New Events


no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds



offsite link ‘Reduced Service’ Sat Jun 18, 2022 11:37 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Inconvenient Questions for the “Specia... Wed Jun 15, 2022 16:32 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Who Dares Apply Anti-Interventionist Ana... Tue Jun 14, 2022 11:15 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Kiev Puts Its Military Deaths at 10,000 ... Mon Jun 13, 2022 05:58 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Rosgvard Wasn’t Told They’d Be Going... Sun Jun 12, 2022 14:24 | Rolo Slavsky

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Douglas MacGregor: Its collapsed Wed Jun 29, 2022 23:51 | amarynth

offsite link Michael Hudson interviewed by Ben Norton (Multipolarista) Wed Jun 29, 2022 11:59 | amarynth
Economist Michael Hudson on inflation and Fed plan to cut wages: A depression is coming  

offsite link Foreign mercenaries were burned to the ground as unnecessary witnesses at Azovstal Wed Jun 29, 2022 11:58 | amarynth
The war reporter Andrey Rudenko is in Azovstal bomb shelter, talking about the separate place for (may be killed) mercenaries bodies. BitChute embedding powered by

offsite link Sweden and Finland joining NATO precedes an inevitable financial collapse of the current internation... Wed Jun 29, 2022 11:56 | amarynth
Sweden and Finland joining NATO besides being a provocative act towards Russia, precedes an inevitable financial collapse of the current international system By Guilherme Wilbert for the Saker Blog The

offsite link Gonzalo Lira: Russian Default Hurts The West?Not Russia Wed Jun 29, 2022 11:52 | amarynth

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link RTE bias complaint

offsite link Fergus Finlay and the maternity hospital ‘gotcha’ trap Anthony

offsite link Irish Examiner and fake news Anthony

offsite link Labour Party: The unvarnished truth Anthony

offsite link Humanity: Zero chance of survival Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link Discordance among Israeli officials over Iran Thu Jun 30, 2022 07:10 | en

offsite link Soldiers sent by Western countries fighting in Ukraine Wed Jun 29, 2022 18:16 | en

offsite link The scuttling of peace in Europe, by Thierry Meyssan Wed Jun 29, 2022 17:29 | en

offsite link Russia threatens Western decision-making centers Wed Jun 29, 2022 06:36 | en

offsite link Russian music censored in Ukraine Tue Jun 28, 2022 21:18 | en

Voltaire Network >>

Left Groups internal life. Crisis in the IMT.

category international | worker & community struggles and protests | opinion/analysis author Sunday January 03, 2010 19:09author by john throne - labors militant email loughfinn at aol dot com Report this post to the editors

Learning the lessons from the past

These comments are from a number of Comrades mainly from a CWI and IMT background. But we think they will find an echo with Comrades from many other left backgrounds. We have concluded that the internal life of just about every left group is unhealthy, overly centralized, too top down, even we would go so far as saying to some extent undemocratic. We believe that the internal lives of these groups draw from the period when the Bolshevik party was degenerating and being taken over by Stalinism and along with that became negatively influenced by many decades when they were isolated from the mass workers movement. The recent crisis in the IMT is a reflection of these false methods of organizing which are common to just about all revolutionary left groups. We try to discuss this here. We look forward to hearing from Comrades. See our Learning From the Past link and our blog address. John Throne.

Our "Learning From The Past Discussion List" is a small list of Comrades who are determined to rigorously examine, discuss and draw lessons from the manner in which the left groups have functioned over the past. These comments are not our complete thinking on the issue by any means but they are hopefully a contribution to the discussion that is and will be developing around the crisis in the IMT and hopefully around this issue in general.


A statement by members of the ‘Learning From Our Past’ online discussion group:

It has recently come to our public attention that major divisions have broken out in the International Marxist Tendency (IMT). There will be some inside the IMT who resent the fact that their ongoing internal difficulties have become known outside the organisation. Some may look back with regret to the pre-internet years when internal disputes could be kept secret from the wider movement. At least until it was too late to do something about them. However, online communications are making futile all attempts to seal off members of left-wing groups and to stop individual socialists from talking to each other. This process will not be reversed. If anything it will accelerate. And far from regretting this development, we welcome it with open arms. It will inevitably encourage socialists to compare the operation of democracy inside their organisations and therein expose many of the damaging practices through which they have been held back for so many decades.

