Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Panini-Zufallsbekanntschaft #12

Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain (53)

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the 53rd of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

We now have 1272 friends!

Recent blogs:

  • The Bin Man (Garbage Collector)
  • Joe Hill : Songwriter to the Working Class
  • Did Communism Collapse?
  • Top quote for this week:

    [From the Socialist Party lecture, 'What Marx Should Have Said to Kropotkin'.

    "Three things:

    1. "Don't call me a State Socialist! I was putting forward a case for abolishing the State while you were still a toddler".

    2. "With regard to paying people in labour-time vouchers in the early days of Socialist society, you were right and I was wrong. This was a silly, unworkable idea".

    3. "Like me, you're a Socialist. We both want a stateless, moneyless, wageless society. Why then do you feel you have more in common with non-socialist opponents of the State than with me? After all, your disagreement with them is over ends, while you're disagreement with me is only over means".

    Adam Buick

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain


    gray said...

    Hi Darren

    do those links work? I was getting a strange message from Myspace when I clicked. The other bulletin links you have posted come out OK here. Weird!

    How funny that two of my articles for the Socialist Standard were put up by the Carlisle crew! :-)

    robert said...

    Ah, I thought it was you, Gray! Nice one.
    Piers did the other two blogs so not sure which other one was yours!
    I did wonder if today's was autobiographical and you'd had a stint on the bins ...
    Hope this increases your royalty cheques!


    gray said...

    the Binman and Did Communism Collapse.

    The Binman isn't autobiographical. Although I guess it fits me in a sense as I've looked at how waste effects nature. I've eg stood in a river for some hours, measuring the concentrations of chemicals in the stream from a nearby factory

    Darren said...

    The links have been sorted. Click on them if you don't believe me. Go on. GO ON, YOU APATHETIC NUMPTIES!!!!!

    *Off for a lie down and a warm beverage*

    John said...

    Surely Kropotkin would have pointed out to Marx that one of the reasons why he disagreed with Marx's means was that they would inevitably lead to state socialism (regardless of Marx's intentions) and a new form of tyranny. Bakunin had already warned him about it. Why didn't he listen to him?

    Darren said...


    I guess as Adam is writing about the SPGB Karl Marx - sits on arse for forty years, reading, writing and moaning - rather than the Leninist Karl Marx - sells newspapers on Tottenham Court Road, whilst subordinating himself to the hierarchy and authoritarianism of the vanguard - he would quibble with the word 'inevitably'.

    stuart said...

    Would be interested to hear your reply to Darren's, John. Is there anything inevitable about it? The SPGB (not sure about Marx, so let's not go there!) would say that the anarchist means would 'inevitably' end in a violent confrontation with the state (anarchism is a game that the state will win, paraphrasing some wit). What say you?

    Kevin Williamson said...

    Hi Darren

    You've got a wee request played for ya on The Scottish Patient show tonite. Whether ya wanted it or not!

    Tune in tonite at 10pm-11pm (Scottish time) on:

    Was that spam or just being nice?


    Darren said...


    Jimmy Shand? The Rezillos? Jimmy Shand doing The Rezillos?

    I'll have a listen tonight, and thanks in advance for the nice spam.;-) (It can be both.)

    John said...

    Hi Darren--

    I think you've misconstrued my use of the word "inevitably." It's used conditionally in the sense that if Marx's means are adopted, the consequences for a socialist society would inevitably be statist. This doesn't mean that state socialism itself IS inevitable.

    As for the inevitability of violent confrontation with the state, Stuart, I'd say it depends on the anarchist you're referring to. There are plenty of nonviolent anarchists who believe the state will inevitably engage in violence but that anarchists don't need to. Bakunin's point was that the taking over of the state by a minority on behalf of the majority, however well-intentioned, won't lead to the state withering away but to the instauration of new class relations and a new form of oppression. Turned out he was right. ;-)

    Darren said...

    Hi John,

    Just woke up, so bear with me.

    "Bakunin's point was that the taking over of the state by a minority on behalf of the majority, however well-intentioned, won't lead to the state withering away but to the instauration of new class relations and a new form of oppression. "

    Do you think the SPGB's version of revolution falls into that category? If anything, I think the SPGB infururiates even the most extreme democrat with its insistence that revolution cannot be achieved (or sustained) without the overwhelmining support and participation of the working class.

    Critics - friendly and otherwise - have been able to point to that as a recipe for nothing more than 'do nothing' in the here and now . . . and they'd have a very strong point. ;-)

    Darren said...

    PS Spelt infuriate wrong . . . still waking up.

    Sorry, had to mention it in passing but how else did the SPGB get the nickname 'Small Party of Good Boys' unless it wasn't for its insistence that revolution had to be majoritarian and democratic or it couldn't be a truly socialist?

    That pain in the arse - doing it by the book - mindset of a majority vanquishing a minority wasn't a case of Monday morning quarterbacking. It wasn't an add on after the disappointment of the first Labour Govt or after the Second International went back on its commitment in 1914 or even when the Bolsheviks starting acting up like gangsters in Russia, but the 'good boys' gibe (and the SPGB's commitment to democracy) was there from the get go.

    Just after the 'who's going to do the dirty work in socialism' question first got asked at an outdoor meeting in Battersea and just before the someone else asked 'what ever happened to Steve Coleman?'

    Christ, I need caffeine.

    John said...

    Hi Darren--

    I can't claim to be in the slightest bit familiar with the SPGB's version of revolution. I was trying to paraphrase Bakunin's response to Marx rather than to Adam.

    Majoritarian, democratic and autonomous, I'd say! ;-)