Add new comment

Submitted by Jason on Mon, 21/07/2008 - 19:03

Tom you haven't really engaged with what has been written- you again equate calling for the overthrow of the ruling class and for equality between Jews and Arabs as the 'destruction of Israel'.

Of course it wouldn't be Israel as it currently exists any more than Britian would be the same if a revolution overthrew the British ruling class and established equality betwen Black and white workers. However, you wouldn't accuse socialists of wanting to 'destroy Britain' would you?

Sectarianism is not the same as robust criticism of other groups- you are correct on this. It is putting the needs of the group before the needs of the class struggle- at times rude criticism and invective can indeed end up being sectarian. Marx was certainly good at put downs- actually at times he was over the top in his invective I think but that was a different context and time so there may be a defence I don't know. What I do know is that continuing to imitate the kind of vicious name-calling that has scarred the left since at least the Russian revolution sometimes as a substitute for debate (even if at times such a method was practiced by Lenin, Trotsky and Cannon) is not a good recipe for building class struggle and socialism. For example Cannon was a brilliant writer and Trotsky- in my opinion two of their worst periods f writing were in the faction fight agianst Burnham, Schactman etc. when they were absolutely right but susbstituted clear analysis for attacks. At times rudeness and invective and squabbles do indeed cut is off from the labour movement- we need to have the political arguments but without the apolitical insults.

The AWL have positions on Palestine/Israel that are quite reactionary- that if adopted wholesale by the working class movement would set back the struggle for freedom and equality as part of the struggle for socialism in the Middle East. They should be subject to robust and rigourous criticism. However, that can be done in a polite and comradely fashion that engages with political points. Not too difficult, I feel.

Finally, can you take this up on the AWL internal debates and with your leadership for the AWL to promote the Convention of the Left and other initiatives for unity in action alongside fraternal discussion of ideas?

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.