31058Re: Labor Tribune on DSP split
- Jul 3, 2006I'm sorry you're so easily confused Nick.
I'll type more slowly.
I do not say ALL the problems of the left are to be found around the
issue of open or closed discussion, do I? There are legion issues
confronting the Marxist left. One being economism, which you picked
up in a previous posting. However, with a split, my article chose to
dwell on that issue.
And really. Your NTEU meeting melodrama that you play out again; it's
really not serious, comrade. So, once again on tactics and broader
politics (to help you with your NTEU meetings).
My article says: "Other than short-term tactics and issues of
security, political matters should, as a rule, be debated in public."
I think this should help you differentiate between, say, the finer
details concerning tactics involved in an EBA negotiation or a
membership drive on your campus and, say, the class nature of the
You do not see the mote in your own eye. You demand open discussions
and debate and amendments at the UnionsNSW meetings (as do I), but
preserve a cultish sect approach for your own organisation.
Unions NSW "delegates rallies" (for that is all they really are) are
part of the problem of the left of not being prepared to debate
strategy and tactics openly. And the DSP is part of this culture,
albeit of a different stripe.
Closed groups like the DSP (and the IBT and the Healyites and the
Cliffites and the Grantites and the Taaffites) always say things
like "The utility of openess or closedness in a discussion in a left
or workers organisation depends on the context." Pray, tell me Nick.
When was the last time the DSP had a serious discussion of theory and
strategy in public?
You do yourself a disservice, comrade. If you don't take the
political discussions of your organisation seriously enough to have
them in public, why should anyone take seriously the *conclusions*
you announce to the class?
Why on earth should we believe what you say about the Chinese state
if you don't explain how you arrived at the conclusion? (Or are you
part of the gagged minority that still thinks it is socialist? Or is
there even one?)
Pompous twaddle? If it is, you don't explain why the Bolsheviks also
suffered from "pompous twaddle".
What did Lenin mean by:
"There can be no mass Party, no Party of a class, without full
clarity of essential shadings, without an open struggle between
various tendencies, without informing the masses as to which leaders
and which organisations ... are pursuing this or that line."
and what did he mean by:
"We do not reject polemics between comrades, but, on the contrary,
are prepared to give them considerable space in our columns. Open
polemics, conducted in full view of all Russian social-democrats and
class conscious workers, are necessary and desirable in order to
clarify the depth of existing differences, in order to afford
discussion of disputed questions."
--- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, Nick Fredman
> It's nice to have a pat formula to explain all the problems on the
> left, it saves so much thinking time. Marcus' is: open discussion
> good, closed discussion bad. So next time management stooges and
> snoopy CPSU members are asked to leave our NTEU branch meetings, I
> should get up and denounce such Trotskyite-Stalinite-Cannonite
> atrocities as leading to inevitable doom and splits, even if every
> other NTEU member there would rather have a members' only
> and the ensuing discussion is free and frank. And next time Unionsof
> NSW calls a delegates' "meeting" that allows no amendments, no
> alternative motions and little if any discussion I should be happy
> because it's all out in the open.
> The utility of openess or closedness in a discussion in a left or
> workers organisation depends on the context, and is only one aspect
> of whether a discussion is democratic. All this "debating in front
> the class" stuff is somewhat pompous twaddle at this stage of the
> game. The main effect of a small revolutionary group publishing
> voluminous internal discussions would be to add grist to the
> left-trainspotting mills (how's that for a mixed metaphor?) of
> comrades like Marcus and Bob Gould. This may not be so bad but I
> can't see it particularly aiding clarity and democracy in the group
> concerned or advancing the class struggle that much.
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