IMT Debate: In the main documents in the IMT exchanges, there are some interesting criticisms of its Spanish Section raised by the IMT leadership. These concern a range of issues: the need for organised entrist work in the Spanish Communist Party; a better approach to the Left leaders; mistakes made in organising the Spanish students strike last March, and in the approach to the one-day work stoppage in May in the Basque country. But these are tactical issues that can be discussed and learnt from. Not differences of fundamental principle that require the International Secretariat (IS) to come down on the Spanish comrades with an ideological sledgehammer. Indeed, the Spanish Section have been happy to discuss and in the main accept the criticisms. The IMT leadership’s document admits this in quoting the Spanish leadership: “In the EC of the Spanish section the views of the IS have always been received in a positive and comradely spirit, with the desire to learn from and correct errors we commit.” However, the IMT’s International Secretariat then move on to chastise the Spanish Section on aspects of emphasis in their public material, hardly a cause for a possible split. Nor can the IS complain that they have been denied access to the Spanish Section. They have been invited to address the national conference and CC meetings, and to have their documents circulated to the whole membership.
What then is the root cause of the crisis facing relationships between the Spanish Section and the IMT centre?
First off, it is obvious that this crisis is not really about external political principles or programme. The IS documents convey a definite air of artificial assault. An offensive designed not to solve political differences but to bring the Spanish leadership to heel by undermining them in the eyes of the Spanish members. It is often the case that matters of principle are used as weapons in a struggle for power. This appears to be the case in the IMT leadership’s campaign against the Spanish section. It seems that the Spanish leadership are no longer willing to carry on as the obedient pupil of the ‘all-knowing’ IMT leadership. No doubt this reflects the growing importance of the Spanish Section especially in the positive role they are playing in helping to build Latin American sections.
The approach of the IMT leadership in this dispute highlights serious bureaucratic, dogmatic and elitist tendencies in the way it practices internal democracy. The IMT leaders are not unique in this. The same problems to one degree or another exist in all of the groups on the revolutionary left. It is a fundamental reason why these groups tend to split again and again.
There is a natural inclination to look for fundamental differences in political principle behind such splits. Yet the question of democracy is itself a supremely political question. Democracy is the lifeblood of any socialist organisation. A democratic organisation that combines fraternal discussion with collective experience can have a healthy debate on any issue. It can take major differences in its stride. But without democracy an organisation will splinter at the first serious test.
The tendency we see in the revolutionary movement to repeatedly divide, each time amidst recriminations over a lack of internal democracy, points to a deep malaise in the structure and practice of the Leninist groups. While all these groups claim to represent the finest democratic traditions of the Bolshevik Party, in fact their party structures and practices are far closer to the bureaucratic centralist model established in the early 1920s under Zinoviev’s leadership of the Communist International. Instead of a vibrant internal life full of debates and tendencies reflecting the real choices facing the movement, we see a self-perpetuating leadership always striving to maintain one single monotone ‘true path’ towards the revolution.
Such leaders, usually ‘professional’ full-timers, take full advantage of their central position, their control of information and communication, and their long experience in speaking and writing to dominate the largely ‘amateur’ and less experienced members of their organisations. This reflects a deep-seated insecurity that underlies the thinking of the leadership. It also reflects a feeling that the organisation is theirs and that no-one is going to be allowed to take it away from them.
When individuals or groups of members start to raise questions or make criticisms they are seen as a threat to the coherence and success of the organisation. Often double-speak is utilised to mask the irritation and anxiety of the leaders. Phrases are thrown around such as ‘We are pleased that comrades have raised these questions.” Or “We welcome this opportunity to review a number of important issues” etc. Meanwhile, key people across the organisation are quickly contacted to ensure that they ‘understand’ the issues involved and are ready for the battle. The various collected works of the ‘great teachers’ are dusted down and combed through for appropriate quotations that show the deep errors that the comrades have fallen into. As the debate progresses, the tone rapidly degenerates. What might have been relatively small differences are exaggerated out of all proportion. Trotsky’s quotation ‘from a scratch to gangrene’ is wheeled out to warn members of the danger such ideas contain, with the implication that these are poisonous agents that must be cut out. The last step is usually to discover that these revolutionary discipline is being broken: subs are not being paid; communication channels are being subverted; comrades are talking to people outside the organisation. And so on. Expulsions quickly follow and a split results. The previous purity of the organisation is restored. Until the next time...
If this sounds like a caricature, sadly it is all too often an accurate portrayal of the typical struggles that break out inside the revolutionary groups. Instead of cultivating an atmosphere where comrades as individuals or in groups are encouraged to contribute towards the ideas of the organisation or to feel free to express doubts, we end up with the sterile atmosphere of a semi-religious sect. In such organisations, past leaders such as Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky are not treated as flesh and blood comrades but as saintly, infallible icons to be quoted as authorities by the ‘priesthood’. The IMT’s documents are peppered with quotations from Marx, Lenin and Trotsky to back up even the most mundane points. This turns any debate from one of ideas held by different comrades into who can come up with the best quotations. In such a contest the leadership are usually master performers. But using the authority of past leaders to back up every current idea shuts down debate. Younger comrades or those with less time to comb through the collected works will naturally be intimidated from contradicting the sacred texts.
To make matters worse, the IMT leadership is now attempting to canonise Ted Grant. He is increasingly presented as the fifth ‘great teacher’. His old articles are being carefully sifted through. Only those that have stood the test of time are being highlighted online. Those which were incorrect are left to gather dust. For those of us who know Ted and felt affection for him, warts and all, this is a nauseating and demeaning process. But it typifies their conservative, nay reactionary, approach towards the history of the revolutionary movement. Thus, rather than confront the pressing challenges of the world as it is, the leaders of the revolutionary groups see their role as ‘maintaining the principles of Bolshevik internationalism’, ‘upholding the flame of revolutionary marxism’ and so forth.

The Crisis in the IMT: At the heart of the current crisis in the IMT lies the question of how the International Secretariat relates to the different national sections. It has become clear that the IS has been working with a small group of disaffected Spanish comrades to campaign against the democratically elected leadership of the section. This has been made worse by the secrecy with which it was carried out. When this was uncovered through the publication of confidential emails between the IS and individual Spanish comrades it naturally embittered the situation.
It is likely, that the IS will see nothing wrong with such action. IS members feel entitled to interfere in any section to defend ‘the ideas of Marxism’. And why not? They are supposedly the leaders of one world party. But the reality is that attempts to impose one single line across the planet are bound to fail. National sentiments, languages, cultures and local conditions remain an extremely strong force in the world. Any attempt to develop a powerful movement in a country must know and build on its finest traditions. It must take into account the tempo of society and the state of its existing consciousness, struggles and organisations. While of course we always seek to develop our work on an international basis, the possibility of building one global political party with a single line on all the main policy and tactical issues is just not feasible. And the attempt to do so is fraught with dangers. The experience of the Third and Fourth Internationals was littered with the damage caused by attempts to impose a uniform line internationally. The idea that a central leadership will be able to direct operations across the world is utopian. It encourages a ‘one size fits all’ approach to programme and tactics. It lays the basis for the development of bureaucratic centralism. We saw exactly this in the CWI. And now there is a danger of it being repeated in the IMT.
Inevitable in the one world line concept is an enforcement system, open or by subterfuge, through which the international leadership feel able to change the officers of national sections to fit in with the prevailing political and organisational positions of the ‘worldwide party’. Despite the best of intentions, bureaucracy, manouvering and splits are the result. In the CWI, there were numerous efforts by Peter Taaffe’s group to remove the leadership in different sections using full-timers visits, contact with disaffected individuals etc. How much has really been learnt from these disastrous experiences in the IMT?

