poll, and any member expelled can appeal to the annual Conference. All meetings of the Executive Committee and the branches, Delegate Meetings and Conference, are open to all members (and in fact to the public). These are not just aspirations or entries in the Rule Book; unlike other parties the SPGB really does function in this way. A majority of the members controls the organisation and its officers. George Walford, Angles on Anarchism, 1991, p. 53.
    #105153
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Thanks ALBI suspected the Party would at some point answered such a challenge.When I read the bit about the capitalist class not having hands on involvement with the running of capitalism, workers do it all etc. One word kept spinning around my little brain, socialisation. The system is self perpetuating, with institutions confirming the bias in favour of minority ownership. I mean, it's a little obvious that capitalism didn't just suddenly pop into existence from thin air, it evolved into existence with many of the old feudal institutions continuing the ideology of minority control. I thought that bit was a little obvious. I'm sure the Party reply was much more in depth though.

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