The labour movement must be a safe space for women

July 2024 Forums General discussion The labour movement must be a safe space for women

Viewing 13 posts - 31 through 43 (of 43 total)
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  • #92411
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    SocialistPunk wrote:
     You may not like it, but  the cliche of winning hearts and minds is vital if the WSM wish to connect with people. Over a hundred years have passed and the SPGB is probably the smallest it has ever been. There is so much anger and frustration out there, yet the party is failing to tap into it. I suggest that no stone is left unturned in that attempt.If the attempt to connect with others, when an invitation is offered, is ignored and labelled as "Insubstantial gestures" and "cynical opportunism", then it is a sorry day indeed for the WSM. I wish it all the luck for the next 100 years. It will need it!

     I have a great deal of sympathy with this, the SPGB tends to attack and put down any working class action that does not seek to abolish the wages system. It gives out the wrong message. The SPGB correctly has as its only aim the establishment of socialism but this should not put us in opposition to workers struggles.   Some women don't have access to education, basic freedoms and democracy, how can we say to them 'organise for socialism' when they get physically attacked for expressing an opinion?  They would rightly feel disgusted and put off at a lecture from the SPGB  It makes the Party appear utopian and sectarian.  Perhaps one approach could be to reply that socialists are on her side in her fight against ignorance and the oppression  of women but the Party's energy must go into the establishment of socialism and the emancipation of ALL humankind. 

    #92416
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Here we go for the second time. 

    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    I have a great deal of sympathy with this, the SPGB tends to attack and put down any working class action that does not seek to abolish the wages system.

    OGW is spot on. Both he and Steve made some good points about this earlier.It need not take up too much time and energy for the SPGB and WSM to voice support on these kinds of issues. It may eventually lead to our movement being taken seriously by more people. What a shock that might be to some!

    #92417
    PJShannon
    Keymaster
    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    Why have posts from SP and myself been removed?

    As an unintended result of deleting double posts a couple of messages that where direct replies to it have been also automatically deleted. I have no way of resurrecting them. I apologise for the error but if the original posters of the messages would care to repost, please do so.

    #92418
    ALB
    Keymaster
    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    I have a great deal of sympathy with this, the SPGB tends to attack and put down any working class action that does not seek to abolish the wages system. It gives out the wrong message. The SPGB correctly has as its only aim the establishment of socialism but this should not put us in opposition to workers struggles.

    You are wrong to sympathise with Socialist Punk's position here. It is simply untrue and reinforces the caricature of our position put forward by our opponents and which our members have to combat all the time on other internet forums. It's a bit disappointing to have to do it here too.When have we opposed and attacked workers in struggles to get what they can out of capitalism just because, for instance, they are trying to get higher wages or trying to stop their conditions getting worse, rather than the abolition of the wages system altogether? Socialist Punk will be unable to produce a single case of this.You yourself realise that Punk's position is a caricature because you end up saying that we should not oppose such struggles but should express sympathy with them while always raising the need to abolish capitalism. Which we always do, quite apart from individual members being active trade unionists or the like. I daresay you were yourself in the days of the old Seaham branch.

    #92419
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    admin wrote:
     As an unintended result of deleting double posts a couple of messages that where direct replies to it have been also automatically deleted.

    Thanks for the reply admin. I suspected that it had something to do with recent double posts and their deletion

    #92420
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Alb,'Attack' is an unfortunate and inaccurate word for me to use in such a context and I withdraw it.  Tho' I believe certain groups within the SPGB wanted to oppose the Miners  during their struggle with the 'new right' and the Polish TU Movement, Solidarity against oppression and dictatorship. I think what Socialist Punk is saying is that the Party appears to stand aloof and   to 'put down' and  to be saying that their struggle is a wast of effort – any effort that does not lead to the ablolition of the wages system is a waste of workers' energy.I don't want to make a big thing of this issue, it is a matter of appearance and attitudeAs a socialist in Seaham my attitude was good luck to the Miners and good luck to Solidarnosc there is NO doubt whose side I am on. I have the same attitude to this young lady and the young girl shot for wanting education for women.As I said when I re joined the party,  I congratulate the membership for keeping the party socialist and focused on revolution

    #92421
    SocialistPunk
    Participant
    ALB wrote:
    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    I have a great deal of sympathy with this, the SPGB tends to attack and put down any working class action that does not seek to abolish the wages system. It gives out the wrong message. The SPGB correctly has as its only aim the establishment of socialism but this should not put us in opposition to workers struggles.

    You are wrong to sympathise with Socialist Punk's position here. It is simply untrue and reinforces the caricature of our position put forward by our opponents and which our members have to combat all the time on other internet forums. It's a bit disappointing to have to do it here too.When have we opposed and attacked workers in struggles to get what they can out of capitalism just because, for instance, they are trying to get higher wages or trying to stop their conditions getting worse, rather than the abolition of the wages system altogether? Socialist Punk will be unable to produce a single case of this.You yourself realise that Punk's position is a caricature because you end up saying that we should not oppose such struggles but should express sympathy with them while always raising the need to abolish capitalism. Which we always do, quite apart from individual members being active trade unionists or the like. I daresay you were yourself in the days of the old Seaham branch.