What To Do? We believe that a split within the IMT would be very damaging. Even the best of splits diminish both sides with many good comrades becoming demoralised and falling away. By far the best outcome would be for the rank and file of the International to take this opportunity to assert themselves and establish a healthy democratic organisation. For this to realistically happen, the existing leadership needs to start to take a back seat. Some of them have been at the helm in one form or another for over forty years. And if there are those among the old leadership who think of themselves as a modern Lenin they should remember Lenin’s oft-stated willingness to return to the ranks to fight for his ideas.
The old leaders need to show confidence in the good sense and understanding of the IMT membership. Socialist democracy requires humility. If you arrogantly believe that you alone have the answers, that you alone hold the sacred flame, what is the point of discussion? Democracy in our movement must be based on the belief that a genuine debate among many comrades will over time be superior to the views of one or two leaders.
Our democracy also demands flexibility. If you think that everything has already been said by the great teachers, their past works will ossify into commandments set in stone. All discussion becomes just one of interpreting their speeches and writings. Unable to respond to new developments and challenges, the organisation becomes brittle and all too easily fractured.
The IMT’s democracy also needs more appropriate structures. For instance, the International Secretariat is too centralised and its apparatus too dominated by the British comrades. In these days of instant, free communication the requirement to base an international centre in one country no longer applies. It would be much healthier if the functions of the International were distributed across the various national sections. Also, the rights of these sections should be more clearly outlined. In particular, it is essential that national sections can work free from the fear of factional intrigue by members of the International Secretariat. The IS already have enough advantages in any debate. It must respect the democratic channels within the national sections and the elected leaderships of those sections.
The structure of the IMT is too top-down. This is not the way to develop a cadre membership. Far more comrades need to be drawn into decision-making and in the process of drawing up political documents. Collective unified action comes best after the maximum involvement of members at all levels.
The IMT’s leadership in theory is democratically elected. Yet in practice it is self-selecting. That is why it has remained the same for so long. This self-selection is achieved through the system of drawing up leadership-approved slates and proposing them ‘en bloc’ to the members. This was not the system used by the Bolshevik Party. It is argued that the slate system allows for a ‘balanced team’ to be put forward but in practice it removes the accountability of individual leaders which is why they fear it. Worse still, it turns elections into a loyalty test under the control of the existing leadership.
The IS also needs to accept that the days of secret internal political discussions are gone. This requirement is not only increasingly unenforceable but it usually substitutes disciplinary action for political debate. Of course, there will be circumstances under repressive regimes where openness could endanger individuals. Everyone understand that. But in normal situations there is no need to hide significant differences. In fact, the IMT has nothing to fear from other socialists and workers knowing the political alternatives it is debating. The current case of differing views on China is a great example. Such openness can become a way to attract the best elements to the ranks of the IMT. The Bolsheviks in their healthiest periods published their internal material openly. The debates of the Third International were widely publicised. Except in the most extreme circumstances this should be the IMT’s model.
The old leadership should not see the existing situation as a threat but as a great opportunity for the organisation to flourish. The comrades don’t want anarchy or federalism. Just the chance to breathe freely the oxygen of democracy inside the International. Imagine a relaxed atmosphere where discussion over the issues of China, economics, tactics and so on could go forward without all the bitterness and insecurity that currently pervades every attempt to question existing orthodoxies.
But if the leaders maintain a siege mentality and cling onto their arrogant belief that they alone uphold the marxist tradition there can be no way forward for the IMT. A split will become inevitable. Hopefully this will not happen but if it does then all those comrades who are now struggling to assert their democratic rights should strive to ensure that any new movement begins by carefully thinking through what has gone wrong and why. In this way it will not just rush into replicating the same old bad practices as has happened after so many splits in the past. Rather it will be able to develop a new, more healthy tradition.
Capitalism is in the process of destroying the future of humanity. Indeed of all life. It must be replaced with a Democratic Socialist World. The force to do this can only be working people acting though independent mass industrial and political organizations. And the building of international unity between them. Our task is to be part of this process and help fructify these mass organizations with the ideas of scientific socialism. Central to this is the fight for the democracy within our own ranks and the workers’ movement as a whole.
After all, if we can’t achieve collective democracy within our own movement, how do we hope to be able to establish a democratic socialist society across the world?

author by red - not tellingpublication date Tue Jan 05, 2010 20:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A story that seems to keep repeating itself... we'll all be anarchists yet!

author by Conor. Mpublication date Tue Jan 05, 2010 23:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A curious reply indeed - 'here we go again'. Obviously you have a problem with someone questioning the internal democracy of certain political groupings. You are proving there is a problem.

Also, you saying 'not telling', is telling enough : )

author by Angelopublication date Wed Jan 06, 2010 00:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Marxism claimed to be a Science but was more a wish list for the future and a moral critique of current injustices. Many of its predictions failed to come true. The internal hairsplitting debates among frustrated comrades goes on in some quiet alcove way out of the hearing of 'the masses' that the debaters hope to lead into a better future some day. If you want to be among the masses go to Croke Park or some other stadium for important cup finals. If you want to be among the youthful masses buy an expensive ticket for summer concerts at Slane and elsewhere. The masses want fun and excitement. They don't want marxist theoretical discussions.

author by john throne - labors militant voice.publication date Wed Jan 06, 2010 22:33author email loughfinn at aol dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

On Wed, Jan 6, 2010 at 10:05 PM, wrote:
It is interesting to me to see relatively little discussion on our material on the crisis in the IMT. This is the case in some areas in particular. I am talking about those from a CWI and IMT background. I suspect the reason is that many Comrades who went through these groups and participated in these false methods of internal life are not prepared to, or do not know how to, or think it is hopeless to try to, or think it is unnecessary to try to, deal with this.

For those of us who came out of the CWI stable there is also I feel another reason. Ted Grant used to dismiss the problems of internal life by saying that if our perspectives and our program were wrong then there was no way our internal life could be healthy, that inevitably bureaucratic methods would develop. The inference was that if our perspectives and program were right then the internal life would look after itself. His suggested conclusion therefore was that there was no point in paying much attention to the health of the internal life. I think there is some truth in this. But only a very very small truth. However in spite of what he said Ted, and Taaffe and the rest of the British EC did pay quite a lot of attention to internal life, specifically to how it would allow the existing leadership to keep control. But to go back to Ted's general point, it is not only a question of whether the perspectives and program are correct, it is also a question of how the discussion of perspectives and program is handled when they are shown to be incorrect as they always will be at one time or another.

Look at the issue of capitalism going into the former Stalinist states. We, all of us, in the CWI and what later became the IMT spent decades explaining that this was ruled out. By the way if the IMT Comrade who has been debating Pat wants an example of a mistake that Ted, and all of us made, he need go no further than this. When capitalism was being restored into the Stalinist world this negated our perspectives in a big way. This was no small mistake. It opened up a major debate in the old CWI. At the same time it became clear that we had not foreseen the extent of the years of economic growth, the rise of China and the extent to which capitalism was able to utilize the new technology. In other words our perspectives were shown to be very wrong. This applied to the entire CWI which at that time included the leadership of the CWI and the leadership of the IMT.

Was a split at that time and over these issues inevitable. I believe it was not. It became inevitable because of the incorrect way in which the leadership of the CWI, including Ted G and Alan W and Peter Taaffe saw the issue of internal organization. There are many points i could make in this regard but I will confine myself here to only a few.

The leadership of the old CWI which included the present leadership of the IMT saw and see their role as teachers of the organization and the membership. They do not see the organization as a whole where there is a dialectical relationship between the membership and the leadership, where the ideas are developed by the organization as a whole in debate and struggle and where the leadership is accountable to the membership. Take a few examples.

In the old CWI when a branch would move a motion to the conference the EC would meet with that branch and try to talk it into withdrawing the motion. The reason for this was simple. The leadership wanted their agenda to be the agenda of the conference, they did not want the conference to be discussing other issues. They wanted the conference to be an opportunity for them to teach the membership, this meant they wanted the agenda of the conference to be set by them. There was no acceptance of the idea that the ideas of the organization were developed through collective discussion and debate, no instead the ideas were to be developed by the leadership teaching the membership.

