On the Socialist Party of Great Britain.
Any Room for a Small Party?
It is well-known fact that many of us on the left learnt some of our Marxism from reading the excellent, clear, introductions to Historical Materialism in the SPGB’s journals and pamphlets.
Stuart Watkins makes a good point in the must-read Weekly Worker (Letters Page, from here).
The SPGB understands that working class people are quite capable of making up their own minds about their struggles and actions, and making their own decisions. Once workers have realised that they must take political action to end capitalism and establish socialism, then they will have to organise as a political party to do this for themselves. In other words, “The emancipation of the working class must be the work of the working class itself.”
This used to be a commonly understood Marxian socialist principle until Leninism came along and converted it into: ‘The emancipation of the working class cannot possibly be the act of the working class itself, which is why we need a leadership of professional revolutionaries to act on its behalf.’
Call us old-fashioned, but we prefer the Marxian original to the Leninist distortion.
Unfortunately one has to ask, what exactly has the SPGB done politically to advance the cause of socialism?
Or how it proposes to help fulfil the “work of the working class itself.”
They have been around for, er, a long time.
1904 to be exact.
True they have spawned an interesting array of ‘breakaway groups’ which contribute to the charm and attraction of the left.
As yet we await the breakthrough.
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