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antiestablishmentarian
26-08-2010, 02:39 PM
There's currently an epic and ongoing thread about the SP's views on a new mass workers party but in the middle of that thread alot of valid points about other positions held by the SP(eg on the National Question, towards the Labour Party and others on the left, and more abstract economic, historic and political positions such as the position on the USSR and physical force) have been lost so I took the liberty of setting this thread up as a sticky for anyone interested in finding out more about the SP, asking questions, or arguing over a particular position where SP members can offer rebuttals, explanations or updates on particular developments.

C. Flower
26-08-2010, 02:55 PM
Good idea. It would be great to see a party member start a thread on each of the party subforums to do the same.

To help this one along, I'm posting a link to the SP links sticky that electionlit put together -
http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=2790

antiestablishmentarian
31-08-2010, 11:16 AM
An article on 'philanthropy' by Joe Higgins MEP: makes for interesting reading and some good points.

http://socialistparty.net/component/content/article/43-joe-higgins-column/478-let-them-eat-cake-not-the-crumbs-off-the-table


The resources of the billionaire philanthropists were created by social effort in the first place and in a rational economic system those resources would be available as of right for the good of society and not dependent on the whim of private individuals. Schools and health clinics starved of adequate public funding, whether in the United States or in very poor countries, would not then depend on being accidentally favoured by private billionaires.
Other glaring contradictions stand out. Michael Dell, the billionaire Chief Executive of the Dell Corporation has his very own philanthropic foundation devoted to “children’s causes” and health issues in the US and India. The same gentleman, however, did not hesitate to throw 1,700 workers on the unemployment queues in the Limerick Region by shifting his manufacturing base to cheap labour countries in search of greater profits.

antiestablishmentarian
31-08-2010, 11:49 AM
Here are a few documents relating to our position on the National Question, something which is cause for a lot of criticism by others on the left and which is unique in our proposal for a confederation of the British Isles. These were dredged up by those over on the Cedar Lounge Revolution Blog and pertain to the 1798 Rebellion, so first off I'd like to thank them for the materials in this contribution.

http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/left-archive-revolution-in-ireland-1798-socialist-party-ireland-1998/

http://cedarlounge.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/sp-revirl-1798-binder.pdf

antiestablishmentarian
02-09-2010, 10:51 PM
A piece on human nature and socialism

http://www.socialistparty.net/theory/458-is-human-nature-a-barrier-to-socialism

antiestablishmentarian
13-09-2010, 04:45 PM
An article setting forth the party's position toward Labour:


Labour has developed the knack of false claims and speaking out of both sides of their mouth at the same time but they have refused to fight in any serious way for ordinary people during this crisis.

Labour may have voted against the bank guarantee but they support the bail-out. They said the banks should be nationalised temporarily and then reprivatised. That is, we should pay the debts but then the bankers, who caused the crisis, should again be able to trouser the big money when the banks become profitable again. That is a version of socialism, but it’s socialism for the rich.

Eamon Gilmore didn’t tell workers that they should support the Croke Park Deal but he did say that public sector workers who took industrial action to defend their pay would be engaging in economic sabotage!

The Lisbon Treaty is being exposed. It is now being used by the EU and different governments to help impose austerity cuts throughout Europe. Eamon Gilmore lied that Lisbon would be beneficial for workers. Then he said that Labour would never support a Lisbon 2. Then Eamon Gilmore lied again when he supported Lisbon 2.

In the middle of the conflict before last December’s budget, when the government was trying to intimidate workers into accepting €4 billion worth of cuts and restructuring, Eamon Gilmore said there should be €6 billion worth of “financial adjustment” and restructuring, justifying this sell-out on the basis that they advocated a few limited measures against the rich, some whistles and bells!

http://socialistparty.net/comment/485-can-labour-deliver-real-change-

TaxProtester
13-09-2010, 05:03 PM
The resources of the billionaire philanthropists were created by social effort in the first place and in a rational economic system those resources would be available as of right for the good of society and not dependent on the whim of private individuals. Schools and health clinics starved of adequate public funding, whether in the United States or in very poor countries, would not then depend on being accidentally favoured by private billionaires.Why is Joe talking about American billionaires? Is he running for Congress or the Dail? Seems like he'd prefer to divert the masses attention to America, to avoid coming up with viable policies for Ireland.


Other glaring contradictions stand out. Michael Dell, the billionaire Chief Executive of the Dell Corporation has his very own philanthropic foundation devoted to “children’s causes” and health issues in the US and India. The same gentleman, however, did not hesitate to throw 1,700 workers on the unemployment queues in the Limerick Region by shifting his manufacturing base to cheap labour countries in search of greater profits.He took the 1,700 workers OFF the dole queue to begin with, so the there was no net jobs lost due to Dells actions. The reality is consumers choose to buy the cheap PCs rather than the expensive ones made with high paid workers. Its the consumers, many of them public sector workers who drive down wages in the competitive sector. I'll bet there are cheap Dell PCs in every plush public sector office in the country.

antiestablishmentarian
13-09-2010, 05:15 PM
[QUOTE]Why is Joe talking about American billionaires? Is he running for Congress or the Dail? Seems like he'd prefer to divert the masses attention to America, to avoid coming up with viable policies for Ireland.

Because in this article he was talking about philanthropy, not Irish politics.


He took the 1,700 workers OFF the dole queue to begin with, so the there was no net jobs lost due to Dells actions. The reality is consumers choose to buy the cheap PCs rather than the expensive ones made with high paid workers.

http://www.tgdaily.com/business-and-law-features/40906-dell-to-make-major-pull-out-of-ireland-moving-to-poland

They went to Poland to make an extra 3% profit, also the Polish government paid them €52 million to go. Btw how do you know the 1,700 workers were on the Dole in the first place? Link? Article? Or just idle speculation?


Its the consumers, many of them public sector workers who drive down wages in the competitive sector. I'll bet there are cheap Dell PCs in every plush public sector office in the country.

So its the public sectors fault now is it? Grow up :rolleyes:

TaxProtester
13-09-2010, 05:24 PM
Because in this article he was talking about philanthropy, not Irish politics.Why doesnt he talk about irelands economy and how he would fix it. Nobodys falling for his diversion tactics.


They went to Poland to make an extra 3% profit, also the Polish government paid them €52 million to go.Just as they came to Ireland to make a profit and were paid subsidies to do that. Do you wish Dell had never come to Ireland?


So its the public sectors fault now is it? Grow upMost things are their fault. If the state and their evil bureacracy wasnt robbing the working poor through taxation there would be many less poor people.

At least Labour have recognised that you help poor people by cutting their taxes. When are the Socialist Party going to recognise that obvious fact?

antiestablishmentarian
13-09-2010, 05:31 PM
[QUOTE]Why doesnt he talk about irelands economy and how he would fix it. Nobodys falling for his diversion tactics.


:D :rolleyes:


Just as they came to Ireland to make a profit and were paid subsidies to do that. Do you wish Dell had never come to Ireland?

It would have been better if they hadn't as it reinforced economic dependence on a handful of MNC's-the State for instance paid for the construction of their factory so there's no reason they couldn't have set upa a state owned factory from the beginning: the plant should have been rescued by the State and nationalised under democratic workers control.


Most things are their fault. If the state and their evil bureacracy wasnt robbing the working poor through taxation there would be many less poor people.



Capitalism would have collapsed in the last 2 years under the pressure of financial crisis and economic catastrophe if the private sector hadn't been bailed out by the public sector: the roots of the crisis are in the private sector exclusively, and in the policies implemented by right wing politicians seeking to deregulate and privatise everything in their way. As for the cost of running the State a large amount of the money that should be used for that has been given to the banks.

TaxProtester
13-09-2010, 05:57 PM
Ah well, it doesnt matter what you and the extreme left think anyway.

You and Joe Higgins are completely irrelevant and havent a hope of getting anywhere near government.

C. Flower
13-09-2010, 05:59 PM
Ah well, it doesnt matter what you and the extreme left think anyway.

You and Joe Higgins are completely irrelevant and havent a hope of getting anywhere near government.

Joe Higgins is already in the European Parliament. You might say it's not that powerful a body, but you might say that about the Daíl, too.

antiestablishmentarian
13-09-2010, 06:03 PM
Ah well, it doesnt matter what you and the extreme left think anyway.