I was on the IS of the CWI for a number of years. Lynn Walsh was delegated to develop a draft on economic perspectives. After a few meetings it became clear to me he would go away and discuss with Andrew Glynn, develop some ideas between them and come back and present these to the IS. I objected saying the IS collectively should discuss and debate the perspectives. His reply? And this was not contradicted by anybody else on the IS. "I have no time to give seminars to the IS." If this was his view of the IS imagine what was his view of the membership.

Then there was the view of a collective leadership. The truth is there was no view of this amongst the leadership. Each thought they knew everything and was the key person. They looked at the Russian revolution and saw the key role Lenin played. This was an extreme weakness of the Bolshevik organization and should be pointed out when this is discussed. But is it pointed out? Very seldom. The reason why is that the leadership of the left groups to almost the last person believes that there will be one person who will know it all, and it will be themselves, they will be the Lenin.

When it became clear that the CWI was wrong on perspectives on Stalinism and capitalism what should the leadership have done? it should have opened the organization up to discussion and debate as never before. The leadership should have started this off by announcing how wrong they had been and in this way created an atmosphere where Comrades would have felt confident to put their ideas forward. This was what was necessary. It would have made it more likely that the organization would have been able to stay together. But what did the leadership do?

The debate was reduced to was there a clique in the leadership or not? The debate should have been on why we had made such serious mistakes on world perspectives, was there a mistake in method. I think there was, it was that the organization was far too unconditional on perspectives and that the leadership was far too authoritarian and top down and strongly discouraged the membership of the organization as a whole from expressing its views, opinions and doubts. We had the embarrassing spectacle of experienced leading Comrades denying that capitalism was going back to the Stalinist world after it had been established and another who claimed that he had not been wrong because at a party he "had set a hare running" by saying capitalism might go back.

The discussion should have been on the method and internal life of the organization and how such serious and major mistakes could have been made. The discussion should have been on the perspectives for the former Stalinist world and the capitalist world economy. And on the perspectives for the workers movement in the face of the new major shift in the world balance of forces.

But this did not happen. Instead what happened was a vicious internal fight over was there a clique or not and flowing from this a dirty underhand battle to win people to one side or the other. Comrades who could pay high subs or who had particular skills were particularly targeted. The inevitable result was the split. We need to be honest. The majority of the leadership of both sides wanted this and wanted themselves to to be the leaders of their respective factions, new organizations. That is what they got. But this was extremely damaging to the working class movement and to the organization. The forces that were built up and which had led such great struggles as the poll tax and Liverpool and Youth Against racism in Europe were decimated and many demoralized. This was a crime.

It is my strongly held opinion that with the correct approach to internal life a split in the CWI at that time could have been averted. On the issue of perspectives for the former Stalinist world, perspectives for the developing world economy, differences on these could have been handled easily within the one organization if the internal life of that organization had been healthy.. Different groups and factions could have put forward their views and agreed to let events unfold and see whose opinion if any was confirmed. In the meantime the struggle for the program and the battle against the bosses offensive could have been continued.

Ah but I can here the voice. What about the issue of the Labor Parties, the social democratic parties? This was an immediate concrete issue of tactics. How could this be lived with? You were either in the social democracies or out, in the mass communist parties or out.

Well I would suggest that things were not so simple. The organization could have explained that if the issue was posed in that way then a split was inevitable. And who would gain from this, what would be gained from this? Instead could we not discuss the issue, look at the forces involved in the different countries, look at our own forces. Explain that there is not agreement on the issue, particularly not agreement to impose a universal tactic and on this basis where it looks useful to work in the mass organizations we will do so and where it does not we will not and after one to two years we will discuss the issue again. In this way we could have avoided a split.

There are other issues but I will leave them for now. Just a final detail on my own role. Like everybody else in the CWI at the time I based myself on the wrong perspective. There was talk of five to ten years to the revolution. My work on the IS and throughout the international as a full timer was based on this, as it turned out false perspective. Where I was working I drove the organization forward with everything I had. Recruitment, paper sales, raising money, build and build. What was the result of this. Increasingly any discussion of ideas, rather any questioning of the existing ideas, came to be seen as obstacles to recruitment, paper sales, raising money, building and building.

We discussed ideas alright. But we did so only to recruit and to affirm our existing ideas. As the world was changing around us with Stalinism collapsing, with China developing, with capitalism recording new growth and utilizing the new technology we kept repeating the old basic formulas and to our credit kept fighting for the basic traditional transitional demands. But that was not enough. Based on false perspectives, and with the best intentions to build the revolutionary organization, I also contributed to the crisis and the unhealthy internal life of the CWI and the revolutionary left in general.

Our false over optimistic perspectives was increasingly destroying the internal life which had been unhealthy to begin with. All was the best in the best of all possible worlds. This was the stance that was asked for. Meanwhile the unhealthy internal life was making it more and more difficult to correct the false perspectives. The unhealthy internal life, and part of this was the obsession of many of the leading Comrades to the entirely un dialectical idea that they were always right, made what would have inevitably been a crisis in the organization due to our wrong perspectives into a split in the old CWI and the destruction of many of the resources that existed in that large organization at that time. What a waste. And to think that some Comrades still think that it is not necessary to discuss and conduct a struggle against unhealthy internal regimes and for a new way to organize in the internal life of the revolutionary left. I hope more Comrades will contribute more to this discussion.

John throne

author by Jolly Red Giant - Socialist Party / CWIpublication date Thu Jan 07, 2010 21:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

John Throne seems to be living in the past in relation to his view of the CWI ...

Quote "Look at the issue of capitalism going into the former Stalinist states. We, all of us, in the CWI and what later became the IMT spent decades explaining that this was ruled out", - I joined the CWI in 1981 - my recollection of this is most certainly different. The perspectives outlined were that the most likely outcome of the overthrow of Stalinism was that a political revolution would occur. I never remember anyone stating definitively that capitalist restoration was ruled out - but that it was not the likely outcome. This was a reasonable assessment during the early part of the 1980's. The coming to power of Gorbachev in 1985 and the events over the following four years made if obvious to anyone with two eyes (and not wearing blinkers) that the potential for capitalist restoration was increasing - with the possible exception of Ted Grant.

Quote "At the same time it became clear that we had not foreseen the extent of the years of economic growth," - this is correct - although nobody either on the left or right could have predicted it - and when it became clear the driving force behind it - then the consequences also became clear.

Quote "the rise of China" - something that is continually over-emphasised by the capitalist commentators. It is yet to be seen the impact of China on the world economy in the current recession - but it will most definitely not be in a position to be the force to re-establish global growth.

