Workers’ Power splits

Submitted by Matthew on 18 April, 2012 - 9:54

About 15 members of the British Workers Power group, a third of the organisation, have resigned, along with some others in the WP-linked international tendency.

The British resigners are mostly workers and students in their 20s — essentially the leadership of the new layer of WP members who expelled the group’s trade unionist old guard in 2006. They have developed similar conclusions to those they helped to expel, now constituted as Permanent Revolution.

They have produced a document, A simple proposal for a new anti-capitalist left, in which they propose a regroupment of socialists and radical activists around “revolutionary”, “anti-capitalist” but not explicitly “Leninist-Trotskyist” principles.

Part of the reason this group left Workers Power is its stifling regime, in which public unanimity was required. Those resigning no longer believe disagreements should be hidden from public view, which is progress. However, they seem — it is not clear — to be also rejecting the whole idea of seeking to work out and fight for a clear political line.

Moreover they have not constituted themselves as an organisation, creating the possibility of an apolitical clique held together by their former experience in WP and the fetish of a new “anticapitalist organisation”.

They show no sign of reassessing WP’s disastrous legacy on issues like Stalinism, imperialism and Israel-Palestine. If anything, their statement that they still believe the working class is “a crucial agent of revolutionary change, though...” (our emphasis) suggests a drift away from class politics.

But the problem with WP is not too much class politics! A tradition which maintains that North Korea is a “workers’ state”, and which in 2003-4 supported “no platforming” reformist Iraqi trade unionists while promoting the fascistic Iraqi “resistance”, is precisely lacking an independent working-class focus.

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