Votes for us

June 2024 Forums General discussion Votes for us

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 30 total)
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  • #81101
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Here’s two reactions we’ve received about voting for us in the London elections tomorrow.

    First, an email sent via Contact from this site:

    Quote:
    I would like to vote SPGB at the London elections. Unfortunately I am not able to do so since I believe in God and am not entitled to join the party.  I feel unable to vote for a party that wouldn’t have me as a member.

    And from a discussion forum:

    Quote:
    I’m voting for the most left list possible so Keningrad in the Mayoral election, TUSC for the London list and SPGB in the Lambeth and Southwark Constituency.

    What do we say about this? Tell the first that he should vote for us and the second that he shouldn’t? Or vice versa? Or just leave it up to them to do what they decide to do?

    Obviously we’re going to get votes from people who don’t agree with us entirely (or enough to become a member). As long as they want socialism as we understand it, this shouldn’t be a problem, should it?

    After all, at the last elections in the same constituency we got 1588 votes, far, far more than the number of members and known sympathisers there.

    #88317
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    ALB wrote:
    What do we say about this? Tell the first that he should vote for us and the second that he shouldn’t? Or vice versa? Or just leave it up to them to do what they decide to do?

    Clearly the latter.  We never tell workers how or who to vote for and even if we were tempted to with these particular individuals they would be ill-advised to pay any attention :)

    #88318
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Here is a video interview the on-line London magazine, the Big Smoke,  did with Daniel Lambert, our candidate in Lambeth & Southwark. Technical difficulties prevented them putting it up earlier, but better late than never.http://www.bigsmoke.org.uk/?p=77382

    #88319
    Ozymandias
    Participant

    Really excellent viewing. The SPGB has such a wealth of reason. I think this form of plain speaking interview type scenario would work just as well as documentaries if the SPGB were to produce more movies. Bring it on!

    #88320
    robbo203
    Participant

    Just posted on Revleft 10 minutes ago. One favourable response already.  Danny, you’re in demand…. http://www.revleft.com/vb/spgb-election-interview-t171107/index.html

    #88321
    ALB
    Keymaster

    The first Contact has just emailed to say that he did vote for us in the end, joking that he was guided to do so by God.

    #88322
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Divine endorsement!!

    #88323
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    You could have sent the socialist with religious belief in God,  Robin’s and WIC contact details. We haven’t evoked the hostility clause against him or that organisation , have we?

    #88324
    robbo203
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    You could have sent the socialist with religious belief in God,  Robin’s and WIC contact details. We haven’t evoked the hostility clause against him or that organisation , have we?

      Or better still, Alan, why not consider just scrapping that archaic and ridiculous ban on religion altogether?  Seriously.  Its totally superfluous and redundant and presents just another wholly unnecessary obstacle to the Party growing.  There are more than enough safeguards built into the membership application procedure to ensure that only genuine socialists join the PartyA  religious minded socialist is very likely to lapse from a particular religion – like Catholicism, for instance   – whose social policies are anathema to socialism.  However, he or she is very unlikely to abandon  core beliefs in a god or an afterlife and if this is posited as a condition of membership  and so  will reluctantly decline to apply for membership.  By dropping  the religious ban , the SPGB would thus ironically do far more towards aiding the decline of reactionary religions than by maintaining this ban Sooner or later you guys are going to have to amend this policy anyway. It is not the position of the Party that, later on, when it is a mass Party , it would relax its attitude towards religious applicants.anyway?  Marx took the view , I believe, that banning religious minded individuals from membership of the First International was quite unnecessary – despite his opposition to religion. Why not just ban religious evangelising within the Party rather than religious applicants per se?To be frank,  this issue a constant source of frustration to me and, I can assure you, quite a few  others outside the Party too.  But for this I would probably rejoin on the spot tomorrow and I know of others who would do likewise.  For everything that is sound and good about the SPGB – and overwhelmingly most of what it says I go along with wholeheartedly –  this narrow-minded knee jerk approach to the religion question stands out as embodying and symbolising what is wrong with it.  I am convinced that had this ban not existed, the SPGB would be a vastly bigger  organisation  than it currently is.  People who actually apply to join and reveal they have religious views are only the tiny tip of an iceberg; overwhelmingly most people who learn about the SPGB’s religious ban drift way conpletely and presumably into the orbit of reformist thinking. If revolution is inextricably linked in their minds with an atheistic outlook then they will not abandon their  core religious beliefs for the sake of revolution. So it is not only the grip of of traditional religions on workers thinking that the SPGB ban on religion helps to maintain – but  also that of reformism itselfThis is the point that the Party needs to get its head around.  Tying the fortunes of the socialist cause to the spread of atheism is a foredoomed project and, even then,  there is no guarantee that atheistic ideas  will translate into pro-socialist thin king.  I can personally think of quite a few atheists who are ardent supporters of capitalism.  Perhaps the SPGB ought to also consider refusing atheist applicants! You can,  if you  like,  forward the names of religious people sympathetic to the SPGB , on  to WIC  But the problem with  WIC is that its not a political party.  I would love to be able to fully identify  with and become an active member in, a revolutionary socialist political party.  As things stands, the SPGB is the only realistic possibility on the cards but its daft policy on religion prevents me as a matter of principle from joining it.  Which in so many respects is a crying shame.