Quote "the extent to which capitalism was able to utilize the new technology" - Again something that has been significantly over-emphasised. Capitalism has utilised new technology to shift huge sums of finance capital around the globe to create a global bubble economy - but has not been a factor in creating any kind of sustainable growth in the world economy.

Quote "In other words our perspectives were shown to be very wrong. This applied to the entire CWI which at that time included the leadership of the CWI and the leadership of the IMT." - I would fundementally disagree with this statement. Certainly for the IMT it was partially the case - it was one of the main factors in the split between the CWI and the IMT. But while aspects of the perspectives were incorrect - a re-assessment of the situation was conducted bother during and after the split with the IMT - something you should remember as you were a member of the CWI at the time.

Quote "Was a split at that time and over these issues inevitable. I believe it was not." - yes it was - when you have such fundemental disagreements in perspectives and approach between the IMT faction and the CWI - a split was inevitable - to cobble together an accomodation with the IMT at the time could only have been done by compromising the political outlook of the CWI.

Quote "The leadership of the old CWI which included the present leadership of the IMT saw and see their role as teachers of the organization and the membership. They do not see the organization as a whole where there is a dialectical relationship between the membership and the leadership, where the ideas are developed by the organization as a whole in debate and struggle and where the leadership is accountable to the membership. " - in relation to the CWI this is abject rubbish.

Quote "In the old CWI when a branch would move a motion to the conference the EC would meet with that branch and try to talk it into withdrawing the motion. The reason for this was simple. The leadership wanted their agenda to be the agenda of the conference, they did not want the conference to be discussing other issues. They wanted the conference to be an opportunity for them to teach the membership, this meant they wanted the agenda of the conference to be set by them. There was no acceptance of the idea that the ideas of the organization were developed through collective discussion and debate, no instead the ideas were to be developed by the leadership teaching the membership." - again Rubbish - this may have been the approach taken by John Throne when he was in a leadership position within the CWI - but it is certainly not one tolerated now. Branches and individual members regularly propose motions or disucssion papers to Conference for debate. A number of years ago I proposed an extensive discussion document on the economic situation in Ireland. It was a document that argued against many aspects of the position of the national leadership. My document was not supported by a majority of my own branch but was distributed to all branches in the country. I was given a significant amount of extra time at the Conference to propose my document - other delegates who supported the position I was arguing were also accomodated. We had a robust debate - the delegates rejected my document and supported the document proposed by the national leadership. The outcome was that I was proved incorrect by events - and the national leadership were proved correct - but I regard my efforts as important as I believed that it provoked a serious debate about economic perspectives that deepened our understanding of the economic situation in the country at the time.

Quote "It is my strongly held opinion that with the correct approach to internal life a split in the CWI at that time could have been averted." - again I believe that John Throne is looking through very clouded glasses of the events within the CWI almost two decades ago. To suggest that a split could have been averted when the group that became the IMT demanded that the 'open turn' be abandoned or else - how could you - "let events unfold and see whose opinion if any was confirmed" - in circumstances where the CWI could have been seriously damaged by being force to remain with the social democracies in order to avoid a split.

Quote "Well I would suggest that things were not so simple" - of course they weren't - but to suggest - "after one to two years we will discuss the issue again" - is seriously mis-understanding the impact of carrying out such a strategy. In reality the CWI should have split from the social democracies years earlier - in Britain by the time of the Miners Strike and the Liverpool Council. We delayed too long by considering 'entryism' as a principle rather than a tactic - a principle that was driven by Ted Grant and Alan Woods - and a tactic that had passed its sell-by-date. To delay the situation for another - "one or two years" - would have done untold damage to the CWI.

Quote "Based on false perspectives, and with the best intentions to build the revolutionary organization, I also contributed to the crisis and the unhealthy internal life of the CWI and the revolutionary left in general." - I am glad to see that you now acknowledge your mistakes in relation to the CWI - it is unfortunate that it took fifteen years and it is unfortunate that you attempted to inflict damage to the US affiliate of the CWI and the CWI as an international body at the time and since.

Quote "Our false over optimistic perspectives was increasingly destroying the internal life which had been unhealthy to begin with." - again who was it that wrote a perspectives document in 1984 entiteld "Socialism or Catastrope" - and who predicted a ten year timeframe for socialist revolution? It was certainly something that I never adhered to.

Quote "The unhealthy internal life" - it is unfortunate that you created such an unhealthy internal life in the US section - "the obsession of many of the leading Comrades to the entirely un dialectical idea that they were always right" - again I am glad to see that you now admit that you made serious errors.

Quote "What a waste" - I agree - spending the last fifteen years constantly complaining about the internal life of the CWI and your treatment by the CWI has been a waste - for us to a small degree - for you most definitely.

Quote "And to think that some Comrades still think that it is not necessary to discuss and conduct a struggle against unhealthy internal regimes and for a new way to organize in the internal life of the revolutionary left." - and not for the first time you automatically assume that there has been no changes in the CWI since you - "also contributed to the crisis" - time moves on, organisations move on - I am glad to see that finally it may be the case that you are moving on too. I wish you well.


author by john throne - labors militant voicepublication date Fri Jan 08, 2010 19:48author email loughfinn at aol dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have made this point before when I have been under attack by this person who calls him or herself Jolly Red Giant. By the way, neither jolly, nor a giant, I do not know about red. Why will you not say who you are and then we can have a better discussion. What have you to hide? What are you afraid off? Is it the SP leadership? Have they ordered their members not to respond to posts? Most people who post who support the SP and CWI do not use their own name. I would suggest that we consider this. If the SP is so democratic then why do you have to write under a different name? Please explain why you will not say who you are.

Your post is similar to most SP posts in another way. Its vitriol and abuse. I am "living in the past." I have "clouded glasses." "What I write in relation to the CWI's internal life is "rubbish" and not content with this you go on, it is "abject rubbish." You seem particularly sensitive on the issue of the internal life. Rubbish twice. You claim the CWI internal life has changed for the better. I am very glad if it has. But then you still attack me for saying it was not okay before! f it has changed for the better this would seem to confirm my position that i have explained many times that it had deficiencies in the past. Maybe you could tell us what these were.

I acknowledge my role in the mistakes in perspectives and organization of the CWI when I was part of that organization. I acknowledge these openly on indymedia for anybody to read. It is my responsibility to do so. What is your response? Rather than responding in a positive manner and trying to have a civilized discussion, like a child you cry out, see he admits he was wrong, see he admits he was wrong. It is hard to think what to say to this other than to shake my head and point out that is not a positive approach. It certainly does not help develop an atmosphere for healthy discussion in which we can all feel free to admit our mistakes.