    Not sure what I have done to warrant this, as I do not believe I have accused the SPGB of standing against workers struggles wherever they may be. I think ALB should have read my posts in full, before accusing me, in the highlighted paragraph above.My point is, the party is failing to tap into the frustration that is out there in the real world. Part of that failure is due to an aloof stance. It comes across a bit like the old saying "everyone is marching out of step, except our…..party".Sometimes simple gestures, can have a powerful effect on how others perceive us as individuals or groups. But it looks like ALB sees them as mere "caricatures", with no use. No aloof stance there then?Sorry if it is a little uncomfortable ALB, but it wouldn't take too much energy for the SPGB to reach out and try to make friends every once in a while. Go ahead and slag me off for daring to suggest it, but you are missing the point entirely. 

    #92422
    Ed
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    My point is, the party is failing to tap into the frustration that is out there in the real world. Part of that failure is due to an aloof stance. It comes across a bit like the old saying "everyone is marching out of step, except our…..party".

    Sorry but the vast majority of the world's population is wrong about capitalism. This includes the left. This of course does not mean that the party are the only genuine socialists but we are significantly different than all the rest. You seem to be suggesting that we change our position to pander to popular opinion and abandon scientific socialism.

    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Sometimes simple gestures, can have a powerful effect on how others perceive us as individuals or groups. But it looks like ALB sees them as mere "caricatures", with no use. No aloof stance there then?Sorry if it is a little uncomfortable ALB, but it wouldn't take too much energy for the SPGB to reach out and try to make friends every once in a while.

    I know for a fact that individual branches and the party do, do this. Members spent a lot of time talking to the occupy movement when it was around. We've been incredibly patient and understanding towards the zeitgeist movement, even though some of their members and especially their speakers are a million miles away from our position, which renders meetings with them extremely frustrating, yet we persist in engaging with them. On a local level I could specifically name what three branches are currently doing right now to reach out to their local communities and that's not even including the stuff that comes up during the year like stalls and local trade union festivals and so on. Could we be doing more of this? Of course and every single branch would love to and would be able to if more members were active within their branches.Perhaps if more branches were to publish their minutes online there would be a greater understanding of the work they do.

    #92423
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Ed wrote:
    Perahps if more branches were to publish their minutes online there would be a greater understanding of the work they do.

     I think that would be a good idea!

    #92424
    SocialistPunk
    Participant
    Ed wrote:
    Sorry but the vast majority of the world's population is wrong about capitalism. This includes the left. This of course does not mean that the party are the only genuine socialists but we are significantly different than all the rest. You seem to be suggesting that we change our position to pander to popular opinion and abandon scientific socialism.

    Ed,I do believe you are aware that I know that capitalism is a vile, inhuman system. That most people born and indoctrinated into it fail to see its gross, illogical entirety.I am not suggesting the party change it's position to that of popularism. I am trying to suggest ways of connecting with people in order the real socialist movement reaches more people. I wholeheartedly agree that the WSM is different than the rest, it is after all, why I joined all those years ago. It is also why I bother to engage with this forum. I want the SPGB and WSM to grow stronger and attract more genuine socialists.

    Ed wrote:
    On a local level I could specifically name what three branches are currently doing right now to reach out to their local communities and that's not even including the stuff that comes up during the year like stalls and local trade union festivals and so on.

    I would genuinely like you to give me details. I think it important that such efforts are shared, it may help others. If I am barking up the wrong tree, I am not afraid to admit it. I would love to be shown wrong, as it would suggest things are on the up for real socialism.So far all I am getting are false accusations leveled at me for daring to suggest all is not going well. 

    ALB wrote:
    You are wrong to sympathise with Socialist Punk's position here. It is simply untrue and reinforces the caricature of our position put forward by our opponents and which our members have to combat all the time on other internet forums. It's a bit disappointing to have to do it here too.When have we opposed and attacked workers in struggles to get what they can out of capitalism just because, for instance, they are trying to get higher wages or trying to stop their conditions getting worse, rather than the abolition of the wages system altogether? Socialist Punk will be unable to produce a single case of this.

    All I said was.

    SocialistPunk wrote:
    You may not like it, but  the cliche of winning hearts and minds is vital if the WSM wish to connect with people. Over a hundred years have passed and the SPGB is probably the smallest it has ever been. There is so much anger and frustration out there, yet the party is failing to tap into it. I suggest that no stone is left unturned in that attempt.If the attempt to connect with others, when an invitation is offered, is ignored and labeled as "Insubstantial gestures" and "cynical opportunism", then it is a sorry day indeed for the WSM. I wish it all the luck for the next 100 years. It will need it!