You and Joe Higgins are completely irrelevant and havent a hope of getting anywhere near government.

Times change sonny boy and you may well be eating your words about the far left being 'irrelevant' before long.

TaxProtester
13-09-2010, 06:04 PM
Joe Higgins is already in the European Parliament. You might say it's not that powerful a body, but you might say that about the Daíl, too.Its not enough to just be in a parliament as a backbencher. If youre in opposition you have no influence.

Lets hope it remains that way for Higgins and his bizarre plan to nationalise Dell. Thats hilarious. I can just imagine what kind of PCs they would manufacture. A Potemkin factory making nothing, I would say.

Fraxinus
13-09-2010, 06:09 PM
TaxProtester;68049]Why doesnt he talk about irelands economy and how he would fix it. Nobodys falling for his diversion tactics.

Just as they came to Ireland to make a profit and were paid subsidies to do that. Do you wish Dell had never come to Ireland?

Most things are their fault. If the state and their evil bureacracy wasnt robbing the working poor through taxation there would be many less poor people.

At least Labour have recognised that you help poor people by cutting their taxes. When are the Socialist Party going to recognise that obvious fact?
Is that workers in general? Because the PD's and FF already did that, privatised health but yet poor people are left with getting below standard public healthcare which is still reducing in standards because the state's tax base was eroded away.

TaxProtester
13-09-2010, 06:17 PM
Because the PD's and FF already did that, privatised health but yet poor people are left with getting below standard public healthcare which is still reducing in standards because the state's tax base was eroded away.We are spending 16bn a year on the health service. If the socialist bureaucrats cant provide healthcare with that much money, then theyll never be able to.

Its clear that the problem in the health service is not lack of money. The problem is the 50,000 bureaucrats, administrators, managers and clerical staff who siphon off most of the money in salaries and pensions. They dont treat a single patient but leach off most of the budget. Socialist constructs always end that way. A tyranny of bureaucrats.

Better to lay them all off, and start again. Outsource the whole lot of them.

antiestablishmentarian
13-09-2010, 06:29 PM
We are spending 16bn a year on the health service. If the socialist bureaucrats cant provide healthcare with that much money, then theyll never be able to.

Its clear that the problem in the health service is not lack of money. The problem is the 50,000 bureaucrats, administrators, managers and clerical staff who siphon off most of the money in salaries and pensions. They dont treat a single patient but leach off most of the budget. Socialist constructs always end that way. A tyranny of bureaucrats.

Better to lay them all off, and start again. Outsource the whole lot of them.

Investment in the health system during the boom was largely making up the shortfall left after Haugheys's government axed services in the 80's. Moreover, it is run in a 2 tier fashion with half the services privatised and rolling in subsidies, co-location tax breaks and other incentives while the public sector is being slowly killed through cuts, recruitment embargoes and the privatisation of some key services. Also, the American fully private system has far more bureaucracy than the Irish system as each company and each hospital needs a layer of bureaucracy to function making it top-heavy and extremely inefficicent.

TaxProtester
13-09-2010, 06:39 PM
Investment in the health system during the boom was largely making up the shortfall left after Haugheys's government axed services in the 80's. Moreover, it is run in a 2 tier fashion with half the services privatised and rolling in subsidies, co-location tax breaks and other incentives while the public sector is being slowly killed through cuts, recruitment embargoes and the privatisation of some key services. Also, the American fully private system has far more bureaucracy than the Irish system as each company and each hospital needs a layer of bureaucracy to function making it top-heavy and extremely inefficicent.Hahahaha! We give you 16bn of our money to spend and you complain about private healthcare being subsidised.

The socialist bureaucrats are given 16bn a year to provide healthcare, but instead they steal it to provide themselves with gold plated pensions and a lavish lifestyle. I know of two "retired" health service staff who went on a €8,000 holiday cruise of Antarctica. They told me that every other irish person on the cruise were health service employees.

Thats where our taxes are going. The only way to deal with a parasite is to pry them loose from the host they are feeding off. Reduce the health budget from 16bn to zero and start again.

antiestablishmentarian
13-09-2010, 06:47 PM
Hahahaha! We give you 16bn of our money to spend and you complain about private healthcare being subsidised.

The socialist bureaucrats are given 16bn a year to provide healthcare, but instead they steal it to provide themselves with gold plated pensions and a lavish lifestyle. I.

:rolleyes: I get nothing from the taxpayer as i don't work in the health service.

Substantiate that claim would you, its hard to take someone seriously who complains about 'socialist bureaucrats' when all the evidence shows that private healthcare results in a mushooming of bureaucracy.

Fraxinus
13-09-2010, 07:34 PM
We are spending 16bn a year on the health service. If the socialist bureaucrats cant provide healthcare with that much money, then theyll never be able to.

Its clear that the problem in the health service is not lack of money. The problem is the 50,000 bureaucrats, administrators, managers and clerical staff who siphon off most of the money in salaries and pensions. They dont treat a single patient but leach off most of the budget. Socialist constructs always end that way. A tyranny of bureaucrats.

Better to lay them all off, and start again. Outsource the whole lot of them.

Obviously the health service isn't run by socialists. The 26 counties bastard state has never been run by socialists. The policies being implemented at the moment are those of neo-liberalism, preached by the PDs, where the rich and powerful of private business use the state for tax breaks and grants further increasing profits and when things go tits up, the taxpaying citizens foot the bill again. Big business and political cronyism are bankrupting the state at the moment. The current bureaucracy in the health service has more to do with political cronyism and jobs for the boys than socialism.

Sam Lord
13-09-2010, 07:59 PM
Are you a revolutionary party or adherents of what Marx refered to as "parliamentary cretinism" ? (God, I love the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.)

TaxProtester
13-09-2010, 08:50 PM
Are you a revolutionary party or adherents of what Marx refered to as "parliamentary cretinism" ?Which are you?

Sam Lord
13-09-2010, 08:57 PM
Which are you?

I don't do politics .... :)

TaxProtester
13-09-2010, 09:40 PM
I don't do politics .... Ill take that to mean youre of the first category - "revolutionary" who is against "parliamentary cretinism". In other words you are a violent subversive.

Jaysus, this forum really does cover the full gamut.

RosaLuxembourg
13-09-2010, 09:59 PM
Are you a revolutionary party or adherents of what Marx refered to as "parliamentary cretinism" ? (God, I love the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.)

They are parlimentary cretins who like to ***** geniune revolutionary struggles with ultra-leftist trolling.....:cool:

antiestablishmentarian
13-09-2010, 10:26 PM
Are you a revolutionary party or adherents of what Marx refered to as "parliamentary cretinism" ? (God, I love the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.)
The former, never mind Rosa

RosaLuxembourg
13-09-2010, 10:38 PM
The former, never mind Rosa

Thats why you condemned the flower of Dublin's working class when they routed the Gardai and sent the Orange fascists scuttering back to the north? :rolleyes:

RosaLuxembourg
13-09-2010, 10:40 PM
The former, never mind Rosa

There are many, many political prisoners and prisoners of war held on both sides of the border often in horrible conditions in Ireland....And yet the so oh revolutionary Socialist Party does NOTHING to help them? Why, oh why?

youngdan
13-09-2010, 10:52 PM
" The same gentleman, however, did not hesitate to throw 1,700 workers on the unemployment queues in the Limerick Region by shifting his manufacturing base to cheap labour countries in search of greater profits. "


Poor old Joe. He seems to be getting Michael Dell confused with Mother Theresa.:D:D:D:D


Is there any hope he would live in the real world for a few days

antiestablishmentarian
13-09-2010, 10:55 PM
Thats why you condemned the flower of Dublin's working class when they routed the Gardai and sent the Orange fascists scuttering back to the north? :rolleyes:

Yes we condemned the Dublin Riots as they were orchestrated by a handful of sectarians in the RSF and their dupes as they provided an excuse for the bourgeois state to rescind democratic rights and were an example of individual terrorist actions which are useless for building the movement. RSF is an organisation incidentally whose public speakers have no qualms about sharing platforms with Fascists on the continent. Flower of the working class indeed.

antiestablishmentarian
13-09-2010, 11:06 PM
http://www.socialistparty.net/theory/474-dissident-republicanism-nothing-to-offer-but-a-return-to-sectarian-killings

Jolly Red Giant
13-09-2010, 11:12 PM
Wow - this took off today

Just to address this -


Its not enough to just be in a parliament as a backbencher. If youre in opposition you have no influence.
I hate to tell you this - but the government, parliament, opposition and the dogs in the streets have no influence -

have you been looking at 'freefall' - four bankers march into Lenihan's office - they tell him they have a hostage called the economy - they tell him to do what he is told or they will shoot the hostage - He tells them he won't do what he is told (nationalise Anglo-Irish) but he will do way better - and then nationalised it anyway. They tell him what a good boy he is and then go and celebrate in Marbella.

