ALB

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  • in reply to: the Socialist Party #87699
    ALB
    Keymaster

    There’s no copyright on what a political party calls itself. All there is is a degree of protection for the name that can be put on the ballot paper where we are “The Socialist Party of Great Britain” (and various variations of this, including “The Socialist Party (GB”)) and they are “Socialist Alliance” (and various variations of that, including “Socialist Alternative – Save Our Baby Unit”).But that’s not the real problem which is political rather than legal. I’ve just checked with the site of the Electoral Commission and here’s a list of registered parties calling themselves socialist:Socialist AllianceSocialist AlternativeSocialist Equality PartySocialist Labour PartySocialist People’s PartyScottish Socialist PartyRepublican Socialist PartySocialist Party (NI)There’s also the Socialist Workers Party (which is not registered).You could send the same email/letter to all of them as their programmes are more or less the same as that of SPEW (keep a society divided into rich and poor but tax the rich to provide jobs and benefits for the poor). You can find their addresses on the Election Commission’s site. It would be interesting to see if they any reply and what they say.

    in reply to: The Olympics – Internationalism sucks #87695
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Yes, the Olympics are a Feast of Nationalism and a Festival of Freaks. I’m glad it’s taking place in East London not West London.

    in reply to: Ice Pick #87694
    ALB
    Keymaster

    That reminds me of Trotsky’s last words — “Why are they picking on me?”

    in reply to: Andrew Kliman & The “Marxist Humanist Initiative” #87101
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Another interesting analaysis of the present slump (“The First Depression of the 21st Century) here, by Anwar Shaikh. The text of this talk (which is not quite the same) can be found here.What is interesting, apart from his emphasising that capitalism is not geared to meeting effective demand and bringing out the relationship between the rate of interest and the rate of “profit of enterprise”, is that he concludes by saying that eventually world capitalism will recover from the present depression (even if not for ten years) and that this puts him in a tiny dwindling minority. Not quite of course because we say this too even if it is a bit of a downer for all those who think capitalism is collapsing or about to collapse soon. To tell the truth, I sometimes find myself reluctant to express this view when discussing with people who believe this as it could demotivate them and makes us appear less anti-capitalist than them. Still, the truth must be told.

    ALB
    Keymaster

    You’ve got to read Chris Harman’s brilliant reply here to the somewhat eccentric views of Chris Knight. OK, I know he was an SWPer but Knight is in the Labour Party.

    in reply to: The ‘Occupy’ movement #86459
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I think I just said that it was probably a fair picture and that I thought those in Cincinatti (pop 330,000) came over best.

    in reply to: Bankers’ bonuses #87661
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Poor ex-Sir Fred having to be a scapegoat for the sins of capitalism. Hopefully we’ve come far enough from the days of the Ancient Hebrews for people to see through this attempt to let capitalism off its sins by piling them on to one man.

    in reply to: Anti-Thatcher petitions #87660
    ALB
    Keymaster

    The latest Socialist Standard has a review of the new film about this despicable woman here:http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2012/no-1290-february-2012/film-review-iron-lady

    in reply to: The Science of Influence – Kevin Hogan (book) #87663
    ALB
    Keymaster

    This article from last April’s Socialist Standard discusses some of these issues:http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2011/no-1280-april-2011/brief-history-public-relations

    in reply to: Cryptic clues #87636
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Socialist Voice, the publication of the World Socialist Party of Ireland, ran 6 crosswords in the late 80s. Here are some of the clues (not all cryptic):Not right, and usually wrong politically (4)Small religion, or Trotskyist ‘mass’ party (4)Won Lenin’s throne after power struggle with Trotsky (5)Citadel of Russian state capitalism (7)At which we can buy back the goods we have produced cheaper than usual (4)Butcher’s aprons usually attached to a pole (5)Finish off everything with Marx’s magnum opus (5)

    in reply to: Lenin #87654
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Yes, Robin, I think a case can be made out for saying that up until WWI Lenin was a leftwing Social Democrat who argued that, under the autocratic political conditions of Tsarism, Social Democrats there had to organise as a hierarchical centralised party in order to overthrow the Tsarist regime, and that for Western Europe he accepted the German party’s model of an open, democratic party pursing a maximum programme (of socialism) and a minimum programme of reforms of capitalism, contesting elections, etc.The trouble is that he changed his position after 1917. He now said that the organisational form and tactics that he had advocated for the overthrow of Tsarism (which was not in fact how Tsarism ended as it collapsed more or less of its own accord; his tactics only worked to overthrow the weak government that emerged following this) should also be applied in Western Europe for the overthrow of capitalism.This is when he would have ceased to be a Social Democrat and became a Bolshevik. In which case The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky and Leftwing Communism An Infantile Disorder are the  significant texts of Leninism. I suppose this means people like Phan Binh can mount some sort of a case for their view as long as they ignore Lenin’s post-1917 writings and of course practice. But it makes them leftwing Social Democrats to the disgust of Leninists who remain true to his post-1917 position.

    in reply to: Lenin #87650
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I started to read this but I’m afraid I didn’t get very far. As far as I can see the author is trying to rehabilitate Lenin by saying that he wasn’t really a Leninist but someone who favoured an open, democratic party (a leftwing Menshevik then?). I doubt it and it certainly upset other Leninists who insisted that he really did stand for a centralised, hierarchical vanguard party to lead the masses.  A couple of them quote Trotsky’s ridiculous statement (which could be said to be the essence of Trotskyism) that “The world political situation as a whole is chiefly characterized by a historical crisis of the leadership of the proletariat.”

    in reply to: The ‘Occupy’ movement #86456
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Sid Ryan in that Guardian makes some good points about the limitations of consensus decision-making. Contrast that with the high hopes entertained at the beginning by anarchist David Graeber of this as a new model for decision-making everywhere. Consensus decision-making is ok is small groups, but I suspect anarchists like it because it avoids them having to deal with what they have traditionally called “the tyranny of the majority” and which the rest of us call democracy.The Minutes of the General Assembly which discussed electoral action have now been published (they, like us, publish them for all to see and full credit to them for this). Here’s the relevant part:

    Quote:
    Occupy for Mayor of London w.g.Bit of a contentious subject, still process in making. Idea is to have a platform have Occupy in politics. The GA consensus is the mayor of London. 8pm Bank of Ideas (tonight). Are also on groupspaces.Technical point (outside disruption): do we have any members of tranquility here?From my understanding of initial statement, I don’t see the compatibility between political office and occupy undertaking.It’s meant to be a protest vote. The point is, they’re not running to win. They’re running as a protest candidate. The idea is, instead of not voting anything, you’re voting something, it makes for more publicity for the movement.Jack – did you get consensus at GE?I think they did at Bank of Ideas. They tried to get a proposal to a GA here, it kept getting pushed back, GAs not happening.Inka – on groupspaces, there’s been an almost unanimous rejection of the idea. Also, I feel insulted by this working group’s direction because Occupy is specifically not a political party. You say you’re going for the protester vote, just keep Occupy out of it. Don’t poison occupy.You should really look and see at who and what is using Occupy. You’ll never be able to hold a word. It does have particular connotations with a particular protest movement but it’s being used all over the place.Laura – this is not a space for discussion. Needs to happen somewhere else.Inka – if a working group, this is a new problem as far as I’m concerned, this is probably the first example we haveTina – has this working group been officially endorsed by GA?Ruth – do you and the other people at the working group, do you accept that if there is no consensus in the GA here, you cannot use the name occupy in any mayoral campaign?Vica – this meeting is about working groups sharing information. We also invited people having discussion groups at the moment. It’s important that we’re aware of what’s going on.This clearly needs to have a GA in its own right. We need to cut off the discussion here now until this GA happens.Kurt – our management team needs to be replaced by a facilitation team. Congratulations, you’re very good managers, you squash everything.

    Note how the opponents of the proposal use lack of consensus to defeat it. More like the “tyranny of the minority” except that in this case there probably wouldn’t be a majority for it anyway. So why not settle the matter by a vote?

    in reply to: The 21-hr week for a steady-state economy #87657
    ALB
    Keymaster

    It’s not going to happen under capitalism of course since it’s geared to using the increasing economic surplus due to increasing productivity to accumulate capital not to make things better for people. That’s why, for instance, instead of reducing the age of retirement they are planning to increase it to 68 and even 70.

    ALB
    Keymaster

    I think the reply may have been based on the assumption that the enquirer was a supporter of Parecon as suggested by their blog. I’m afraid, Ladybug, that we do disagree fundamentally with them. Hopefully, though, you have moved/are moving on from them.

Viewing 15 posts - 8,281 through 8,295 (of 8,426 total)