Status of World Socialist Party (US)

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This topic contains 213 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  Bijou Drains 2 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #170439

    maxhess
    Participant

    Can someone please advise on the status of the World Socialist Party (US). I read something a few weeks ago about it, but can’t find it now. Can people still contact it via the postal address or email as given here or should anyone in the US interested in socialism contact the SPGB instead please?

    • This topic was modified 10 months ago by  maxhess.
    #170446

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    “should anyone in the US interested in socialism contact the SPGB”

    Perhaps better would be the Socialist Party of Canada, being geographically closer.

    #170507

    imposs1904
    Participant

    Correspondence sent to that email address will be read and responded to. The WSPUS as an organisation is not currently active but there is active WSPUS members.

    Hope that is of some help.

    #170517

    maxhess
    Participant

    Okay. Thank you for the info.

    #170681

    Dave Chesham
    Participant

    “Can someone please advise on the status of the World Socialist Party (US). I read something a few weeks ago about it, but can’t find it now. Can people still contact it via the postal address or email as given here or should anyone in the US interested in socialism contact the SPGB instead please?”

    Yes. Someone in Las Vegas wishing to join the WSPUS was told by a member of the American party that “the membership is very scattered and isn’t able to provide new members with any support.  After a while new members get fed up and leave.  The WSPUS is no longer a real national organisation, just a few individuals in occasional touch with one another.”

    At my suggestion the comrade applied to join the SPGB and I’m pleased to say has now been accepted into membership.

    #170706

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Dave, isn’t it time that we gave very serious consideration to re-structuring ourselves and our companion parties into a fully functioning World Socialist Party and use the many cyber tools available to administer it.

    Online on the internet,  i think many outside the UK have shown how active they can potentially be. Increasingly it is becoming easier to organise via computers and telephones.

    I recall years back our literature maintained the fiction that there was a Socialist Party of Australia when it was defunct. WSP of Ireland no longer has even a paper existence. The WSPNZ is half a dozen stalwart comrades, the WSP(India) is the same, and the SPC has only one active branch in Toronto. In the UK most of our own branches are always at risk of being inquorate with a handful of members turning up at meetings. I have no idea why London has 3 separate branches (ok, travel is difficult and expensive across the capital but many provincial branch members make similar complaints)

    As our numbers dwindle globally, surely we can adapt and adjust the WSM to make it more effective.

     

     

    #171291

    robbo203
    Participant

    What is the membership of WSPUS and is it still manly Boston-based?

     

    I am sympathetic to the idea that Alan expresses  about the need for greater global collaboration but wouldn’t go so far as him to suggest the formation of a single “fully functioning World Socialist Party”.  The “Party” as an organisation should pertain to the nation-state entity in which is organised and carries out activity since this makes clear the purpose  of such an organisation which involves the democratic capture of state power to implement socialism .   There is nothing analogous at the global level for socialists to democratically capture and, besides, the formation of a single global party would mark a lurch towards an unacceptable degree of centralisation in my view, and exacerbate the sense of isolation felt by remote members.

     

    But, yes, more global cooperation between socialists and socialist parties is definitely to be encouraged and perhaps in the context of the US,  the more active Canadian Party might be particularly well placed to lend a hand here.  I see the new Facebook site “Genuine Socialism” seems to be a good example of this kind of cross  border collaboration…

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/2126150080743426/?multi_permalinks=2757794040912357%2C2755101251181636&notif_id=1544722704027387&notif_t=group_activity

    • This reply was modified 10 months ago by  robbo203.
    #175724

    robbo203
    Participant

    I see from the EC minutes that another individual based in the US has just joined the SPGB.  Has the administration of the WSPUS become so moribund that it cannot process new applicants? Its seems a bit ridiculous that there are active members in the US and individuals wanting to join but no means to enable them to join the local Party. This all the more bizarre given the upsurge in interest in ‘socialism’ in the US.   Ok its not real socialism but you would expect the WSPUS to reap some benefits from this trend

     

    What can be done to promote a more coordinated approach?  Are there members in the US who might want to take on the vital task of administration?

    #175728

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    People will certainly be drawn much more to this sort of organization than ourselves, 700 members and 6 branches

    https://dsa-lsc.org/

    I have already put forward my own suggestions to how we respond to our current malaise by holding a major conference to re-focus and re-organizing our structure so I won’t bother repeating them.

    But really fundamental is why we are still members of the SPGB when none of us holds out too much optimism for the future, either for the Party or the planet.

    A bit of soul-searching is required.

    #175732

    Anonymous

    It would be better to apply for membership to the Socialist Party of Great Britain, and I think that all members or ex-members of the WSPUS should join the SPGB. The WSPUS is a dead political party, or it is not a political party any longer, any new person in the working class movement joining that particular organization would get demoralized and will leave. I think the SPGB should become a World Socialist Party

     

    #175733

    Anonymous

    According to the last Gallop poll, more than 50% of the Americans ( from the  USA ) prefer socialism ( or what they call socialism ) instead of capitalism. It is very surprising for a country which has been bombarded for many years by anti-communists propaganda, by the meantime, in others countries like Brazil, Colombia and Argentina a new type of Neo-McCarthyism is emerging within the working class

    #175739

    Dave Chesham
    Participant

    “People will certainly be drawn much more to this sort of organization than ourselves, 700 members and 6 branches

    https://dsa-lsc.org/

    700 members?  I wish!

    “I have already put forward my own suggestions to how we respond to our current malaise by holding a major conference to re-focus and re-organizing our structure so I won’t bother repeating them.”