    #88325
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Perhaps what you say may have value if you consider the SPGB as the vehicle that the working class will take to socialism. I am however of the opinion that the socialist party that will assume political power and establish socialism is yet to be created. So for the time being i consider the SPGB to be educational and propagandist, with just the occasional foray into the parliamentary election arena, dipping the toe in to test the water. I am sure some members will vehemently disagree with me, possessing  the optimism of the founder members of the Party that the SPGB will perform the role of revolutionary party. I am more pessimistic. Consequently with placing lesser responsibility and importance upon the SPGB, we can compensate by being more choosy in our membership requirements, and be more picky. I have met some workers who are socialists in all regards who possess an overly romantic attachment to their country of birth. i likewise decline to make concessions to their nationalism in regards to membership of our organisation. My attitude on religious applicants would, if pressed,  be the one recently jettisoned by the US military on its members sexuality — don’t ask, don’t tell. If a member does subsequently make an issue of their religious beliefs, then we should have the means to expel him/her if they deign not to resign. As an aside, i once encountered a party member who argued with me that ley-lines and standing stones had some form of energy. Should i have demanded his expulsion on the grounds of irrationality? Should the claims of New Age mysticism now be part of the knowledge test?..”do you think crystals, homeopathy, and water-dousing reflect the material scientific world, comrade-to-be?” And what about those who hold conspiracy theories? Is thinking that the Twin-Towers was an inside job or that Lee Harvey Oswald was not a lone gunman suffice for rejection in an application for membership? But i do digress…lol If we make our case clear and concise and honest as we possibly possible applicants will be fully aware of our attitude and their personal beliefs need not bring them or us into conflict and are free to seek out alternative groups or organisations that share our aspirations but not our party rules. The person who believed in God and voted for the SPGB understood our position and knew we never ever tried to mislead or misinform him simply for a membership due.

    #88326
    DJP
    Participant

    Robin, can you point me to the queue of religous belivers that are waiting to join the SPGB?I think you’ll find it only exists in your imagination.

    #88327
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I should have know where Robin would derail this discussion to. He does it every time he gets the chance on the WSM Forum.

    #88328
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    The SPGB takes a non-theistic, materialist approach to things, in particular to society and social change. Religious people believe in the existence of at least one supernatural entity that intervenes in nature and human affairs. Socialists hold that we only live once. Religious people believe in some sort of after-life. Clearly, the two positions are incompatible. We need workers who realise that the way society is structured is the result of people’s actions as they come together to produce the material things they need to exist; nothing more and nothing less. Belief in some supernatural force that steers it all would be counter-productive to say the least. In any event it’s very unlikely that a person who believes in something without evidence would make a good party member anyway. We need people who can critically understand the world and not get led along by con-men with their own agendas.

    #88329
    Ed
    Participant

    I’m going to derail the thread now. Has anyone checked the results so far? Danny appears to be doing well looks like he’s not a million miles away from UKIP, James less well. Boris seems to be ahead of Ken so the SWP’s campaign for Ken has obviously not been successful :p and the Lib Dems getting beat by the Greens. Which is surprising. Why am I mentioning these ‘orrible capitalists? I don’t know I find it all interesting. It’s like watching a horse race even though you haven’t got a bet on.

    #88330
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Smart move, Ed.You can follow the progress of the count here.The count is being done electronically. If you’re that interested the process is explained in this short video.

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