    Is the SPGB doing fine? Is the membership growing or dwindling? If it is growing then prove it and shut me up, I really would prefer that option. If it is dwindling, then it is time to pull heads out of the sand and look for solutions.Surely if others see the SPGB as aloof and distant, then the thing to do is ask, "why"?Time to put the "science" in scientific socialism to the test.

    #92425
    Ed
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    I would genuinely like you to give me details. I think it important that such efforts are shared, it may help others. If I am barking up the wrong tree, I am not afraid to admit it. I would love to be shown wrong, as it would suggest things are on the up for real socialism.So far all I am getting are false accusations leveled at me for daring to suggest all is not going well. 

    I'm in Kent and Sussex branch so if I get details about other branches wrong or slightly incomplete then I apologise.Kent & Sussex have recently had a very positive meeting with a group called the Wealden Progressive Movement. We plan to set up a discussion forum to discuss capitalism, alternatives, organization and well whatever else. The local zeitgeist chapter have already accepted and invitations to other groups and advertising the meetings locally will all be done in the near future.West Midlands branch are also in the process of organizing a discussion forum with another group, which will be held in Leicester. I believe that's quite a distance for them to travel.East Anglia which from my perception is probably our most dynamic branch (no offense to anyone else) regularly attend various meetings of many groups. One that was mentioned was a philosophy discussion group with a wide array of views. From my knowledge East Anglia tend to get more visitors than any other branch and I've been told that it is the result of attending as many groups as they can.I'm sure other branches are doing exactly the same thing. It's just I specifically spoke to members of these branches about this yesterday. Apart from these forums which I think are a great opportunity to put the socialist case to those who are interested in discussing it. I think we all do stalls on occasion. I find them a little hit and miss sometimes you get great interactions and sometimes no-one stops to talk to you. We also attend various trade union festivals, I believe we've got an ex-miners one coming up in the near future. Our next branch meeting we'll be discussing how to contact the protesters at Sussex university to investigate the "communia" banner.At Kent and Sussex for instance for a long time we've only had 4 regular members attending branch meetings. From now on we'll have 6 regularly attending as a result of this I expect our level of activity will increase (hopefully by 33%). Other branches have more members on paper but only the same few people are attending branch meetings. The more members and or sympathizers that turn up to these meetings the more we can get done on the local level. Of course though our members are all workers who suffer from all the hurdles that capitalism throws in front of them health concerns, financial constraints, travel restrictions, work commitments, family commitments and so on. Those that do attend meetings on a regular basis give up massive amounts of their free time, energy and money to party activity, so some may be slightly offended by the suggestion that they are not doing enough and some may find it slightly disheartening to be constantly reminded that we have so far to go. However, I'm sure that we are all open to positive suggestions about how we could be organizing more effectively on a local level. Like you I am extremely committed to organizing on a local level and believe it's the way forward so lets hear your suggestions?

    #92426
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Hi EdThat is all good stuff you mention, excellent.You may well be aware from previous threads and posts that I was heavily involved with North East branch activities in the nineties and we did pretty much the same things as well as a good amount of electoral activity. I know first hand how much hard work, time and money goes into activity not to mention the frustration of seeing painfully slow progress. So I hope I am allowed to speak about what I experienced, good or bad.I am not seeking to offend or dishearten anyone. I see the same effort being given by others like yourself, with the same results and I get disheartened still. Somehow we are not reaching, for want of a better term "everyday" people. Campaigners and activists, are potential fertile ground, especially in these times, but they are a minority in a sea of frustrated, scared people.Maybe I am looking for a magic formula.Actually I think the reality is that it just takes bodies and even more hard work in as many areas as possible, over and over again.I have some ideas, but I think it best to transfer this discussion over to the "Future Election" thread, as this one is veering off topic slightly. But before I end it here, I just want to say it only got this far here because of a few less than constructive comments that demonstrated the aloof attitude I and others picked up on in this thread.No stone left unturned, no burning bridges. Words are powerful things and the wrong word in the wrong place can do a lot of damage to the WSM image among potential sympathisers.As Steve very aptly puts it:

    Steve Colborn wrote:
    It's not exactly a case of, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", but anyone who has grievances with aspects of Capitalism, or Capitalism in it's entirety, is surely more fertile ground for Socialists to put their case to, than those who accept Capitalism, unequivocally.
    #92427
    jondwhite
    Participant

    A comment on Labour Party Marxists readshttp://labourpartymarxists.org.uk/the-safest-place/

    Quote:
    Jon says: “a victim-centred approach which starts from a position of belief is not synonymous with a presumption of guilt as the end point of an investigation.” No, but it is synonymous with bias.

    http://labourpartymarxists.org.uk/the-safest-place/

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