I would ask readers to consider your comments on Ted Grant and Alan Woods and Peter Taaffe. Ted Grant and Alan Woods were responsible for just about all the mistakes according to you. Peter Taaffe is never mentioned as being responsible for the mistakes of the CWI. He made no mistakes apparently. Did he just sit quiet for all those years. But for decades these three were on the CWI IS and the leadership of that organization and there were no differences. It is easy to criticize Ted and Alan. They are long gone. But maybe it is a bit different with Peter Taaffe. He is still the leading member of the CWI. Please whoever you are try and see how you expose yourself.

After covering up for Peter Taaffe you then try and regain some ground by using what you say was a wrong position you had on perspectives and how this was properly handled. Comrade thank you for saying you were wrong. But try and get the courage to also say that people like Peter Taaffe was also wrong on occasion. And also please explain to us why when your alternative point of view could as you say be properly handled why different points of view like those of the US minority could not be properly handled and we had to be expelled and refused our right to appeal against our expulsion. Why were we not dealt with in the way you claim you were dealt with. Maybe you should consider that the leadership of the CWI wanted us out for other reasons while you were and are quite acceptable to them.

I see that you retreat into an old trick that the CWI used to use when dealing with wrong perspectives. Whenever it was impossible to deny that our perspectives were wrong on a particular issue the CWI leadership, yes including Peter Taaffe, would say "nobody on the left or the right could have predicted otherwise.'" This absolved us you see. Nobody could have foreseen what would happen. Yes a good one. But I was always confused by this. Were we not supposed to be superior to all the others on the left and the right. It got curiouser and curiouser.

I write that in my opinion the split in the CWI could have been avoided. I explain that the different positions on stalinism and world economic perspectives could have been put forward and events allowed to "unfold" and help clarify what position was correct. In your response you play a bit of a trick Comrade.

I was referring mainly to the differences on stalinism and the world economy when i made these specific points. In your reply you focus not on the differences on stalinism or world economic perspectives but on the difference on entryism or open work. The reason you do so is obvious, this is a bit of a more difficult problem to deal with. But I explain my position on this also and I would have been pleased to have heard your opinions on my thoughts. Instead you ask how could this have been dealt with, it was either in or out of the social democracies. It is as if your question answers itself. And again here you argue that the entrism strategy was driven by Alan Woods and Ted Grant. Had Peter Taaffe lost his voice all over the decades of entrism. This issue exploded first in Liverpool. Taaffe tried to claim that as his base. Around this time Liverpool was known by many in that area as a "Taaffe free zone," he was so unpopular there.

I explain that if there had been a healthy internal life the leading bodies could have explained to the organization that if the issue was posed as either in the social democracies or outside the social democracies then a split was inevitable and how would this help. It could have been explained that the CWI could have examined the situation in different countries and where it was advantageous to work inside the social democracies then do so and where it was not work openly. It could have explained that the enforcement of a universal tactic would lead to a split and let us try this approach and see what happens. Let us be honest neither the IMT staying in the social democracies nor the CWI breaking from the social democracies have made many gains over the years since the split. So was it worth it? But one thing the split certainly did do. It resulted in the loss of a lot of Comrades and in a deepening demoralization and the continuation of the unhealthy internal life.

John Throne

author by Jolly Red Giant - Socialist Party / CWIpublication date Fri Jan 08, 2010 23:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

John - you really must have nothing better to do - anf if you think the leadership of the SP/ CWI are remotely interested in the musings of yourself or myself on an internet forum about events of yesteryear then you are sadly mistaken.

I am going to address briefly three points that you address - the rest does not warrant response.

1. Has Peter Taaffe ever made mistakes?
Of course he has - only a fool would suggest otherwise - he, for example, would acknowledge that we should have made the open turn earlier than we did (and has done in discussions with me). In contrast I have yet to see Alan Woods acknowledge the same despite the fact that his international organisation is disintegrating in front of us (he may have but I have never seen it happen).

2. Could the split between the CWI and the IMT been avoided?
Catagorically - NO - your assertion that the differences over Russia and economic perspectives could have been given time to work themselves out and been demonstrated by events (which they were in favour of the CWI) is valid. However, these differences were not the only ones and not the most crucial. The issue of the open turn was paramount - the open turn was necessary - it should have happened sooner - the CWI was being negatively impacted by not doing it - and any delay would have further significantly damaged the CWI. The IMT faction point blankly refused to accept the decision of the majority to adopt an open turn - they regarded it as a betrayal of forty years of work - and they walked out of the CWI. The only way that this issue could have been delayed for one or two years was by the majority of the CWI backing down and letting the IMT have their way. If this had happened it would have further compounded the damage being done to the CWI and we would have still been back where we started with the IMT refusing to accept the need for an open turn (as demonstrated by the fact that they are still carrying out entry work in New Labour). You should be well aware of this - you were a member of the CWI at the time - you had full access to all the documents and all the discussions. Your assertion that the split could have been avoided can only be seen (from my perspective) as a swipe against Taaffe because of how your situation panned out a couple of years later.

3. You consistantly refer to the internal life of the CWI.
You have not been a member of the CWI for what - 15 years - you have no idea what the internal life of the CWI is like. When you repeatedly make claims about the internal life of the CWI (like you have done in the post above) you are repeatedly shown to be wrong. I would disagree with your assertions about the internal life of the CWI from your experiences in it 15+ years ago. I have been a member of the CWI since 1981 or early 1982 - I have not experienced the type of internal life that you describe. This is not to say that it is perfect - that is not possible - or even 'very good' - no one would suggest that changes could not be made. But the CWI is a revolutionary organisation and its memebrs are quite capable of taking care of any problems that arise in relation to the internal life - and do it within the rules and discipline of the organisation.

Which brings me to my final comment - and I will repeat what I have said on numerous occasions in the past - you were expelled for attempting to undermine and circumvent the democratic decisions of the membership of the USA Section of the CWI. If you want people to judge the validity of your case then publish ALL the documents from boths sides on your website, let them read them and make up their own mind. For the CWI your expulsion is something that is very much in the history of the organisation and not something that we bother about.

author by john throne - labors militant voicepublication date Sat Jan 09, 2010 04:27author email loughfinn at aol dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Once again this person who calls himself or herself jolly red giant attacks me. He or she has been doing so for a number of years. I have no problem with that. But I have a problem with the fact that he or she will not say who they are. They also refuse to say why they will not give their name. So they attack me, throw the most serious accusations against me and refuse to identify themselves. This is pure political cowardice.

Any fair mined person would consider this unprincipled. Even the bourgeois courts do so. The bourgeois courts consider that the accused has the right to know their accuser. I repeat what we are witnessing here is unprincipled political cowardice to facilitate this persons slanderous attacks on myself..

