This is a cross post from Howie’s Corner
As the debate continues over the future (or likely not) of the Socialist Workers Party a comment was made over at the Socialist Unity website that not only garnered my attention but also reminded me of why we need to to expose and oppose political extremism wherever it rears it’s ugly head. This remark by “Chris” sums up the real attitudes of ideologues pursuing their aims:
I’d happily sacrifice a few individuals to build socialism.
This upset a couple of fellow posters, probably not because they don’t really disagree, but don’t like the fact “Chris” had the audacity to spell it out. One of the comrades followed up by pointing out that as far as (the SWP) went:
Actually, Chris, the striking aspect of the behaviour at the top is that, far from sacrificing individuals for socialism, they sacrifice individuals and socialism to their personal requirements, status, position and mates, paramours, etc, while claiming it’s for la causa.
Historically of course Marxist-Leninists/Communists, (whatever name they choose to go under) have had a habit of not just “sacrificing a few individuals” but in fact have caused untold millions of deaths and other suffering. The scale of Stalin’s planned starvation of the peasants in the thirties, the purges which followed and the existence of the Gulags until the fall of communism in the USSR are a matter of historical fact.
Such crimes were replicated under Chairman Mao and Pol Pot, but Communists are not alone of course the Nazi’s/Fascists committed the same crimes against humanity, whilst today such political sadism continues to exist in the form of Islamism.
It should come as no surprise that what’s left of the Marxist movements like the SWP, orientate their politics towards fellow ideologues within groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Jammat-e-islami, the Taliban or regimes like that of the clerical-fascist Iranians. Unfortunately its’ not just the obvious culprits of the far-left sects. There’s George Galloway’s totally misnamed “Respect Party” and politicians such as Ken Livingstone and Andy Newman’s Socialist Unity blog who have a blind spot towards misoginist and anti-Semeitic preachers like Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
The comrades will tell you it’s all justified in the “struggle against Zionism” because so many of them think if Israel is wiped off the map world capitalism and imperialism will come tumbling down. Of course it won’t, but the sacrifice of a few million Jews in the process will justify the end in their dark evil mindsets.
The presence of anti-Semites and holocaust deniers on the “progressive left” is well documented. The former Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign Frances Clarke-Lowes was expelled from the organisation for holocaust denial. In his appeal to the PSC Annual General Meeting he said:
The carefully nurtured and moulded ‘Holocaust’ narrative has done a good deal of that job since the Second World War. But more fundamental is the prohibition on all discussion of Jews which does not accord with their own collective view of themselves – that is of a uniquely talented and uniquely suffering people. Hence the extraordinary move to ban any questioning of the ‘Holocaust’ narrative at this AGM.
Of course there are Jews who challenge elements of Jewish ideology. But these exceptions don’t invalidate, in principle, generalisations about Jews. That would be like saying you mustn’t describe dogs as quadrupeds because some of that species have lost a leg.
Appalling stuff, yet 10% of the delegates voted against his expulsion. Clarke-Lowes may have gone but so many of his supporters and co-thinkers remain inside the organisation which may not itself be anti-Semitic, but does contain many activists that clearly are. Yet so many trade unions including my own (PCS) remain affiliated. Indeed PCS policy is to positively encourage branches and members to involve themselves with this organisation which is ambivalent (to say the least) about the two state solution
And just who runs PCS? That would be the Marxists of the Socialist Party, the SWP and their fellow travellers. The exact people who would happily sacrifice individuals for their cause and do, though since neither has state power are limited in their ability to do so. The SWP’s treatment of women has been well documented and has seemingly appalled others on the left, but not so much that many are prepared to break with them.
Women’s groups and some Unison activists are taking measures against the undesirables of the SWP, but the left in PCS remains firmly in alliance and instead will be taking a debate on breaking their electoral arrangement with the somewhat innocuous PCS Democrats group in a motion moved by Harvey Crane at Left Unity conference in December. They will no doubt also have SWP members on their slate for the National Executive Committee next year.
The comrades obviously have no shame. Nor should we expect them to.
The Leninists are and always will be the enemies of human rights, free speech and democracy.