Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Archive for the ‘Trotskyism’ Category

Hard Right Express Gloats at “Labour Civil War” as call comes to widen purge to Labour Representation Committee.

with 14 comments

May be an image of text that says "vers vers république la VIlI® autogérée Conférence Internationale de la Tendance Marxiste Révolutionnaire Internationale sous drapeau rapeau socialisme N° Spécial 103 1986 40F"

Keir Starmer’s Group in the 1980s: the International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency.

Labour CIVIL WAR: Starmer to purge party and expel 1,000 members from ‘poisonous’ groups

KEIR Starmer has made plans to expel 1,000 Labour Party members who are considered far left and “poisonous”.

These groups have been said to promote communism, claim anti-Semitism allegations are overblown and demand the reinstatement of Jeremy Corbyn as a Labour MP.

The Labour national executive committee (NEC) meeting next Tuesday is expected to pass the new motion to ban the select groups.

The ban will affect approximately Labour Party 1,000 members who could be “auto-excluded”.

These groups have been said to promote communism, claim anti-Semitism allegations are overblown and demand the reinstatement of Jeremy Corbyn as a Labour MP.

Two of the groups that will be banned are Resist and Labour Against the Witchhunt.

Another group to be proscribed are the communist leaning Socialist Appeal.

It has been reported in the Daily Mirror that anyone found to be a member of any of the four groups will face an automatic expulsion from the Labour Party.

A Party source said: “Under Corbyn, those from the far left fringes with poisonous beliefs and warped world-views were welcomed into the party.

“Keir is right to stamp out anti-Semitism and toxic extremism.”

Call to widen the Purge.

,

….we hope that this is not the limit of current action on antisemitism. Other groups such as the Labour Representation Committee (whose President is John McDonnell MP) played a significant role in mainstreaming anti-Jewish racism and they too should be proscribed. Moreover, Keir Starmer must also address the provocative and inflammatory actions of some of his MPs who continue to promote the anti-Israel extremism that is described in the most recent CST report ‘A Month of Hate. There is still a long way to go and much work to be done.”

Socialist Appeal was formed in 1992 and was not threatened with expulsion under Tony Blair or any other previous Labour leader.

Keir Starmer was a leading figure in this small revolutionary Marxist group in the 1980s. Its international main body was, many would consider, far to the left of Socialist Appeal.

Socialist Alternatives was the British section of the International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency (IRMT), a formerly Trotskyist Pabloite group based in Paris.[1]

A small group in the UK it was best known for the Marxist magazine of the same name partially edited by Keir Starmer from 1986 to 1987.[2] The magazine is believed to have been produced by the Pabloist International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency (IRMT)[3] and advertised its events and publications, although one of the authors identified it as being an outgrowth of the Socialist Society connected with Ralph Miliband and Hilary Wainwright.[4] Paul Mason has called it a “Trotskyite front magazine”[5] although this is disputed.[4] The French Troksyite journalist Maurice Najman was also cited as a key supporter.[4]

Its politics were defined by one of its later authors Andrew Coates as being “aligned to the European ‘alternative’ movements of the time which stood for ecology, feminism and self-management. These were forerunners of later radical green-left groups, Los Indignados, Podemos, the left of Labour and similar currents within social democratic parties.”[6]

It was described by the left wing magazine Chartist as “the human face of the hard left”.[7] Peter Hitchens described Socialist Alternative’s “preoccupation with sexual politics and green issues” as presaging the politics of all today’s major British politicians.[8]

The magazine included articles by Michalis Raptis,[9][10][11] the leader of the International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency and the left wing Labour MP Eric HefferPeter Tatchell[6] as well as an interview with Tony Benn.[12][13] There were also advertisements for Michael Raptis’s “Self Management Lectures”[14] and IRMT publications.[15] Keir Starmer wrote articles on the Wapping strike,[16][17] the 1986 TUC conference,[18] criticising labour leader Neil Kinnock‘s moves towards the market economy,[19] a book review of Eric Heffer’s Labour’s future,[20] Trade Unions and pluralism,[21] an interview with Tony Benn[12] and left wing approaches to local government.[22]

The magazine was still publishing in 1989[23] and 1994.[24]

Starmer's Socialist Alternatives - The Social Review

This call for a purge has got completely out of hand and should be strongly opposed by democratic socialists.

Written by Andrew Coates

July 18, 2021 at 12:51 pm

Split in the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA).

leave a comment »

Le Nouveau parti anticapitaliste d'Olivier Besancenot est né

Split or Exclusion?

Scission ou exclusion ? Le NPA secoué par une importante crise interne

Le Monde carries this story on the events.

