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11319Re: Propects for a broad socialist party in England

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  • bobgould987
    Dec 3, 2004
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      By Bob Gould

      I'm fascinated that I seem to have come to occupy a niche like
      Trotsky, the Mikado and Hitler did for the Stalinists in the 1930s,
      and that Goldstein did for Winston Smith in George Orwell's 1984.

      In two rather eccentric posts arguing with Shane Hopkinson, Peter
      Boyle and Alan Bradley, after attacking Shane personally, say his
      worst crime of all is to line up with Bob Gould. That's the technique
      of the amalgam used by the Stalinists in the 1930s.

      No concession is made to the independence and autonomy of the views of
      Shane and myself on various questions. We agree on some things and
      disagree on others, but all disagreement with the DSP becomes some
      kind of conspiracy between those who disagree.

      I find it kind of flattering to be regarded as such an arch-demon, but
      the Boyle-Bradley view of the world (shared by some others in the DSP
      leadership) makes them as crazy as coots. Their demented, and even
      slightly sinister, mindset leads them to see conspiracies against the
      DSP everywhere.

      Boyle's mention of me is extremely revealing. What does he mean when
      he talks about my destructive and pathological sectarianism? Towards
      whom am I sectarian? This accusation appears to focus on my ongoing
      argument with the DSP in which I challenge its sectarianism towards
      just about everyone in the workers' movement and in the Greens.

      It appears that Boyle regards any tactical argument with the DSP as
      destructive and pathological sectarianism. Blimey!

      All of this underlines the points that the DSP leadership seems to
      regard all political developments in the labour movement as focusing
      on themselves. My crime appears to be that I argue the point with the
      DSP on their strategic orientation, which I say is hopelessly
      sectarian. Just about everyone else in the labour movement has a
      similar view on this point.

      Boyle snaps back with this wierd abuse, which clearly implies that any
      disagreement with the DSP's approach and current projects is
      pathologically sectarian. What a strange view of the world!

      Boyle then starts whingeing about how he has devoted a lot of his life
      to the DSP project. He's hardly Robinson Crusoe. Many, many people
      have devoted much of their lives to socialist political activity.

      It's not very persuasive of Boyle to try to buttress his political
      arguments with assertions of his own personal heroism. Boyle seems to
      have gone a little stir crazy from too long a period as a functionary
      in a small political apparatus.

      For myself, I've been involved with some other people in a literary
      project for the past couple of years, trying to encourage a modest
      political reorientation by writing on historical, strategic and
      cultural questions, and putting this material on a website.

      We've recently improved our site a bit, including our hit counter, and
      it's obvious that our material gets around quite widely.

      Boyle is obviously a bit punchy from the argument, and perhhaps his
      petulance is due to by the material we distribute through Ozleft
      having some impact in Boyle's immediate orbit. It's hard to think of
      any other explanation for his petulance.
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