Sam Lord
14-09-2010, 12:00 AM
The former, never mind Rosa

So you tell the working class that they must organise to seize power through revolutionary force and that voting for you at elections is not a solution to anything .... ?

antiestablishmentarian
14-09-2010, 12:08 AM
So you tell the working class that they must organise to seize power through revolutionary force and that voting for you at elections is not a solution to anything .... ?

Yeah pretty much: elections provide a platform for our ideas and allow elected representatives to influence struggles through their position, there were statements to that effect in some past issues of the Fingal Socialist but I wasn't able to dig the issue up

Sam Lord
14-09-2010, 12:12 AM
Yeah pretty much: elections provide a platform for our ideas and allow elected representatives to influence struggles through their position, there were statements to that effect in some past issues of the Fingal Socialist but I wasn't able to dig the issue up

I'd be obliged if you could link me to any of your literature which says this.

antiestablishmentarian
14-09-2010, 12:20 AM
I'd be obliged if you could link me to any of your literature which says this.

I'll have a look got nothing to hand at the moment though

*update found this watch last minute and a half

http://www.socialistparty.net/joe-higgins/186-vote-socialist-party-in-local-a-euro-elections

Sam Lord
14-09-2010, 12:41 AM
I'll have a look got nothing to hand at the moment though

*update found this watch last minute and a half

http://www.socialistparty.net/joe-higgins/186-vote-socialist-party-in-local-a-euro-elections

Are you serious? I heard him asking people to vote him into the European parliament. There was nothing about revolution or the working class seizing power.

Sam Lord
14-09-2010, 04:34 AM
Yes we condemned the Dublin Riots [...] as they provided an excuse for the bourgeois state to rescind democratic rights....

What democratic rights exactly were rescinded as a result of the Dublin riots?



... and were an example of individual terrorist actions which are useless for building the movement....

Does your party actually believe that a riot is an "individual terroristic action" or were you just losing the run of yourself here? By definition a riot involves more than one person so how is it an individual action? And is the purpose of a riot really to cause terror? I can assure you that while I participated in many in my youth that was never my purpose ... nor the purpose of anyone else I knew rioting.

And so what if a riot is useless for building a "movement"? Most things in life are useless for this purpose. Working class people taking their dogs for walks is pretty much "useless for building the movement". Do you condemn this also or only working class youth clashing with the state.

BOZG
14-09-2010, 08:49 AM
"If you hate the Proddy bastards, clap your hands
If you hate the Proddy bastardsm clap your hands"

Class consciousness at its finest that day.

C. Flower
14-09-2010, 10:10 AM
Did the Socialist Party oppose the patently provocative "Love Ulster" march?

Jolly Red Giant
14-09-2010, 01:12 PM
Did the Socialist Party oppose the patently provocative "Love Ulster" march?

Joe Higgins TD's statement in the Dail on Saturday's riot in Dublin - Dail Debate, 1st March 2006

The Socialist Party condemns those who orchestrated Saturday's violence. It was a sectarian riot to prevent the Love Ulster group marching through Dublin. My party believes that the Love Ulster campaign is based on sectarianism and that its activities heighten sectarian divisions and encourage disunity among working class people, especially in Northern Ireland. We strongly oppose the political agenda and the activities of Love Ulster, but we recognise its right to march and protest in the centre of Dublin. The Socialist Party equally recognises the rights of others to indicate peaceful opposition to Love Ulster through disciplined protest, but they have no right to stop others marching as happened on Saturday in Dublin. My party strongly opposes the political agenda of both orange and green sectarians, whether in the North or on the streets of Dublin.

Let us contrast Saturday's disgusting scenes with those of a few weeks ago, when striking postal workers in Belfast, Protestant and Catholic, marched together up the Shankill Road and down the Falls Road in a united working class demonstration. With the many groups and individuals subjected to disgraceful violence on Saturday, I highlight violent assaults against workers, including migrant workers, in their workplaces, particularly shops, by the thugs who participated. Clearly, the Good Friday Agreement is not providing a solution. It could not do so, since it is the institutionalisation of sectarian division. Therefore, I register my dissent and formally oppose that section of the motion before us.

The key task remaining is forging unity among working class people within Northern Ireland and North and South and, in so doing, ensuring all communities and individuals can live free from sectarian conflict. However, the British and Irish Governments which push new liberal and right-wing economic agendas at the expense of those working class communities are not the ones to show the way forward in this respect.

I wish to issue a strong, loud and clear warning to senior Dublin City Council officials and anyone in the Government who echoes the call made yesterday by the Dublin city manager. Effectively, he called for the right to democratically organise, protest and march in Dublin city centre to be curbed and restricted. Disgracefully, the Taoiseach echoed that call today. It is disgraceful that the hooliganism of a tiny few, who sought to curb the freedom to march on Saturday, should be seized on by city council bureaucrats to curb our freedom to march peacefully and express ourselves on a whole range of issues that concern ordinary people, workers and working class communities. All, whether it be the farming community, trade unions, community organisations or political organisations, have the democratic right to come to the centre of their capital city and show their cause.

Just as working class people of Dublin, with one of their great leaders, Jim Larkin, exerted their right to bring their movement, grievances and cause on to O'Connell Street in the time leading up to and during the monumental events and struggle for justice by workers in 1913, we will not tolerate any attempts by bureaucrats or anyone else to prevent our right to demonstrate peacefully and democratically in the centre of this city of Dublin.

antiestablishmentarian
21-09-2010, 02:11 PM
http://www.joehiggins.eu/2010/09/a-new-interpretation-of-the-scream/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+joehiggins-eu+%28Joe+Higgins.eu%29

Mick Tully
21-09-2010, 02:15 PM
There's currently an epic and ongoing thread about the SP's views on a new mass workers party but in the middle of that thread alot of valid points about other positions held by the SP(eg on the National Question, towards the Labour Party and others on the left, and more abstract economic, historic and political positions such as the position on the USSR and physical force) have been lost so I took the liberty of setting this thread up as a sticky for anyone interested in finding out more about the SP, asking questions, or arguing over a particular position where SP members can offer rebuttals, explanations or updates on particular developments.

I am 60years old, I have never seen the the so called Labour bunch been on the left anytime they held office.

antiestablishmentarian
04-10-2010, 01:41 PM
Here's an article by Joe Higgins responding to Peter Sutherland's proposals last week


Speaking last week at the “Autumn Lunch” of the Institute of Directors, Mr. Sutherland clearly indicated that, instead of a cut of €3 billion in the December Budget, far more is required and “if all the mainstream parties accept that more is required… we can find a way. The Governor of the Central Bank said we should do so. These cuts involve pain.”
The pain, however, will not be felt by Mr Sutherland who is very rich from his many big business interests, including being formerly Chairman of BP, one of the biggest multinational companies in the world. Mr Sutherland’s pain will instead be felt by those plunged into unemployment, and low and middle income workers whether in the public or private sectors.
Apart from the inappropriateness of millionaires preaching the virtues of more hardship to hard pressed working people, the unemployed and the poor, there is another reason why Peter Sutherland should keep his counsel, but, since he hasn’t done so, why that counsel should be treated with contempt.
Peter Sutherland is the Chairman of Goldman Sachs International, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs one of the biggest banks in the world. This financial giant was one of the institutions that was synonymous with the crazed speculative activities on the world’s financial markets leading up to the cataclysmic financial crash of 2008 in the United States.
In a searing article in Rolling Stone magazine, journalist Matt Taiba described Goldman Sachs as, “The world’s most powerful investment bank” and “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” He asserted that its enormous power enabled it to manipulate “whole economic sectors for years at a time, moving the dice game as this or that market collapses and all the time gorging itself on the unseen costs that are breaking families everywhere – high gas prices, rising consumer credit rates, half eaten pension funds, mass layoffs, future taxes to pay off bailouts.”
Goldman Sachs didn’t just make money on the subprime mortgage scene as the bubble was being inflated. With consummate cynicism, when it suspected that the bubble was about to burst, it made billions betting on a collapse of the house of cards engaging in what is known as shortselling.
One would imagine that anybody associated with this company would at least have maintained a shamed silence as the financial casino it had helped to construct spectacularly crashed .
Last week Mr. Sutherland was not the only representative of finance capital who was demanding a scorched earth economic policy to try and rescue their system. William Slattery, the Executive Vice President of another major financial services company, State Street, demanded that 30,000 public service workers – one tenth of the total –should be sacked.

http://socialistparty.net/component/content/article/43-joe-higgins-column/504-the-praetorian-guards-of-the-financial-markets

bolshevik
27-01-2011, 09:18 AM
Are the SP going to be producing a separate election manifesto or are they going to just be standing on the the ULA's social democratic platform?

If there is a separate election manifesto what are the key additions to, or differences with, the ULA platform?

Alan Davis

Jolly Red Giant
27-01-2011, 01:12 PM
Are the SP going to be producing a separate election manifesto or are they going to just be standing on the the ULA's social democratic platform?

If there is a separate election manifesto what are the key additions to, or differences with, the ULA platform?

Alan Davis
The Socialist Party will be producing its own manifesto as an addition to the ULA programme. The ULA agreement allows for each constituent group to produce its own material.

bolshevik
27-01-2011, 01:32 PM
The Socialist Party will be producing its own manifesto as an addition to the ULA programme. The ULA agreement allows for each constituent group to produce its own material.

Are you in a position to outline the key additions to the ULA's reformist platform that the SP believe will transform it into a revolutionary socialist manifesto?

C. Flower
27-01-2011, 02:48 PM
Are you in a position to outline the key additions to the ULA's reformist platform that the SP believe will transform it into a revolutionary socialist manifesto?


Is that necessarily the task? It's an election in a time of crisis. I'd personally feel that a transitional programme is the way to go. I'm not saying I think that the ULA have produced one, or that the SP will. But a revolutionary socialist manifesto sounds to me like a party's base programme rather than an electoral programme, which should be honest and spell out the need for social revolution, but which should also connect with the immediate needs and prospects of the working and middle classes.

bolshevik
27-01-2011, 03:30 PM
Is that necessarily the task? It's an election in a time of crisis. I'd personally feel that a transitional programme is the way to go. I'm not saying I think that the ULA have produced one, or that the SP will. But a revolutionary socialist manifesto sounds to me like a party's base programme rather than an electoral programme, which should be honest and spell out the need for social revolution, but which should also connect with the immediate needs and prospects of the working and middle classes.

I agree that the method of the transitional programme is the way to go. I understand that to be taking up the immediate concerns and demands of working people and linking that in a coherent and consistent way to point to the seizure of power. (See http://www.bolshevik.org/Leaflets/Irish_crisis_09.html for my attempt to do that in the Irish context.)

For my own part I don't see that revolutionary socialists should have a "base programme" and an "electoral programme". There is just the one revolutionary programme that manifests itself in propaganda and agitational material related to the particular activity that material is being produced for - all the time using the method of the TP. So in a united front campaign there would be a tilt towards the issues around that campaign but still it would be consistent with and point towards the overall programme.

An election poses the way that society as a whole should be run and so it is the responsibility of revolutionary socialists to present our answer to that - socialist revolution. Of course that should be done in such a way as to engage with where people are at by applying the method of the TP but not at the expense of the political content.

C. Flower
27-01-2011, 10:06 PM
I agree that the method of the transitional programme is the way to go. I understand that to be taking up the immediate concerns and demands of working people and linking that in a coherent and consistent way to point to the seizure of power. (See http://www.bolshevik.org/Leaflets/Irish_crisis_09.html for my attempt to do that in the Irish context.)

For my own part I don't see that revolutionary socialists should have a "base programme" and an "electoral programme". There is just the one revolutionary programme that manifests itself in propaganda and agitational material related to the particular activity that material is being produced for - all the time using the method of the TP. So in a united front campaign there would be a tilt towards the issues around that campaign but still it would be consistent with and point towards the overall programme.

An election poses the way that society as a whole should be run and so it is the responsibility of revolutionary socialists to present our answer to that - socialist revolution. Of course that should be done in such a way as to engage with where people are at by applying the method of the TP but not at the expense of the political content.

I've read the document and it calls for an (indefinite) general strike, but does not explain how this would bring down the government nor does it call for social revolution. How is it radically different from the SP position ?

http://www.bolshevik.org/Leaflets/Irish_crisis_09.html

bolshevik
28-01-2011, 01:20 AM
I've read the document and it calls for an (indefinite) general strike, but does not explain how this would bring down the government nor does it call for social revolution. How is it radically different from the SP position ?

http://www.bolshevik.org/Leaflets/Irish_crisis_09.html

As I understand it the key differences are as follows.

The leaflet calls for a defensive general strike to defeat the current attacks, it does not pretend that such a general strike would be part of an immediate insurrection that would bring down the capitalist government and state because the workers' movement does not yet have the level of revolutionary organisation and consciousness for that to occur, though the prosecution of a defensive general strike would be an important part in developing that:

"While any general strike implicitly poses the question of who rules society, it is clear that what is currently posed is a national stoppage as a defensive response to the attacks of the bosses and their government. A successful strike to beat back the capitalist offensive would change the balance of social forces, give the workers’ movement valuable experience and open up political possibilities not seen in Ireland for a very long time."

The SP are, shall we say, algebraic on the question of the purpose of the general strike they call for.

A key difference between the general strike calls is over the role of the trade union bureaucracy. The leaflet makes it clear that to be successful a general strike would have to be based on "groupings within the unions based on class-struggle politics in opposition to the bureaucrats" and "would require the election of strike committees in every workplace, whether or not it is unionised. Such committees would need co-ordination to be effective — something that could be done through meetings of delegated representatives at the local, regional and national levels."

The SP's call for a general strike, whenever I've seen it, is made in complete isolation from any such demands and is therefore implicitly a call on the existing sell-out TU leadership to prosecute the general strike. This is both a recipe for defeat of the general strike itself and also does not point in the direction of the creation of the workers' council type bodies that will be necessary for a successful social revolution.

This is an example of how the leaflet is attempting to apply what I understand to be the method of the Transitional Programme - explicitly combining a demand that engages with current consciousness (a general strike to defeat the current attacks) with demands that point towards the seizure of power (creation of proto-soviet type bodies).

Regarding the question of the social revolution - while the leaflet does not use that phrase on the key issues that this refers to the content is clear.

Regarding the economy it calls for the expropriation of the banks "and all the other parasites".

It then goes on to make it clear that this, and the other demands for what we need as workers, will require the ending of the capitalist system.

"The capitalists, their politicians and their labour lieutenants will say this is all utopian and unrealistic. We say it is not a question of what is possible under capitalism but what is possible were society ruled by the men and women who do the labour. Markets and profit-based production are not eternal social phenomena. They have not always existed and, as is now evident, they have outlived their usefulness."

Unlike the SP, the leaflet makes it clear that there is no parliamentary road to socialism when it calls for the creation of "Not an organisation focused on fielding candidates in elections, but a democratically-controlled Leninist combat party committed to the promotion of working-class interests through the overthrow of capitalist tyranny."

The leaflet also highlights the central question of the capitalist repressive state apparatus and the need to build our own bodies of armed force able to resist:

"The Waterford workers faced a squad of mercenaries hired by the boss. Such private ‘security’ forces, along with the Gardai, are the first resort of capitalists seeking to restore ‘order’ – in other words, market-generated anarchy. In response to this, workers need to organise effective self-defence bodies that are capable of resisting the violent attacks of fascists or thugs hired by employers."