A moins d’un an de la présidentielle, la formation d’extrême gauche se voit amputée d’une de ses plus importantes tendances.

It’s a split that has been brewing for several months. Since last Thursday, June 10 in the evening, the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA, heir to the Revolutionary Communist League, of which Olivier Besancenot is the figurehead) has lost one of its opposition tendencies, the Revolutionary Communist Current – Permanent revolution (left wing, 11.05% at the last congress in 2018). Talking about this subject involves the use of convoluted formulations. Indeed, Permanent Revolution asserts in a text that 296 activists were “excluded” from the organisation. This, the NPA vigorously denies . “No exclusion was pronounced, neither individual nor collective, specifies Julien Salingue, member of the party leadership who recognises internal tensions. It is the departure of a current which stages this decision. “

The most obvious point is that the group which has left is part of a rival International.

Le réseau est impulsé par les différentes organisations qui font partie de la Fraction Trotskyste pour la Quatrième Internationale: le Parti des Travailleurs Socialistes (PTS) en Argentine, le Mouvement Révolutionnaire des Travailleurs (MRT) au Brésil, le Parti des Travailleurs Révolutionnaires (PTR) au Chili, le Mouvement des Travailleurs Socialistes (MTS) au Mexique, la Ligue Ouvrière Révolutionnaire (LOR-CI) en Bolivie, le Courant Révolutionnaire des Travailleurs (CRT) dans l’Etat Espagnol, le Courant Communiste Révolutionnaire (CCR) en France, l’Organisation Révolutionnaire Internationaliste (RIO) en Allemagne, LeftVoice aux Etats-Unis, la Ligue des Travailleurs pour le Socialisme (LTS) au Vénézuela, le Courant des Travailleurs Socialistes (CTS) en Uruguay. Des organisations auxquelles s’ajoutent la Fraction Internationaliste Révolutionnaire (FIR) en Italie, le Courant Socialiste des Travailleurs (CST) au Pérou et l’Organisation Socialiste au Costa Rica qui ont pris part à la dernière conférence internationale organisée en 2018 à Buenos Aires.

This is a “post-Moreno’ (a current of South American Trotskyism) whose politics seem aimed to restore Trotskyist orthodoxy. For those with very strong sectarian stomachs this is their take on this: Who was Nahuel Moreno? Gabriela Liszt.

Le Monde also notes,

 Permanent Revolution has its own leader, Anasse Kazib. This railway worker unionised with SUD-Rail is a media personality, a supporter of the movement of “Gilets Jaunces”, he was a time contributor to the Grandes Gueules  programme on RMC radio. He is also close to QG-Le media libre , launched by journalist Aude Lancelin.

Finally the group that has left has some pretty out-of-kilter politics which aim to create new mass Revolutionary Workers’ Party. Many comment that this looks a deliberate entry-followed by manufactured split, to create a new groupuscule.

Statement (France): No one has been excluded from the NPA, which will make its decisions on the presidential elections at the end of June [after the departure of the CCR-Permanent Revolution]

In a text made public on Thursday 10 June [1], the CCR-Permanent Revolution group announced its departure from the NPA. The NPA takes note of this decision, and does not give up its project to address all those who suffer from an increasingly violent and unjust social order, and want to come together to act, collectively, to overthrow it.

Concerning the departure of the CCR-Permanent Revolution, some clarifications are necessary. Contrary to what is stated in their text, no one has been excluded from the NPA, neither individually nor collectively. It is indeed a departure: until the publication of this text of rupture, the members of the CCR-Permanent Revolution who pay dues to the NPA had the same status as other NPA activists, could participate in the democratic process underway to decide our orientation for the presidential election, and their representatives in the national leadership bodies could join all the meetings and participate in decision-making.

The departure of the CCR-Permanent Revolution is in fact the consequence of the failure of this group to impose on the NPA the presidential candidacy of Anasse Kazib. This “pre-candidacy”, publicly announced on 4 April on social networks and in a few articles, was done in a way that broke with the way the NPA works and the way it makes decisions about our presidential candidacies. These have always been the result of democratic discussions within the NPA, organized around questions of political orientation and profile, and not of personalized “pre-campaigns” – and a fortiori conducted outside the organization.

This “pre-candidature”, articulated to the project of launching a “Revolutionary Workers’ Party”, has convinced no one in the NPA, except the members of the CCR-Permanent Revolution. By staging their alleged “exclusion” today, they want to cast suspicion on the NPA and preventively delegitimize its choices for 2022.

Aware of its internal isolation and its failure to impose its party project and its candidate, the CCR-Permanent Revolution has chosen to withdraw from the NPA even before the internal democratic consultation takes place. Duly noted.

