Letters on unity

Submitted by Anon on 1 May, 2003 - 11:39
  • "You are not the only true socialists" - Andrew Berry
  • "The AWL wants unity" - Mark Osborn

You are not the only true socialists

Re Solidarity 28 editorial. You seem to behave very much like the SWP - "we are the only true socialists", etc. That is arrogant. How can you be sure that every left group was on a different side in the war and did not agree with you?

If your idea is that you were the only left group who did not call for "defeat for US/UK" or "defend/victory to Iraq", then you are wrong, as Workers' Action did not either. I hope you read the article in Workers' Action on this issue. I quote

"Should socialists have called for the defence of Iraq, or even for the victory of Iraq? Those who make such calls hark back to classical Marxist texts such as Lenin and Zinoviev's Socialism and War.

"The real problem with transposing [such] quotations from the Marxist classics doesn't lie in the noble sentiments expressed by Lenin and Zinoviev. Rather it is the completely different context. Marxist tactics in relation to the anti-colonial and nationalist struggles of the twentieth century assumed the existence of nationalist movements espousing progressive demands with a strong popular base of support among workers and peasants.

"Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party has no such progressive demands or popular base. As the fighting has shown, the only forces to put up consistent and determined resistance are those who owe their privileges directly to the regime - Ba'ath Party cadres, the Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard, and the fedayeen. There is little evidence that any other section of the population has much inclination to defend the regime".

Andrew Berry

The AWL wants unity

A remark about Alan Johnson's "left unity" contribution in the last issue of Solidarity.

Alan writes that the Alliance for Workers' Liberty (AWL) should immediately approach the International Socialist Group (ISG) for unity talks. He notes that the separation of the AWL from the USFI is another case of 'the disease of needless disunity', and he asks "what would separate a Parisian AWLer from a Parisian LCRer that could possibly justify separate organisations?"

I think these issues need untangling a little, as the LCR is a great deal more interesting, and a more self-confident organisation than the British ISG, whose leadership - in particular Alan Thornett - have been consistent, active opponents of closer USFI-AWL ties.

The ISG's veto has prevented us attending USFI conferences, summer camps and even establishing a better dialogue between our group and USFI sections abroad.

A stupid situation? Yes, but not our fault, and sadly not something it is easy to find a way round.

Mark Osborn

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