By the way if as this SP/CWI person says that organization has no longer any interest in the ideas I raise and the history of my expulsion and the suppression of democratic rights in the CWI then why does he or she keep responding to the points i make and keep attacking me.

Looking forward to my attacker finding the courage to identify themselves. Looking forward to them granting me the same right the bourgeois courts would grant me, the right to know my accuser. Or is this person giving themselves special rights as the British did at one time in the North with the special courts where the accused could not see their accuser.

Make a special effort. Gather up the courage. Identify yourself.

John Throne.

author by Jolly Red Giant - Socialist Party / CWIpublication date Sat Jan 09, 2010 09:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It must really be bugging you that you can't figure out who I am -

I notice that you have not responded to the points I raised - fair enough - hopefully you are eventually deciding to move on from the events of 15 years ago - but if you decide to consistantly deride the CWI with your distorted version of events then you will find me here to defend my organisation.

author by john throne - labors militant voicepublication date Sat Jan 09, 2010 15:55author email loughfinn at aol dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

No it does not bug me that I do not know who you are. Your unprincipled political and personal cowardice which is reflected in your refusal to identify yourself actually saddens me. It does so because it confirms that the internal life of the SP/CWI remains to be unhealthy. You are proof of this. And this unhealthy internal life wastes the resources of the SP/CWI and prevents it from realizing its full potential.

By the way you refer to defending your organization. Sometimes defending your organization means criticizing it and putting up a struggle to change it. In your posts you concede that the internal life of the SP/CWI was not what it should have been and you claim it is better now. By the way please tell us what was wrong with it in the past. In the case of an unhealthy regime in your organization it was your responsibility to struggle to change it for the better. Back when I was struggling to change the CWI for the better, and this includes the years when you say you were a member, I did not see many in the Irish section doing the same. Those I did I know. And you were not one of them.

As I say. Gather up your courage. Identify yourself. Do not hide behind a phony name. Your political and personal cowardice only damages the SP/CWI further. After all what kind of an organization has a member who continually attacks others and refuses to say who they are. As I said in my last post. You are less democratic than the bourgeois courts who insist that the accused can know their accusers. Or do you see yourself as a special court where the accused person's rights are taken away.

John Throne.

author by Jolly Red Giant - Socialist Party / CWIpublication date Sat Jan 09, 2010 18:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

John - do know actually realise how stupid that post was? Do stop ranting and get a life.

author by Conorpublication date Sat Jan 09, 2010 19:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is a bit 'dodgey' that you REFUSE to show your true identity, whats the problem?

Anyway, theres no worries about the SP ever getting anywhere, or any left group in Ireland. Politics in not the answer. One leader, or another

author by Jolly Red Giant - Socialist Party / CWIpublication date Sat Jan 09, 2010 20:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

what's bloody dodgy about it? - I have used the same name on indymedia for years - and on other political forums as well. Me not revealing my name bugs John Throne - because he just can't figure out who I am.

As for not using your real name - Maybe you Connor could give us your full name and political affiliation?

Or even better - ask John Throne if he used his real name while he was in the US (p.s. he didn't).

author by Conorpublication date Sun Jan 10, 2010 00:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't have any political affiliation.

No need to get defensive or attack John Throne, all I said was it was a bit dodgy that your not using your real name. If its true that your only using a fake name to bug John Throne then I would suggest you stop acting childish. But, fair enough, don't use your real name, I don't really mind. Maybe dodgy was the wrong word, I just dont know why you need to hide behind a fake name.

I'm sure I've met you at some stage and I'm positive you know me, don't take it too personally.

Apart from that, its an interesting piece by John.

author by Deepthroattrotpublication date Sun Jan 10, 2010 01:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In response to Jolly Red Giant: the SP is part of an international the CWI.

During the past decade or so the CWI has expelled the organisation's effective founder and longtime leading member, John Throne. Throne recruited Joe Higgins and Dermot Connolly to politics.

In the early part of the decade, Dermot Connolly, who was the leading 'comrade' for much of the 80s and 90s, was also ousted.

Admittedly this is small stuff compared to the crisis which has wracked the CWI in Britain during the same time period when it lost most of its organisation in Liverpool (its 1980s stronghold) in a split in 1999 and then went on within a few years to lose most of its organisation in its new stronghold (Scotland) in another split a few years later.

Then there was the fiasco of the SSP split after which the CWI began cuddling up to Tommy Sheridan again in a very opportunist way. There's one article here on it, but loads more around the web.

Jolly Red Giant will for sure rant about all this being a long time ago and so on. But it's rather a lot of splits and nastiness for an organisation he'd have us believe is whiter than white in terms of its internal regime.

Related Link:
author by Jolly Red Giant - Socialist Party / CWIpublication date Sun Jan 10, 2010 02:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Conor - I am using the name that I have used on indymedia for years - I don't do it to bug John Throne - I do it because its the internet.

Now to deal very briefly with the nonsense from 'deepthroattrot'

1. The CWI did not expel John Throne - John Throne was expelled by the US affiliate of the CWI of which he was a member for attempting to subvert the democratic decisions of the membership of US Section. John Throne may have recruited some of the leading people in the Irish secion of the CWI - he also recruited the odd unsavoury character - neither of which gives him any entitlement to be treated any differently than any other member when he breaks the rules. What revolutionarires have done in the past do not entitle them to a free pass in the present (or in John Thrones case - the distant past and the past).

2. Dermot Connolly was a 'leading comrade' for much of the 70's as well as the 80's and 90's - and played an enormous role in developing the SP. He was not expelled - he was not 'ousted' - he left the SP - to attempt to create the impression that the CWI goes around 'ousting' it leaders (and who is doing the 'ousting'?) is to demean not just the SP but also Dermot Connolly.

3. I wouldn't for one moment suggest that the CWI did not suffer setbacks over the past 20 years - and not just in Britain - but again you are attempting to suggest that somehow all of this was the fault of the current CWI and those who left were completely blameless.

4. Scotland - when the SSP was formed the CWI warned the Scottish comrades of the danger of the SSP degenerating into a soft-left-nationalist group because of the approach of those involved. Even the CWI couldn''t have predicted the scale of the implosion of the SSP. The CWI has never cuddled up to Tommy Sheridan even when he was still a member of the CWI - Sheridan was far from blameless in the implosion of the SSP - but the individuals now left in the SSP showed an arrogance and a crass stupidity in their approach to the crisis - an approach that was always going to see them becoming cannonfodder for Murdoch and, in the next few months, potentially the state. The sheer stupidity of their antics has set the left in Scotland back for a long time simply because of the personality clashes of those involved (including Sheridan).