The NPA will, as planned, take its decisions concerning the presidential elections at a national conference on 26 and 27 June. Between now and then, all its members are invited to express their opinion, in the framework of democratic discussions and votes, on the orientation and profile of our organization for 2022.

At the end of this discussion/decision process, the NPA will announce, after the weekend of 26 and 27 June, its choices for the presidential elections, on the occasion of which we intend to defend a programme of social, ecological and democratic urgency, and carry the perspective of a revolutionary break with the capitalist system.

NPA, Montreuil, 11 June 2021.

Excluded from the NPA, We Begin the Process of Building a New Revolutionary Organization: Statement of 296 NPA Activists

This declaration addresses the de facto expulsion from the organization of its 296 signers, militants of the New Anticapitalist Party in France from 34 of the party’s committees. For the militants of Révolution Permanente and the CCR, the Trotskyist Fraction – Fourth International group that is a tendency within the NPA, it opens a new stage in the fight to build a revolutionary workers party in France.

Translator’s Note: This statement references several organizations. The LCR (Ligue communiste révolutionnaire, or Revolutionary Communist League), was the French section of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International until it abolished itself in February 2009 to form the NPA. La France Insoumise (Unbowed France or Unsubmissive France) is a social-democratic populist party founded in 2016 by Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle) is a French Trotskyist party that traces its origins back to 1939.

A few days before the national conference that is supposed to spell out the orientation of the New Anticapitalist Party and nominate a candidate for the next presidential election, we are forced to take note of our de facto expulsion from this organization — one that some of us have helped to build for more than 12 years. As is often the case in the history of political expulsions, those who implement them often fail to call them what they are, using formulations such as “separation” (rather than expulsion) or claiming those expelled “have put themselves outside the party.” Nevertheless, the reality remains: this has been a long process of expulsion orchestrated for more than a year, from start to finish, by the central core of the leadership majority. There are mounds of written evidence — motions of exclusion, internal declarations signed by members of this leadership, decisions by the mediation commission that they flouted, and so on — that we will gladly provide upon request.

Beyond the fantasized tale and the slanders of the NPA leadership majority, our expulsion responds to two very concrete political problems. The first is that the historical leadership of the NPA, heir to what remained of the leadership of the former LCR, has become more and more of a minority within the organization and was in danger of losing total control at the next party congress. The second is that this same leadership has committed itself to a turn to the right, toward a policy of compromise with the institutional Left, of which the lists for the regional elections in New Aquitaine and Occitania are a preview; the existence of a strong left wing that opposes the NPA becoming a sort of branch of La France Insoumise constitutes an obstacle. These two factors led the leadership first to postpone the congress indefinitely and then to make the national conference on the presidential elections an instrument of the scission by suppressing the rights of about 25 percent of the party’s militants.

Just as it is ridiculous to pretend that we were not members of the NPA when we had representation on all the national leadership bodies and intervened in the name of the NPA in meetings and even in the traditional NPA-Lutte Ouvrière debate during the last Fête de Lutte ouvrière, it is certainly the case that we had important disagreements both on the balance sheet of the initial NPA project as well as on how to overcome the crisis in which the organization has been immersed for a decade. However, it was not inevitable that the NPA would shrink — little by little with each congress — to the point today where it has barely 10 percent of the number of members at the party’s founding, and three times fewer than the number of members of the LCR at the time of its dissolution. It is also a fact that the party, socio-economically, organizes many more teachers and civil servants than workers and other people from working-class neighborhoods, including immigrants.

Since 2016 — and this context is important — we have witnessed an important wave of class struggle and the emergence of a new militant generation, overflowing with radicalism and searching for a political alternative to represent those radical politics. The Yellow Vests movement and its revolutionary chants, and the strike against the pension reform in the winter of 2019–2020, are illustrations. Throughout these years in the NPA, we have defended and tried at our scale to demonstrate the idea that asserting a revolutionary profile and making bold interventions into the main phenomena of the class struggle would make it possible to attract to the far left some portion of these new militants. around an asserted revolutionary profile and a bold intervention in the main phenomena of the class struggle, it was possible to attract to the far left a part of these new militants. That, we said, was the path out of the party’s crisis—not the so-called unitary policies aimed at a so-called “Left of the Left” that was increasingly out of touch with the interests of the workers and the poor.

Through these activities, many of us were won to revolutionary ideas by the comrades of Révolution Permanente. But once we joined the NPA, we were not welcomed as we had expected; instead, they tried to keep us from voting for the congress, and then for the national conference, claiming that we were not real NPA militants. Internally, they denigrated the RATP–SNCF coordinating committee and then the strike at Grandpuits. Then they launched the campaign against the proposal for the presidential candidacy of a worker comrade, from an immigrant background, recognized for his role in the class struggle, calling the candidacy of Anasse “an attack against the NPA.”