    Been there, done that, even got the T-Shirt!

    “But really fundamental is why we are still members of the SPGB when none of us holds out too much optimism for the future, either for the Party or the planet.”

    The SPGB has sometimes been accused of living in an ivory tower but it nevertheless bears no resemblance to Colditz; those who wish to leave are free to do so at any time!

    #175741

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Just to clarify I was giving stats for the LSC of the DSA

    But that is not answering the question “Why are we still members” when within the foreseeable future there is little chance of any of us seeing even the beginnings of a mass socialist movement.

    The founding members created the SPGB to accomplish their aspirations which they had very optimistic expectations of achieving in their lifetimes, or at least their children’s and definitely their children’s children.

    How many current members realistically think the same? Can we point to the growth of the revolutionary stirrings of our fellow-workers which are more mature and developed in consciousness than those within them in 1904. Or are they further away from acquiring consciousness than over a hundred years ago.

    Of course, we resort to the theoretically possibilities that revolutions can appear “like magic from nowhere” but are we the organization which is sowing the seeds?

    Our proudest boast is that we are keeping alive the socialist ideals. Maybe so, but the most that is proving to be is keeping these comatose ideas on life-support. Our friendliest critics believe us to be relics from the past.

    “I have already put forward my own suggestions to how we respond to our current malaise by holding a major conference to re-focus and re-organizing our structure so I won’t bother repeating them.”
    Been there, done that, even got the T-Shirt!”

    Dave, I would be interested in actual proposals you have for discussing our future and then re-structuring our Party.

    I have missed a number of conferences but i’m not really aware of too much formal debate and discussions on the deep issue of the purpose of our existence. Should it be as a political party? An educational advocacy group? A publisher,even? Surely our end should firstly reflect our actual activities towards our aims. These are the vital questions we should be asking ourselves.

    That is perhaps an answer to the question why I am still a member. Citing that well known cliché, I believe we are a movement not a monument and that we can evolve. After all, it was the changes within the SPGB I perceived which made me re-join. If it had been the same Party that I originally I left, I would still be a non-member. And in my small way I believed I had a contribution to make to helping to slow down its decline.

    Not only are our companion parties like the WSPUS failing to function as a political party, most of our own branches exhibit similar failures. We have to be fit for purpose. And the brutal truth is that we aren’t and anyone who argues differently is in denial.

    Too often we appear more like a members’ club rather than a party. Maintaining the SPGB appears to be the primary concern of some members rather than the attaining socialism. If I am right, then I would like to know why this is.

    New Year is the traditional time of self-contemplation and I think we should indeed consider the relevance of our Party and its role. A look at our history shows this process arises periodically when the world around us begins to lose its connection with the Party’s perception of it.

    I make no apologies for hijacking this thread and raising the broader questions.

    For a less personal view, I took the liberty of posting this on our blog to begin a dialogue.

    https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2019/01/some-socialist-self-contemplation.html

     

    #175744

    ALB
    Participant

    The good news, Alan, is that according to page 29 of the new Luxemburg pamphlet:

    Workers everywhere are beginning to rise from their knees to their feet again.

    !

    #175745

    robbo203
    Participant

    Nobody possesses a crystal ball but we cannot simply extrapolate from current trends to arrive at the depressing conclusion that we are never likely to see socialism even in our children’s children’s lifetime.   It is not usually in the nature of political growth to take an arithmetic form.  More often than not it takes an exponential form.  There is no reason to expect the growth trajectory  that a socialist movement might  take would be any different.

     

    We cannot predict the constellation of factors that might finally push us through the glass ceiling and  bring us to the point of critical mass when a sustainable growth momentum will hopefully kick in.  I have always felt that our small size is by far the most important reason why we continue to remain small – because it denies us the credibility we deserve. When we are a Party of several thousand members people’s perception of us will be quite different. That is when people will sit up and take notice – and join.   The hardest part of the struggle to gain influence is now when we are still relatively tiny

     

    Here in Spain the right wing Vox Party came from nowhere to capture 12 of the 109 seats in the recent Andalusian elections. Before that it was considered a joke.  But to everyone’s surprise they proved everyone wrong.   We could do the same.  Our efforts should be focussed on reaching that critical point rather than allowing ourselves to  feel depressed or overwhelmed by the  apparent impossibility of morphing into a movement of millions any time soon.   It is the micro picture we should be looking at,  the nitty gritty detail of  how to turn our fortunes around.  All journeys begin with a few tiny steps.   We should do more to encourage people not only to join (which might involve softening one or two of our quite strict admissions criteria) but also to be more active.   What has happened about the ongoing project of party reorganisation?

     

    Yes, the WSM as a whole needs to act in a more coordinated manner but I am wary of abandoning the idea of nationally-based political parties.  That might alienate members even more and discourage activity because of the perceived remoteness of a (relatively small) global organisation in relation to a few scattered socialist on the ground.   Why cannot those two approaches – national and global – be applied concurrently?  Its not an either/or thing.

     

    In relation to the US, what I believe has happened is  that those who have been involved in the central administration of the Party in the past are no longer active or have been reduced in numbers.  Yet there are individuals in America  who are active, and have even joined the SPGB recently,  who are disconnected or isolated  from the former for whatever reason.  There needs to be a transfer of responsibility for running the WSPUS as a  political party to this ‘new blood’ so to speak and the SPGB should take initiative in assisting this development in my opinion.   As a first step it needs to compile a complete list of all contacts, including members, in America to assess what can be done to improve the situation

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by  robbo203.
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