5. I never for once claimed that the CWI was holier than thou - and you only need to check to one of my posts above. But the CWI has suffered significantly less splits that most other far left groups - certainly among groups of its size. These things happen - they are not nice or pretty - they tend to carry a lot of hostility - but they happen and people move on.

This current thread is actually about a split in an organisation that is not the CWI - an organisation that is on the verge of a major split and that suffer another recent split that it didn't even acknowledge. Most people deal with situations like this and move on. Some people who, unfortunately, it appears can't move on tend to frequent internet forums and lament about how badly treated they were.

author by or Conor. Mpublication date Sun Jan 10, 2010 03:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

''Me not revealing my name bugs John Throne - because he just can't figure out who I am.''

I actually apologize for saying what I said about you using your name to bug John. Reading back over your comment, I see you didn't actually say that. I jumped the gun there, sorry.

Its still interesting to see the debate (we'll call it) over the expulsion of John so long ago. Sometimes it seems to be an active topic, sometimes it seems to be a dead topic. I have seen and read a bit about his expulsion, but I'm still confused. Both parties have different stories to tell.

Bye the way, I still think you should use your real name. I'm dying to find out who you are now... such a mystery?

author by Jolly Red Giant - Socialist Party / CWIpublication date Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The only reason that the explusion of John Throne from the US section of the CWI still gets debated on internet forums is that John Throne uses every opportunity to bring it up - just like on this thread about a split in an organisation that is not the CWI - has nothing to do with the CWI - and hasn't had anything to do with the CWI for almost 20 years. The vast majority of CWI members wouldn't even know who John Throne is - never mind be interested in the debate - I occasionally take the bait. If Johne Throne had addressed the issue of the current split in the IMT - I would not have commented. Instead he used the current split in the IMT to talk nonsense about something that happened 20 years ago.

As to who was right and who was wrong - I have repeatedly asked John Throne to publish ALL the documents (and there is a mountain of documents) relating to the split from both sides on his website, If he is convinced that he was wronged he would have no problem doing - but he hasn't - he has reproduced selective documents from the dispute - but not them all. If he ever does you will then have an opportunity to read through all of them (and you will need quite a bit of spare time) and make up your own mind.

author by Red Questionpublication date Sat Feb 20, 2010 15:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An interesting posting on the current IMT struggles and some keen observation about the problems with groups employing a 'democractic centralism' which has more to do with post 1923 than 1917 or before.
But there are both general questions in this discussion and specific questions. The general question is about the operation of democratic centralism - it does need a culture of open debate in an organisation and should experience bottom up discussion and debate. The latter, by the way, should be encouraged and developed by a leadership - as part of their organisation-building role and not as is so often the case handing-down the wisdom from on high.
The specifc question however, is the control of the IMT by Alan Woods (and secondary control by any faithful lieutenant). It is clear from past dealings with this person that he requires that he controls everything (although his method is to do this is often behind the scene and indirect). He is often heard saying that he would rather lead a small band than not lead at all. His actions seem always to point to this direction - under the illusion that only he has the inherited insight of the Marxist vision (not so much the son of Lenin, as Stalin presented himself, but as 'son of Grant'). Hence the horrible attempts to make Grant a saint, so that the 'son of Grant' can reflect himself in the constructed myth.
This approach by Woods was the central driving force of the 1990s split with Militant and CWI - a split constructed by Woods, who pampered Grant's own weaknesses at that time. Not to say there were not problems of developing centralism within Militant through the full-timer network at that time, problems which Woods unintendedly brought to the surface and then attempted to 'own' and be the spokesperson for. Ironcially, it is Woods himself who embodies the worst features of that past period of Militant, while the CWI/SP seems to have matured into a far more healthy organisation (but still with some dark corners) - lessons they have learnt from the past perhaps, not that they seem to want to admit it openly.

author by octo - philosophical resistencepublication date Mon Mar 01, 2010 15:23author email fb868575 at skynet dot beauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Having witnessed the split, based on 'the Scotish Turn' myself in the early nineties last century,
on the basis of discussions with socialists in different groups, I developed a model
whereby 'democracy' gets it's real content. We should defend and propagate that real democracy is
in fact based on a program that is voted by the workers...not on partylists, but on project-lists.
International elections, first on a program where the giants of the economy become community property all over the world.
In a second round the dirigents of each project locally, provincialy,continently are directly chozen and due to carry out the
demands of the program.
filosofisch verzet

Related Link:
author by octo - philosophical resistencepublication date Mon Mar 01, 2010 15:43author email fb868575 at skynet dot beauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

The text about the IMT and CWI is a valuable document...but to complete the work the existing leftwing parties and entrists organisations are doiing in the framework of democracy, be it bourgeois democracy....WE SHOULD EXPLAIN AND PROPAGATE WHAT SOCIALIST DEMOCRACY COULD BE, namely DEFENDING A PROGRAM AND VOTING ON IT and replacing the old democracy based on bourgeois parties on a new one based on a democracy that functions by means of program-elections and project-lists.
We should not get stuck in to much theoretical differences...but learn how to manage society in another way...

In Dutch : De tekst op het Ierse Indymedia is een waardevol document, maar met de notie 'democratie' in de strikt burgerlijke betekenis, alleen, gaan we er niet komen indien we buiten de strategie om aan klassieke verkiezingen deel te nemen, in respect en liefst met zoveel mogelijk eenheid voor de verschillende strekkingen (entristisch of niet).

Related Link:
author by Frank - Socialist Partypublication date Tue Mar 02, 2010 22:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The International Marxist Tendency, IMT, faces its biggest crisis since its inception. The CWI would welcome an open and honest debate amongst socialist and Marxist activists about the issues raised by these developments.

Here is an open letter to the members and former members of the IMT, from the International Secretariat of the CWI.

Related Link:
author by Observerpublication date Wed Mar 03, 2010 06:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One highly secretive, cult like organisation that cannot tolerate differences of opinion and has a personality cult around its leader - Peter Taaffe - accuses another group of being highly secretive, incapable of tolerating differences and creating a personality cult around its leader - Alan Woods. Have I missed anything?

author by Jolly Red Giant - Socialist Party / CWIpublication date Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is all there for anyone to see now -

author by Hameed khan - The class struggle publication date Fri Jun 10, 2016 13:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi comrade jhon, is this discussion continue ? I have to share some developments of destruction by IS in IMT Pakistan section the largest section, the strong bass having more members then the IMT has in the entire world. Allegations on leadership for expelling the section are same as you have mentioned six years before . If discussion is continue I would like to share the counter revolutionary bureaucratic unilitral decisions of IS of the IMT.

Number of comments per page
© 2001-2022 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy