These were exactly the kind of arguments that occured to me when I first got involved with the far left in 1981. Three decades later, they are no closer to resolution then they were then. In fact, it occurs to me that they are incapable of resolution.
The worrying thing is that the UK far left positively revels in its divisions. There is a certain (predominantly male)personality type that sees the main task in politics as asserting the superiority of one tiny group against another. These people would actually rather be on the leadership body of a sect than a middle-ranking activist in a more powerful united organisation.
In middle age, my commitment to Marxism ismore by way of theoretical affirmation of its central intellectual propositions than in the activism that characterised my youth. Even so, I still see the necessity for democratic socialism if humanity is to solve its most pressing problems. Part of me even secretly hopes that the Alliance for Workers' Liberty is capable of resuscitating some kind of rational humanist Marxism.
But looking around at the contemporary left makes me want to tear my hair out. Many of the 'leaders' of my generation or thereabout I know personally, or else from their track record over many years. Not only do they seem to me incapable of leading a revolution, but they incapable of positive engagement in serious politics.
I have watched the attempts at regroupment over the last 16 years; Socialist Labour Party, Scottish Socialist Alliance, Scottish Socialist Party, Socialist Alliance, Respect, Campaign for a New Workers' Party, United Socialist Party, Left Alternative, Left List, Solidarity, Campaign for a Marxist Party, No2EU, TUSC, and I've probably missed some.
But hey, just because there is no hope ... don't let it get you down.