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Solidarity 427
AWLWed, 01/18/2017 - 10:17

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The Weekly Worker Group ("CPGB"): Under the Sign of the Oxymoron

Submitted by martin on 22 January, 2003 - 10:31
  • See also: Weekly Worker: A Little Light on the W W Group ("CPGB")
    Song of the Weekly Worker:

    I'm so small! But I'm poisonous too;
    What I say is at best but half-true:
    I spread gossip thin,
    So they'll think I'm well in;
    But I'm useful, torn up in the loo!
    *(And see appendix by the Marxist-Limerick Tendency)

    The contradictions of the 'CPGB'/WWG
    By Sean Matgamna

Comments

Submitted by Jason Schulman on Wed, 10/19/2016 - 05:18

This is not the big deal that people think it is. I suspect most in the Palestinian diaspora would rather receive monetary restitution than to go live in what is now Israel. Furthermore, given the Orthodox Jewish birth rate in Israel, it's not as if Israeli Jews would become a national minority if the right of return was implemented, especially if there still existed a Law of Return for refugee Jews who are genuinely fleeing antisemitic persecution.

BTW, whatever else the CBGB/WW people may be wrong about, they're right about transitional demands as Trotsky originally formulated them in 1938. They're completely economistic (no demands for making existing states more democratic) and they amount to a way to trick nonrevolutionary workers into becoming revolutionaries.

Marx and Engels never put forth a "transitional method" and there's no point in Marxists doing so today.

Submitted by AWL on Wed, 11/02/2016 - 19:41

In reply to by Jason Schulman

The wooden, sectarian conception of the transitional method expounded by many would-be-Trotskyist groups may well have amounted to "a way to trick nonrevolutionary workers into becoming revolutionaries." But that's not what it is, properly.

The idea is not to raise an unwinnable demand in the hope that workers will fight for it, lose, and then realise that capitalism can't deliver what they want, and thus rise up with new revolutionary vigour. A transitional demand should precisely be something winnable; the idea is to improve the material conditions of life for our class by winning it, but also, through the process of fighting for it, build up the political and organisational strength, consciousness, and confidence to broaden our fights.

Transitional demands connect immediate, day-to-day struggles to the struggle for a different kind of society.

-

DR

Submitted by Jason Schulman on Thu, 11/03/2016 - 04:05

In reply to by AWL

So how is this conception of transitional demands any different from what André Gorz, in the 1960s, defined as the fight for "non-reformist reforms"?

Because I have no problem with what you describe, but to be honest I don't think it resembles what Trotsky spells out in the Transitional Program.

Submitted by Jason Schulman on Fri, 10/28/2016 - 00:13

"The very fact that the Zionists declared that the land belongs to one nation, despite it being populated by another people, is an expression of privilege on the basis of religion and nationality. The very fact that the state is based on Zionism means that it excludes large portions of the population, whether or not they are Jewish — and whether or not they are Zionists."

"It is time to recognize that Zionism has become an empty slogan used only to grant Jews rights over non-Jews, and to say goodbye to it forever. Israel’s Zionist citizens’ fear of losing these privileges is, of course, understandable. But it should not be taken into consideration. We cannot continue to allow Zionism to deepen the discrimination against Palestinians."

http://972mag.com/its-2016-lets-say-goodbye-to-zionism-once-and-for-all…

Submitted by John D on Mon, 10/31/2016 - 11:52

"I suspect most in the Palestinian diaspora would rather receive monetary restitution than to go live in what is now Israel." Really?!

And with the context of the times * being what it is, upon what research database of facts is this somewhat counter-intuitive suspicion constructed? (My goodness, aren't I polite!).

"It is time to recognize that Zionism has become an empty slogan used only to grant Jews rights over non-Jews, and to say goodbye to it forever. Israel’s Zionist citizens’ fear of losing these privileges is, of course, understandable. But it should not be taken into consideration. We cannot continue to allow Zionism to deepen the discrimination against Palestinians."

With this, I'm quite unequal to the intellectual pressure.

Just exactly who is this "we", Kemo-sabe?
And how is this "we" going to go about it?

As one of the set of whose views are not to be taken into consideration (in a highly multi-dimensional Venn), I'm just a wee bitty** skeptical about both the theory and the implementation of field practicalities here. (Gosh, there's that politeness breaking through again).

And after all that has appeared on the AWL site, Mr Schulman demonstrates that the old, old circle is unbreakable. A Mobius circle, where the inside morphs inevitably to the outside and then back again. If there is daylight between this and the SWP - Stop the War et alia I don't see it.

* It is really noteable how the concept of "the context of the times" is so rarely applied in I/P analysis.
** Some disclosure: Any attempt to object on the basis of inappropriate linguistic cultural appropriation is rejected out of hand.

John

Currently feeling right at home and rejoicing in the weather in the unreconstructable constituency of the Hebrides.

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