This is an attempt to get across the idea of workers' militias and is quite different from the SP's calls for "community control" of the police.

bormotello
28-01-2011, 06:56 AM
This is an attempt to get across the idea of workers' militias and is quite different from the SP's calls for "community control" of the police.
workers militia will quickly become ordinary gangs which will "expropriate" whatever they want under smokescreen of left wing rhetoric


BTW, Bolsheviks were the most criminal party before revolution

Kamo, Kotovsky, Mishka Yaponchik were top criminals before 1917

bolshevik
28-01-2011, 10:07 AM
I've read the document and it calls for an (indefinite) general strike, but does not explain how this would bring down the government nor does it call for social revolution. How is it radically different from the SP position ?

http://www.bolshevik.org/Leaflets/Irish_crisis_09.html

I've just seen the leaflet Mick Barry is using in Cork North Central (my wife was out leafleting for him last night) and it gives a good insight into the difference in approach.

The leaflet highlights 3 main points:

- Reject the IMF/EU deal
- Don't pay the debts
- Fight for jobs

It calls for an "alternative government that implements socialist policies which put people's needs before profit"

It says that "it is critical to have a serious opposition in the Dail. The Socialist Party / United Left Alliance TDs will be that opposition and will help to build a movement to defeat these attacks."


So lets analyse this a bit in terms of how it relates to the key elements of revolutionary socialist politics.

- The leaflet isn't even so bold as to call for nationalisations, let alone the expropriation of the bourgeoisie.

- The "real change" it purports to outline is presented entirely within a national context with no references to internationalism at all.

- It has nothing at all to say about the capitalist state.

- The "critical" thing for defeating the attacks on working people is to elect TDs.

Now I know any A4 double-sided leaflet can't cover everything but the choices of what to highlight and what to leave out can sometimes tell us a great deal about the real politics of the group involved.

So in conclusion it seems fairly clear that this is a left-reformist programme and that it promotes the idea of a parliamentary road to "socialism".

Of course it may well be argued that this is the correct political path to follow but the SP claims to stand in the Marxist tradition of revolutionary socialism which explicitly rejects reformist parliamentary roads. Whatever the short-term convergences in particular campaigns to defend working peoples interests, the politics of reform and revolution are quite distinct paths which end up at completely different destinations.

With this leaflet the SP are telling working people to head off down the wrong path.

Jolly Red Giant
28-01-2011, 01:47 PM
So lets analyse this a bit in terms of how it relates to the key elements of revolutionary socialist politics.

With all due respect - analyse what you want - the Socialist party has been doing this for quite a while now and will not be taking much notice of the criticisms from a member of the IBT.

The Socialist Party manifesto will be published in the next few days and will be distributed to every house in CNC - you can really knock yourself out analysing that when you get it.

LeftAtTheCross
28-01-2011, 02:41 PM
With all due respect - analyse what you want - the Socialist party has been doing this for quite a while now and will not be taking much notice of the criticisms from a member of the IBT.

It's faintly amusing that the SP is happy to criticise WP policies from an ultra-Left perspective but not so happy to be on the receiving end from those who are even further out on the Trotskyist fringe.

bolshevik
28-01-2011, 02:43 PM
With all due respect - analyse what you want - the Socialist party has been doing this for quite a while now and will not be taking much notice of the criticisms from a member of the IBT.

The Socialist Party manifesto will be published in the next few days and will be distributed to every house in CNC - you can really knock yourself out analysing that when you get it.

So let me get this straight.

Because I happen to be an active supporter of a particular political tendency about which you clearly have some pre-conceived opinions then you don't feel there is any need to even attempt to justify the apparent contradiction between the SP's claim to be revolutionary socialists and the reformist programme you are peddling to working people in Ireland?

But if so then why not just ignore me? If my criticism is so patently stupid then no-one is going to take it seriously anyway - just like with bormotello's comment.

I therefore can't help but feel that you have responded in this apolitical manner because I have hit a bit of a nerve.

Anyway I was having a conversation with C.Flower so perhaps, with all due respect, you should butt out unless you have something substantive to contribute ;)

Apjp
28-01-2011, 04:33 PM
It's faintly amusing that the SP is happy to criticise WP policies from an ultra-Left perspective but not so happy to be on the receiving end from those who are even further out on the Trotskyist fringe.

I know. We have taken our fair share of constructive criticisms, and from as many quarters here, just sheer dismissal and ridicule. People should take as much as they are happy to give.

Apjp
28-01-2011, 04:34 PM
So let me get this straight.

Because I happen to be an active supporter of a particular political tendency about which you clearly have some pre-conceived opinions then you don't feel there is any need to even attempt to justify the apparent contradiction between the SP's claim to be revolutionary socialists and the reformist programme you are peddling to working people in Ireland?

But if so then why not just ignore me? If my criticism is so patently stupid then no-one is going to take it seriously anyway - just like with bormotello's comment.

I therefore can't help but feel that you have responded in this apolitical manner because I have hit a bit of a nerve.

Anyway I was having a conversation with C.Flower so perhaps, with all due respect, you should butt out unless you have something substantive to contribute ;)

Bolshevik just wondering what party or group you are in and will you be contesting the GE? Thanks.

Sam Lord
28-01-2011, 04:47 PM
With all due respect - analyse what you want - the Socialist party has been doing this for quite a while now and will not be taking much notice of the criticisms from a member of the IBT.

The Socialist Party manifesto will be published in the next few days and will be distributed to every house in CNC - you can really knock yourself out analysing that when you get it.

With all due respect that is not much of a contribution to a thread on an discussion board.

youngdan
28-01-2011, 05:12 PM
The leaflet highlights 3 main points:

- Reject the IMF/EU deal
- Don't pay the debts
- Fight for jobs



What are you talking about. Really, what the hell are you on about.

What does fight for jobs mean. Who do you think in their right minds would want to open a factory in Ireland, having to listen to a crowd of yahoos shouting abot greedy capitalists.

Ye want to take the country back to 1911

Sam Lord
28-01-2011, 05:31 PM
What are you talking about. Really, what the hell are you on about.

What does fight for jobs mean. Who do you think in their right minds would want to open a factory in Ireland, having to listen to a crowd of yahoos shouting abot greedy capitalists.

Ye want to take the country back to 1911

:D

But then you want to revert to genuine "free market" capitalism. When was that? The 16th Century? :)

youngdan
28-01-2011, 05:47 PM
For me it was yesterday :)

Jolly Red Giant
28-01-2011, 07:20 PM
It's faintly amusing that the SP is happy to criticise WP policies from an ultra-Left perspective but not so happy to be on the receiving end from those who are even further out on the Trotskyist fringe.
The ten point programme of the WP is their official position on the election - a similar if not so left document as the ULA's programme.

The criticism I made was of your defence of the WP supporting Haughey in 1982 and your use of it to argue a willingness to engage in coalition with parties of the right as a sign of 'political maturity' (an unabashed swipe at the ULA who ruled out such a move).

bolshi's 'analysis' was a comment on a single election leaflet - let him carry out a similar analysis of Ted Tynan's leaflet which can be found over at Cedar Lounge if he doesn't already have a copy - and you can respond in kind.



I therefore can't help but feel that you have responded in this apolitical manner because I have hit a bit of a nerve.

I won't be so confident that you arguments are capable of hitting a nerve -

This was an initial election leaflet - analyse the manifesto when you get it and I will answer any issues you raise.

And the IBT are noted for the ultra-left outlook on most aspects of left politics.

Sam Lord
28-01-2011, 07:28 PM
For me it was yesterday :)

Highlander!

bolshevik
28-01-2011, 09:08 PM
Bolshevik just wondering what party or group you are in and will you be contesting the GE? Thanks.

I'm not a member of any organisation in Ireland and will not be contesting the GE.

I am an active political supporter of a small Leninist/Trotskyist propaganda group called the International Bolshevik Tendency which has groups in Canada, USA, Britain, Germany & New Zealand along with various isolated individuals such as myself scattered in other countries around the world. (See www.bolshevik.org)

In the Irish political context the IBT would fit somewhere between the SP and the WSM - who coincidentally are the groups I do most political work with in Cork.

bolshevik
28-01-2011, 09:25 PM
bolshi's 'analysis' was a comment on a single election leaflet - let him carry out a similar analysis of Ted Tynan's leaflet which can be found over at Cedar Lounge if he doesn't already have a copy - and you can respond in kind.

