The Struggle for Socialism Today
Organisation:Socialist Party
Author:Peter Hadden
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document
Subjects: Socialist Workers Party

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

18th June 2018

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive. It is available online in other places including the SP itself but this is a useful format to have the document in.

This is a fascinating document issued by the Socialist Party which includes an exchange between it and the Socialist Workers Party on the issue of electoral cooperation. As the document makes clear, this was at the instigation of the SWP in December 1998.

The introduction notes that:

The Socialist Party welcomes the opportunity to debate publicly the differences between the Socialist Workers Party and us. This is not a matter of sterile point scoring or dogmatic hair splitting. Our objective is first of all to clarify the points of difference and, by doing so, hopefully to resolve them. The existence of a number of organisations on the left complicates the task of building a Marxist party. Where differences are not fundamental, the needs of the class struggle must override secondary and sometimes petty divisions that may have built up through years of separate existence.

And although somewhat sceptical about the proposals it concludes:

Even if we do not end with agreement, the exercise will not have been wasted. A public setting out of differences in method and in ideas will be of benefit to our own members and to activists on the left generally. We have to justify to working class people, who instinctively seek the maximum unity of organisation, why there exists more than one organisation which lays claim to the Marxist tradition. If there is no basis for fusion we have to be able to demonstrate that these differences are both serious and irreconcilable, and that a fusion would merely blunt the revolutionary instrument, not strengthen it.

The document outlines its analysis of the SWP and its activities from the perspective of the SP across a range of issues including the development of the SWP, its orientation in regard to Northern Ireland and so on. One of the most interesting aspects is an Appendix which contains correspondence between the SWP and the SP.

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