Having reached this point, we no longer see any possibility that the NPA can reconstitute itself as an effective tool that serves the interests of our class. We tried until the end to transform the party in order to arrive at some form of revolutionary refoundation, something that can be done only on the basis of a serious assessment of the failure of the initial project and of the immense difficulty this organization has had being anything other than a commentator about the great processes of the class struggle that have unfolded. Despite that this possibility has been taken away from us today by our expulsion, we in no way renounce the objective of rebuilding a revolutionary Left that is equal to the experiences of the class struggle of the last few years — and above all, that is up to the challenges that are before us in this new phase of international capitalist crisis.

We call on all comrades who share this assessment to join us in the battle that is just beginning.

First published in French on June 10 in Révolution Permanente, where a full list of the signers can be found.

Translation by Scott Cooper

By contrast.

NPA (April) on the initial decision by the above faction to announce a candidacy for the French Presidential elections.

Publié le Lundi 5 avril 2021 à 21h41.

Anasse Kazib, member of the NPA and of the “CCR-Permanent Revolution” announced, on social networks, his “pre-candidacy” for the presidential election of 2022. This announcement, which had actually been scheduled for several several days, was therefore made outside any decision-making framework of the organisation.

Written by Andrew Coates

June 14, 2021 at 2:47 pm

Posadist leaflet during a mass strike calling upon the ‘intergalactic comrades’ to come to the aid of their fellow communist exploited masses on planet Earth!

with 6 comments

Posadists | Tendance Coatesy

The Tendance Holds an Annual Pilgrimage to Rendelsham Forest in Search of Intergalactic Comrades.

Not many people read the ol’ Weekly Worker these days, otherwise all fans of Posadism and many other Cdes would have already posted this. Yeyt over the last few days many a learned debate has taken place since somebody (Guess who) posted this on his FB page on the Spotters’ Central.

The time has come to share this will the masses.

“My eye was caught by the mention of comrade Juan Posadas in Paul Demarty’s piece on UFOs (‘Flying saucers over Washington’, June 3). I had the dubious experience of having served on the central committee of the Revolutionary Workers Party (Trotskyist), the British section of the Fourth International (Posadists), during a brief right lurch from anarchism in the 1970s. We were all tarred with the brush of being ‘space men and women’.Actually what Posadas said was quite a reasonable proposition, based upon Marxism and dialectics. There had been many sightings of UFOs over Argentina and Latin America in general at the time and many workers were engaged in speculations on their origins or existence. Posadas reasoned that in order to overcome the vast distances of time and space involved to travel the universe and further, the basic pullback on scientific and engineering development of class society must have been overcome. Basic class contradictions would have to have been overcome too and some sort of equalitarian communist society reached.Left like that, no problem.

Unfortunately some overoptimistic comrade in Belgium had turned out a leaflet during a mass strike calling upon the ‘intergalactic comrades’ to come to the aid of their fellow communist exploited masses on planet Earth! That sort of blew it really.

I have no idea where Paul gets the idea that the “Posadists turned to guerrilla struggles” – armed struggle was not something they would ever have contemplated. I remember during the Chilean coup, and the birth of Chilean solidarity campaigns, the Proletaria bookshop in Dunscroft, which sold RWP(T) literature, displayed a large poster of the Chilean Flag and an AK machine gun in a clenched fist. It was quickly taken down by ‘the party comrades’, who informed us: ‘The gun is not a symbol of communists. We are not putschists.’

During the God-almighty punch-up in Grosvenor Square at the height of the Vietnam struggle many workers emerged from the fray bloodied and battered, but ‘our comrades’ were selling Red Flag away from the melee. When asked where the fuck they had been in the battle, they replied that the party intervenes “empirically” in such struggles – a word I took henceforth to mean ‘not actually doing anything’. Guerrillaism from Ireland to Bolivia was always described as ‘heroic’, but was basically an impetuous impatience with the mass class struggle. So hoofing about in the jungle with a beret on your head and a gun was never the style of the Posadistas, I’m afraid.”

weeklyworker

aboutww archivesubscribedonatecontactGoParty & ProgrammeDemocracy & StateImperialism & WarCapitalism & CrisisSociety & Culture

David John Douglass
South Shields

weeklyworker

There have many criticisms of these claims (for example Posadism never having been involved in guerrilla struggles, untrue) but on the issue of the leaflet in Belgium most say, were this the case we think we would have already heard about it.

Written by Andrew Coates

June 13, 2021 at 4:48 pm

Posted in Trotskyism, Uncategorized

Tagged with ,