January 29, 2017 at 1:59 pm #85291
This edition recalls Villa Road, a street in Brixton where squatters lived by their left-wing beliefs – communal living, collective action and an unswerving commitment to Marxist ideology.January 29, 2017 at 2:28 pm #124534AnonymousInactive
I may be wrong but I believe they were not all 'lefties'. Some were members.January 29, 2017 at 2:59 pm #124535January 29, 2017 at 3:58 pm #124536ALB wrote:
I watched 'The Cult Next Door', the level of delusion was staggering – in particular, Josephine Herivel who still supports 'Comrade Bala'.January 29, 2017 at 4:17 pm #124537AnonymousInactiveVin wrote:I may be wrong but I believe they were not all 'lefties'. Some were members.
You're absolutely right; in fact one party member lived in Villa Road until comparatively recently. I visited him there several times.January 29, 2017 at 4:19 pm #124538jondwhite wrote:ALB wrote:
I watched 'The Cult Next Door', the level of delusion was staggering – in particular, Josephine Herivel who still supports 'Comrade Bala'.
Funnily enough I get told regularly that I'm a complete cult, at least that's what I think they're saying.January 31, 2017 at 9:38 am #124539
The cause for concern is the dozens of 'communist parties' in Britain operate on the same model and psychology, e.g. CPGB-ML, CPB-ML, NCP, WRP etc. I'd say there are even aspects of it in the SWP.January 31, 2017 at 9:43 am #124540
The question of leftwing political cults was discussed in 2005 in this article in the Socialist Standard:http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2000s/2005/no-1215-november-2005/cult-professional-revolutionaryJanuary 31, 2017 at 1:29 pm #124541AnonymousInactive
I have to say ALB that is a very interesting and revealing article. I would recommend that members read it and give it some thought.January 31, 2017 at 2:58 pm #124542
An aspect of cults, and of leftist movements, not mentioned in the article, is their use of language. A common thread of cultish organisations is that they make use of obscure language and phrasiology that is used and understood, in the particular way that it is used by the group, only by members of the group.What this does is give exclusivity to the conversation, creating a sense of ownership and of belonging, that excludes non-members. You can see examples of this in groups such as the Freemasons, youth gangs, etc. etc. however in cult groups the language and the ideas create a particular world view, that can only be expressed through the use of that language style and only understood by someone who is familiar with the language.This creates a unique frame of reference for the members of the cult and as well as excluding non -members from the cult, it also has the opposite effect, members of the cult cannot converse, other than using the cultish langauge and therefore they are unable to communicate effectively with non cult members.In my view you often see this kind of disconnect when members of the SWP are speaking to the general public. Because they can only converse in stock phrases and cliches, supplied by the leadership, they come across as unnatural and weird, a bit like Dave Spart in Private Eye.One of the great things about the SPGB, in my opinion, is that we have never really developed that kind of "in crowd" way of communicating, either in the written or spoken word.January 31, 2017 at 3:32 pm #124543AnonymousInactive
Families Against Cult Teachings and Abuses offers warning signs of "unsafe groups". It appears there does not have to be a leader, there can be a 'group' mentality https://www.familiesagainstcultteachings.org/Cult-Education/Cult-Warning-Signs/January 31, 2017 at 8:27 pm #124544Vin wrote:Families Against Cult Teachings and Abuses offers warning signs of "unsafe groups". It appears there does not have to be a leader, there can be a 'group' mentality https://www.familiesagainstcultteachings.org/Cult-Education/Cult-Warning-Signs/
Agreed, I think a 'cult' is all about believing the group to be the sole possessor of truth and all other sources of no relevance. Not a 'charismatic leader' as such.February 1, 2017 at 8:07 am #124545
There was a review in the June 1986 Socialist Standard of this book which tried to use us as an example of how some political organisations were like cultish religious groups. It's not on line but you can get an idea of the slapdash nature of the "research" from these passages quoted in the review:Quote:According to Jones, we are "mainly skilled workers and in particular building workers" with "little evidence of any young intellectual element drawn from the universities" and we are "more likely to be primary school teachers with a non-university background."
As the reviewer, Howard Moss, remarked, "Anyone who is a member of, or closely associated with the Socialist Party will be smiling ..".The author, who did actually interview a few members, had to concede thatQuote:members certainly do not appear to be aggressive or misfits or in any way eccentric.February 1, 2017 at 9:36 am #124546ALB wrote:..".The author, who did actually interview a few members, had to concede thatQuote:members certainly do not appear to be aggressive or misfits or in any way eccentric.
obviously didn't visit us lot up here in the North East!February 1, 2017 at 12:01 pm #124547imposs1904Participant
My good deed for the day.I just scanned in the article from the June 1986 Socialist Standard that ALB mentions above, and can be read at the link posted below. Btw, the Peter Rollings mentioned in the article was a longstanding associate of H. Walsby who was an ex-member of the SPGB – from the 30s – who continued to have a political and philosophical interest in the SPGB decades after he left the Party.LINK: Socialist Party under attack
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