I won't be so confident that you arguments are capable of hitting a nerve -

This was an initial election leaflet - analyse the manifesto when you get it and I will answer any issues you raise.

And the IBT are noted for the ultra-left outlook on most aspects of left politics.

I'm not so interested in the WP - they don't claim to be revolutionaries and as you correctly point out they aren't even committed to working class independence.

Well I can only respond to what I see - maybe your manifesto will be different. Though I'd be very surprised if Mick had produced a leaflet that wasn't an accurate reflection of the general approach.

If the SP's approach is authentic revolutionary socialism then I guess I am indeed an "ultra-left" - but all that would mean is that "ultra-left" is a synonym for revolutionary Marxism ;)

youngdan
28-01-2011, 09:36 PM
<AW Mod - Deleted as "Man not Ball" comments

C. Flower
28-01-2011, 09:55 PM
So let me get this straight.

Because I happen to be an active supporter of a particular political tendency about which you clearly have some pre-conceived opinions then you don't feel there is any need to even attempt to justify the apparent contradiction between the SP's claim to be revolutionary socialists and the reformist programme you are peddling to working people in Ireland?

But if so then why not just ignore me? If my criticism is so patently stupid then no-one is going to take it seriously anyway - just like with bormotello's comment.

I therefore can't help but feel that you have responded in this apolitical manner because I have hit a bit of a nerve.

Anyway I was having a conversation with C.Flower so perhaps, with all due respect, you should butt out unless you have something substantive to contribute ;)

I would like to discuss your 2009 (?) document, but without derailing the discussion on SP's programme. Perhaps you would like to start a thread on your tendency's politics, whenever you have time ?

Jolly Red Giant
28-01-2011, 10:29 PM
In the Irish political context the IBT would fit somewhere between the SP and the WSM - who coincidentally are the groups I do most political work with in Cork.
With all due respect - the IBT reside in the outer fringes of the left somewhere between their origins in the Sparts and Uranus. They spend practically their entire time writing polemics against other left groups that no one reads.

p.s. - this is not meant as a personal criticism of your good self (I don't know you from Adam) - but a general summation of the IBT.

C. Flower
28-01-2011, 10:48 PM
With all due respect - the IBT reside in the outer fringes of the left somewhere between their origins in the Sparts and Uranus. They spend practically their entire time writing polemics against other left groups that no one reads.

p.s. - this is not meant as a personal criticism of your good self (I don't know you from Adam) - but a general summation of the IBT.

I don't know anything about the Spartacists apart from the facts that they get a lot of abuse and that there's always been one with leaflets at every demonstration I've ever been to.

But I don't want to divert the discussion from the SP, apologies. It is funny all the same to hear someone from the SP talking about the outer fringes of the left.
Where would you place the SP along the mid to far left scale ?

bolshevik
29-01-2011, 01:23 AM
With all due respect - the IBT reside in the outer fringes of the left somewhere between their origins in the Sparts and Uranus. They spend practically their entire time writing polemics against other left groups that no one reads.

p.s. - this is not meant as a personal criticism of your good self (I don't know you from Adam) - but a general summation of the IBT.

As regards what the IBT spends its time doing I would respectively suggest that you really have no idea what you are talking about.

Yes it is true that the IBT considers that political struggle between the different tendencies in the workers movement is an important part of being a revolutionary group. But the IBT also attempts, given extremely limited resources, to put this into practice in united front campaigns and also in projects for the creation of new workers' parties.

You sneer about the IBT's irrelevance but the SP/CWI is not really that much qualitatively bigger than the IBT - if you think of things in terms of the historic task of social revolution confronting the working class the SP/CWI is not much more than a propaganda group either. Both groups will be but footnotes, in an organisational sense at least, in the history of the communist party that will lead the working class to power.

Without necessarily claiming that the IBT will play anything like the same historical role, I also think you will find that the same criticism you make about writing polemics could have been, and indeed was, made of those legendary "sectarians" Lenin and Trotsky for much of their political careers before the events of 1917 threw them onto the stage of mass politics.

bolshevik
29-01-2011, 01:24 AM
I would like to discuss your 2009 (?) document, but without derailing the discussion on SP's programme. Perhaps you would like to start a thread on your tendency's politics, whenever you have time ?

Can do - what forum would you suggest I start the thread in?

C. Flower
29-01-2011, 01:30 AM
Can do - what forum would you suggest I start the thread in?

Political movements, in World Politics ?

You don't have an Irish party / entity at this stage ?

bolshevik
29-01-2011, 02:13 AM
Political movements, in World Politics ?

You don't have an Irish party / entity at this stage ?

Nope - just me in Cork looking for revolutionary allies to work with.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=6762

Sam Lord
29-01-2011, 02:57 AM
Nope - just me in Cork looking for revolutionary allies to work with.



Go for it Cactus ....:D

bolshevik
29-01-2011, 10:28 AM
Getting back to a discussion of the SP's politics the following short critique of how they mis-apply the method of the Transitional Program may be of interest. It is taken from a longer document dealing with their various departures from the politics of revolutionary Marxism - http://www.bolshevik.org/Pamphlets/CWI/militant_reformism.html

==

The failure to see the capitalist state as a machine for oppression can only disorient and disarm the workers’ movement. Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, who led the Bolshevik Revolution, rejected the reformist gradualism preached by Karl Kautsky and other leaders of the Second International for whom the idea of socialist revolution was an abstraction consigned to the distant future. The Bolsheviks replaced the social-democratic ‘minimum-maximum’ programme of reformist practice and occasional ceremonial references to socialism with a programme designed to link the immediate felt needs of working people with practical tasks pointing toward the necessity to struggle for state power. In 1938, Trotsky codified this method, and many of the lessons of the Bolshevik Revolution, in the Transitional Programme -- a document he intended as a guide to assist the cadres of the revolutionary Fourth International in mobilising working people for socialist revolution.

In 2006, Michael W., a youth leader of the Socialist Party of England and Wales (SP), British section of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI), resigned from the group citing the contradiction between the CWI’s claim to uphold the teachings of the great Russian revolutionaries and its consistently reformist practice (see Appendix A1). Lynn Walsh, a leading member of the SP/CWI, responded to Michael with a lengthy document entitled ‘The State: A Marxist Programme and Transitional Demands’ (see Appendix A2):

‘There will be many struggles to recoup past gains that have been lost in the recent period. As we have always done, we will link our immediate and transitional demands to the need for the socialist transformation of society.

‘The formal or “logical” contradiction between, on the one side, demands for reforms and, on the other, spelling out the need for a socialist transformation of society reflects the very real contradiction between the objective need for socialism and the immaturity of the consciousness and organisation of the working class.’

Walsh complained that Michael:

‘…shows no recognition of the need for a flexible transitional programme that corresponds to different periods and different situations. If we were to adopt his approach, we would be doomed to political isolation -- in a period that is actually becoming more and more favourable to winning workers and young people to socialist ideas. Adherence to abstract formulas might allow individuals or small groups to comment on events -- and level doctrinaire criticisms of those who do engage in struggles. But the method to which Michael has now unfortunately turned will never provide a bridge between the programme of revolution and wide layers of workers and young people. If he follows this line, Michael will certainly be in no danger of becoming a populist -- but, more importantly, he will not be an effective Marxist either.’

But the record of the CWI reveals that its ‘flexible transitional programme’ has a lot in common with the reformist Second International’s minimum programme. Comrade Walsh cites a comment by Trotsky to justify the CWI’s practice:

‘Moreover, Trotsky pointed out that the Transitional Programme was incomplete:

‘“… the end of the programme is not complete, because we don’t speak here about the social revolution, about the seizure of power by insurrection, the transformation of capitalist society into the dictatorship [of the proletariat], the dictatorship into the socialist society. This brings the reader only to the doorstep. It is a programme for action from today until the beginning of the socialist revolution. And from the practical point of view what is now most important is how can we guide the different strata of the proletariat in the direction of the socialist revolution.”
(‘Discussions With Trotsky: On the Transitional Program’, Trotsky, 7 June 1938)

‘In other words, it stops short of what Michael advocates, a programme for smashing the bourgeois state and the establishment of a workers’ state, a programme for an uprising and seizure of power.’

