"The IS tradition": John Palmer and Sean Matgamna debate at Ideas for Freedom 2013 (Audio)

John Palmer and Sean Matgamna

At the AWL's "Ideas for Freedom" weekend event, on 22 June 2013, John Palmer debated with Sean Matgamna on the political tradition of IS, the group which after 1977 became the SWP. Palmer was a leading member of IS from the 1960s through to 1975. Matgamna is a member of the AWL, and was on the National Committee of IS from 1968 to 1971, representing the minority Trotskyist Tendency which was the forerunner of AWL.

John Palmer

Opening speech by John Palmer

Sean Matgamna

Opening speech by Sean Matgamna

Summing-up at end of debate by Sean Matgamna

Summing-up at end of debate by John Palmer

The AWL tradition: session at AWL's "Ideas for Freedom" school, 23 June 2013 (Audio)

Sean Matgamna

At the AWL's "Ideas for Freedom" weekend event, on 23 June 2013, Sean Matgamna spoke on the political tradition of AWL and its forerunners.

Click here to hear the recording

Matgamna was a founding member, in 1966, of Workers' Fight, the group to which AWL traces back its political lineage. He explained how our tendency started out seeing itself as taking forward the "orthodox" Trotskyist tradition represented by James P Cannon and others, and, bit by bit, by experience and discussion, evolved politically. The recording includes Matgamna's initial presentation, the discussion from the floor, and Matgamna's summing-up.

The SWP, the Mainstream Left and Islamism

Sean Matgamna

The Prophet and the demoralised opportunists

Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But, man is no abstract being squatting outside the world.

Man is the world of man - state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification.

SWP/IS: history and myth

Sean Matgamna

Eric Hobsbawm somewhere discusses one of the oddest conundrums in labour historiography, one paralleled now in the historiography of IS/SWP: the 20th century reputation of the Fabian Society as far-sighted pioneers of independent labour representation - the gap between what was and what is afterwards widely accepted as having been.