Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Socialist victories in Seattle and Minneapolis.

Congratulations and thanks to all the Comrades involved in the socialist victories in Seattle and Minneapolis. I consider both very impressive victories. They are a tribute to all concerned and to the program of the campaigns which avoided ultra leftism and connected with and mobilized large numbers of people. The victories also reflect the rising mood of anger amongst working class people and youth in this country against capitalism. Congratulations again Comrades.

I see Comrades are talking about 100 or 200 candidates  throughout the country in the near future. This would be a great step forward. Myself and other Comrades around this blog which has had over half a million page views and around our PDF list  Facts For Working People will help in every way we can to achieve this. We also see that you are talking about a tour of the country by Comrade Sawant. We will also help with any future tour such as this. 

We hope that the Comrades campaign for 200 candidates comes off and goes well. Even half of that number of candidates would be great. However whatever number of candidates are put forward some important questions arise.

I would see a campaign for 200 or however many candidates as a united front campaign. It would have a program and approach and method of struggle as in Seattle and Minneapolis and within this different forces would be allowed to exist and have their own views as long as they supported the program and method of the united front.  And did so openly and honestly. If this was not done then the great achievements of Seattle and Minneapolis could be damaged.

Socialist Alternative is at the center of the campaigns in Seattle and Minneapolis. This organization is the US section of the Committee for a Workers' International. It must be congratulated on its achievements. However the CWI has sections in different countries and a history going back some decades. I was a member of this organization for almost 40 years and a full time organizer for over 30 years until I was expelled in the mid 1990's. 

I am very glad to see that the US section of this organization seems to have separated itself from the sectarianism of some of the other sections of the CWI in other countries and the sectarianism that was prevalent within it when I was a member and of which I was also guilty. While doing so it would be important to look at what has happened, and is happening,  in some other countries with this organization and draw some lessons.

For example in Ireland the CWI has not managed to work successfully with other groups. A short time ago an organization called the United Left Alliance was set up by a number of left groups including the CWI, that is the sister organization of the Socialist Alternative. The ULA managed to get five members of parliament elected. These were members of difference left groups. This was a very important achievement and gave hope to tens of thousands of workers and youth.

However it was only in existence a very short time when one of the small groups split off taking its member of parliament and membership with it. This was immediately followed by the Irish Section of the CWI, that is the sister organization of Socialist alternative, known in Ireland as the as the Socialist Party, splitting off and taking its parliamentary representation and membership with it.

These were sectarian actions by both these groups. They wrecked the United Left Alliance and with it the hopes of tens of thousands of workers who were looking towards this organization to lead a fight.

Again congratulations to all the Comrades who made the victories in Seattle and Minneapolis possible. These victories strengthen the working class movement. Now if we can build on these and learn the lessons from the past we can perhaps put down a sizable left workers current in the US which can challenge the capitalist offensive and open up an alternative for the working class and the youth.

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