Walsh is exactly wrong, as is clear enough from the passage he cites. Trotsky is explaining that his intent was to provide a guideline for mobilising the masses in ways that will lead them to struggle for state power -- i.e., ‘the beginning of the socialist revolution’. This is what is ‘transitional’ about the programme Trotsky put forward -- it is a programme for transforming the proletariat from a class in itself into a class for itself. Trotsky repeatedly emphasised that the role of revolutionaries is to help workers ‘understand the objective task,’ i.e., the necessity for social revolution, not to adapt to backwardness:

‘We have repeated many times that the scientific character of our activity consists in the fact that we adapt our program not to political conjunctures or the thought or mood of the masses as this mood is today, but we adapt our program to the objective situation as it is represented by the economic class structure of society. The mentality can be backward; then the political task of the party is to bring the mentality into harmony with the objective facts, to make the workers understand the objective task. But we cannot adapt the program to the backward mentality of the workers, the mentality, the mood is a secondary factor -- the prime factor is the objective situation. That is why we have heard these criticisms or these appreciations that some parts of the program do not conform to the situation.’
(‘Discussions With Trotsky: On the Transitional Program’, 7 June 1938)

C. Flower
29-01-2011, 10:40 AM
Go for it Cactus ....:D


You go first... :D


Your views on the use and abuse of transitional programmes would be a start.

bolshevik
29-01-2011, 10:14 PM
Well I can only respond to what I see - maybe your manifesto will be different. Though I'd be very surprised if Mick had produced a leaflet that wasn't an accurate reflection of the general approach.

Just checked the SP web site to see if the manifesto was there yet and found a new Election page - http://socialistparty.net/election

Which has almost exactly the same content as Mick's leaflet so it would seem that these are indeed the key political points that the SP wants to use the election process to get across

not much to do with revolutionary socialism IMHO

bolshevik
09-02-2011, 11:05 PM
Still no sign of the SP manifesto - just mass distribution of the left-reformist leaflets...

bolshevik
11-02-2011, 09:56 AM
So the SP manifesto was published yesterday but no sign of it on the SP web site yet - I did find this report of it http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0210/breaking37.html

Sounds like the same old left-reformism to me...

Jolly Red Giant - are you able to explain how this is a revolutionary socialist programme?

Well of course you won't be able to do that :rolleyes:

So perhaps the question should be - are you able to explain why spreading the lie that left-reformism is the "real alternative" has anything to do with the politics of revolutionary socialism?

Jolly Red Giant
11-02-2011, 04:33 PM
Sounds like the same old left-reformism to me...

Jolly Red Giant - are you able to explain how this is a revolutionary socialist programme?

Well of course you won't be able to do that :rolleyes:


So you are once again making assumptions without any relation to actual facts - I told you before - read the manifesto when you get it and then you can cut the sh*t out of it to your hearts content. In the meantime I would suggest that you refrain from making judgements based on a newspaper report.

bolshevik
11-02-2011, 04:36 PM
So you are once again making assumptions without any relation to actual facts - I told you before - read the manifesto when you get it and then you can cut the sh*t out of it to your hearts content. In the meantime I would suggest that you refrain from making judgements based on a newspaper report.

Fair enough - you know when it will be up on the web site?

Apjp
11-02-2011, 04:37 PM
:D

But then you want to revert to genuine "free market" capitalism. When was that? The 16th Century? :)

Actually as ye may know it started with adam smith in 1776. before that it was monarchies and mercantilism. But youngdan is a neo-liberalist which is actually far crueler than smith's original capitalist system. The 1500s were not really given to free trade or anything that aspired to it. I would argue, asd Castro has done, that slavery is kinder to people than capitalists and neo-liberalists are. Its not globalization we need, its internationalism. Was better when they just hung us all by the noose for not contributing to the monarchies-at least that wasnt shrouded in a veneer of freedom.

Jolly Red Giant
11-02-2011, 07:40 PM
Fair enough - you know when it will be up on the web site?

Nope - I have made my views known that I think it should be put up asap - unfortunately we do not have the resources of the bigger parties and the current priority is to actually get it printed (about 250,000 copies) and distributed. If I had admin rights to the website I would have had it up within an hour of the press conference (that is if I had a copy of it).

C. Flower
11-02-2011, 07:57 PM
Nope - I have made my views known that I think it should be put up asap - unfortunately we do not have the resources of the bigger parties and the current priority is to actually get it printed (about 250,000 copies) and distributed. If I had admin rights to the website I would have had it up within an hour of the press conference (that is if I had a copy of it).


Was the manifesto developed by the membership, or a drafting committee ?
I look forward to reading it.

bolshevik
12-02-2011, 01:24 AM
Was the manifesto developed by the membership, or a drafting committee ?
I look forward to reading it.

Not sure when my wife is next going canvassing for Mick Barry (yes - she thinks I'm a mad sectarian for not supporting the ULA...), Tuesday I think - might have to wait until then to get a copy as I guess they will have copies with them.

bolshevik
12-02-2011, 09:40 AM
Is this it - http://posterous.com/getfile/files.posterous.com/briangreene/QlwfIxbM0arzmGR2RqRkaWgkMAMYV9f0cSzc97OGwKXfy5uoME QVCBKsI3uL/joe_higgins_manifesto_Layout_1.pdf

From Brian Greene's web site http://www.briangreene.com/

Jolly Red Giant
12-02-2011, 04:40 PM
Is this it - http://posterous.com/getfile/files.posterous.com/briangreene/QlwfIxbM0arzmGR2RqRkaWgkMAMYV9f0cSzc97OGwKXfy5uoME QVCBKsI3uL/joe_higgins_manifesto_Layout_1.pdf

From Brian Greene's web site http://www.briangreene.com/

Yes

bolshevik
12-02-2011, 09:32 PM
Yes

Tax the rich instead of expropriation

Workers government in the Dail to carry out the radical reforms - just the old parliamentary road to socialism

Nothing at all about the capitalist state

So how exactly is this a revolutionary socialist programme?

bolshevik
15-02-2011, 11:16 PM
This was an initial election leaflet - analyse the manifesto when you get it and I will answer any issues you raise.

So now the manifesto is out I ask:


Tax the rich instead of expropriation

Workers government in the Dail to carry out the radical reforms - just the old parliamentary road to socialism

Nothing at all about the capitalist state

So how exactly is this a revolutionary socialist programme?

I think we can take JRG's non-reply as an implicit acceptance that it is not a revolutionary socialist programme and therefore, that in actual practice, the Socialist Party are just radical reformists.

Jolly Red Giant
16-02-2011, 11:31 AM
I think we can take JRG's non-reply as an implicit acceptance that it is not a revolutionary socialist programme and therefore, that in actual practice, the Socialist Party are just radical reformists.

If you bothered your rear end to actually critique the manifesto - rather than just type a couple of bland 'it's not revolutionary socialist' lines - I might consider posting a response.

Then again while you sit on your rear-end posting on numerous forums about how the Socialist Party and the ULA are 'reformist (which the ULA are - and were never inteded to be otherwise) some of us are actually trying to promote socialist ideas among the people who will vote in the election (and we are actually having some success with it too).

bolshevik
16-02-2011, 02:24 PM
Then again while you sit on your rear-end posting on numerous forums about how the Socialist Party and the ULA are 'reformist (which the ULA are - and were never inteded to be otherwise) some of us are actually trying to promote socialist ideas among the people who will vote in the election (and we are actually having some success with it too).

Ok so you admit the ULA programme is reformist by design but then can you explain why the SP are describing it as ""a fundamental alternative to the attacks on the living standards of ordinary people and public services" ("General Election Challenge of United Left Alliance Strengthens", www.socialistparty.net, 14 January)?

Ahh - love the old "sit on your rear-end" cheap shots. Always see them rolled out when there are difficult political questions to be answered/avoided. As your own comrades in Cork know I am an active participant in left-politics and work side-by-side with your comrades in a number of campaigns.

The difference between us is not over my supposed non-activity as compared to all your activity but rather over the political content of the "socialism" we are promoting.

The SP are promoting reformist parliamentary socialism while I am promoting revolutionary socialism.

bolshevik
16-02-2011, 02:43 PM
If you bothered your rear end to actually critique the manifesto - rather than just type a couple of bland 'it's not revolutionary socialist' lines - I might consider posting a response.

I was merely paraphrasing the previous, more detailed post, that I made in regard to the content of the leaflet being mass distributed in the SP's election campaign. You said that it was just a leaflet and you would only reply if I made criticisms of the manifesto - implying that the manifesto would be politically different in some way.

So my short-hand was merely pointing out that the manifesto does not present anything different politically from that initial mass leaflet - it is the same left-reformism parliamentarianism. But if you want the points made in more detailed form then here they are:

Is the SP manifesto a programme for revolutionary socialism? What has it to say about the core elements of such a programme - overthrowing the capitalist state, building organs of workers democracy to replace bourgeois democracy, for working class political independence and rejection of popular frontism, socialising the economy by expropriating the bourgeoisie.

The manifesto has nothing to say about the state and your general programme is for the inherently reformist "community control".

In terms of political forms of rule the emphasis in the manifesto is completely on the bourgeois election process with the workers government being presented in that context rather than an emphasis on building working class organisations that can carry out the hard class struggle that will be necessary to defeat the attacks.

There is no clear statement in favour of working class independence and rejection of political blocs with the likes of Sinn Fein.

The manifesto presents nationalisation of the commanding heights of the economy as a parliamentary reform and taxation is presented as the means of wealth redistribution. This can only be interpreted by working people reading it as implying the continuation of the capitalist system (on a fairer basis), or, at best, that capitalism can be reformed out of existence.

It is clearly a left-reformist programme.

Jolly Red Giant
16-02-2011, 05:51 PM
Is the SP manifesto a programme for revolutionary socialism?
The manifesto is a programme of transitional demands


What has it to say about the core elements of such a programme - overthrowing the capitalist state, building organs of workers democracy to replace bourgeois democracy, for working class political independence and rejection of popular frontism, socialising the economy by expropriating the bourgeoisie.
Given the current level of class consciousness in society - what reaction would the manifesto have got if it had emblazoned across it:
SMASH THE STATE!
DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT!
ALL POWER TO THE SOVIETS!


The manifesto has nothing to say about the state
No it doesn't - but the role of the state is not an issue in the general election - to place emphasis on such a issue would be to side-track people from their openness to the arguments being presented about the nature of capitalism.


your general programme is for the inherently reformist "community control".
What it actually states is the following -

We need a real alternative. With the establishment of a new mass party the struggle for an alternative government for working people becomes real, and that combined with reclaiming the unions and turning them into fighting organisations can create a movement that would be powerful enough to transform society.


In terms of political forms of rule the emphasis in the manifesto is completely on the bourgeois election process with the workers government being presented in that context rather than an emphasis on building working class organisations that can carry out the hard class struggle that will be necessary to defeat the attacks.
See above


There is no clear statement in favour of working class independence and rejection of political blocs with the likes of Sinn Fein.
Actually there is - again to quote -

None of the Dáil parties (and this includes Sinn Fein) represent working class people, (workers, the unemployed, pensioners and the young). Labour now accepts the market. (Explicitly) Sinn Fein is implementing huge cutbacks in the North. (And finishes will the need for an independent class organisation) Vote United Left Alliance and help found a powerful new party to represent working class people.


The manifesto presents nationalisation of the commanding heights of the economy as a parliamentary reform and taxation is presented as the means of wealth redistribution. This can only be interpreted by working people reading it as implying the continuation of the capitalist system (on a fairer basis), or, at best, that capitalism can be reformed out of existence.
Well - let's look directly at the manifesto again -

End the abuse of wealth by the capitalist establishment. Take the economy and natural resources into democratic public ownership and plan the development of a real manufacturing base, sustainable jobs and a secure future for all.

This is followed by a quote from James Connolly (which is actually very prominent) -
“the day has passed for patching up the capitalist system; it must go.”

Now you can argue that a statement saying the capitalist system must go and that the economy and natural resources should be taken into democratic public ownership and planned, as evidence of parliamentary reform and the continuation of capitalism if you want - I don't


It is clearly a left-reformist programme.
To be honest I take that as a complement from someone who adopts the ultra-left line that is all too common with the IBT.

To finish -


Ahh - love the old "sit on your rear-end" cheap shots.

Well -


(yes - she thinks I'm a mad sectarian for not supporting the ULA...)

Looks like me and your wife have something in common then.

bolshevik
16-02-2011, 07:14 PM
The point is not that it would be sensible to use the slogans:

SMASH THE STATE!
DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT!
ALL POWER TO THE SOVIETS!

I am not suggesting that - but developments in that direction, strike committees, illegal strike action, occupations, committees against house repossessions etc are the things which need to be highlighted and emphasised (see http://www.bolshevik.org/Leaflets/Irish_crisis_09.html for an example of how this can be done).

My point on Sinn Fein was not that the SP say it as a workers party but that you do not explicitly reject a potential political alliance with it (indeed you are already in one with SF in the GUE/NGL). I accept that the manifesto does make the point about the need for a new workers party (which I hope to participate in building) but without an explicit rejection of a bloc with Sinn Fein I think this is not clearly making a case for working class independence.

I didn't actually argue that "a statement saying the capitalist system must go and that the economy and natural resources should be taken into democratic public ownership and planned, as evidence of parliamentary reform and the continuation of capitalism".

What I said was:

"The manifesto presents nationalisation of the commanding heights of the economy as a parliamentary reform and taxation is presented as the means of wealth redistribution. This can only be interpreted by working people reading it as implying the continuation of the capitalist system (on a fairer basis), or, at best, that capitalism can be reformed out of existence."

You do not dispute that the concrete measures in the manifesto for transforming the economy are progressive taxation and nationalisation by a workers government in the Dail. I stand by my assertion that this concrete programme is a call for reform of capitalism. Even with the Connolly quote this is still at best the reformist idea that capitalism can be changed into socialism through parliament - which is what I said.

Which brings us nicely to the state - the central question of revolutionary politics. You say it "is not an issue in the general election" and to introduce it would "side-track people". But surely the whole point of revolutionaries participating in the bourgeois election process is to bring these central ideas of revolutionary politics onto the agenda - to "side-track people" from the dominant discourse to the alternative track of revolutionary politics. Once again this doesn't have to be done in the crude way you describe but your capitulation to the existing consciousness tells us all we need to know really.

So I'll end with Trotsky, in whose political tradition you claim to stand...

"To face reality squarely; not to seek the line of least resistance; to call things by their right names; to speak the truth to the masses, no matter how bitter it may be; not to fear obstacles; to be true in little things as in big ones; to base one's program on the logic of the class struggle; to be bold when the hour of action arrives - these are the rules of the Fourth International."

bolshevik
22-02-2011, 09:47 AM
So JRG, just to repeat the unanswered (unanswerable?) question:

Ok so you admit the ULA programme is reformist by design but then can you explain why the SP are describing it as ""a fundamental alternative to the attacks on the living standards of ordinary people and public services" ("General Election Challenge of United Left Alliance Strengthens", www.socialistparty.net, 14 January)?

bolshevik
22-02-2011, 09:58 AM
The manifesto is a programme of transitional demands

No it isn't.

Demands are only "transitional" to the extent they are part of a coherent programme that leads from the current situation through to the question of workers power.

The TP is a programme for transforming the proletariat from a class in itself into a class for itself. Trotsky repeatedly emphasised that the role of revolutionaries is to help workers ‘understand the objective task,’ i.e., the necessity for social revolution, not to adapt to the political backwardness that unfortunately prevails today:

‘We have repeated many times that the scientific character of our activity consists in the fact that we adapt our program not to political conjunctures or the thought or mood of the masses as this mood is today, but we adapt our program to the objective situation as it is represented by the economic class structure of society. The mentality can be backward; then the political task of the party is to bring the mentality into harmony with the objective facts, to make the workers understand the objective task. But we cannot adapt the program to the backward mentality of the workers, the mentality, the mood is a secondary factor -- the prime factor is the objective situation. That is why we have heard these criticisms or these appreciations that some parts of the program do not conform to the situation.’
(‘Discussions With Trotsky: On the Transitional Program’, 7 June 1938)