Incoherent rant?

Communist press

I want to return to the ILWP’s weekly Economic and Philosophic Science Review because in a roundabout way their article on the SLP - ‘Back-stabbing left ...’ illuminates a wide range of problems facing the whole process of communist rapprochement.

The article begins (EPSR April 9), “Sectarian factional fighting inside the newly-formed Socialist Labour Party of Arthur Scargill is quickly reproducing every bankrupt tendency of the long failed British Labour movement ‘left’.” This was in response to the CPGB’s Weekly Worker exposure of the Fisc factional activity within the SLP.

The article then makes a series of disparaging remarks:

“But as always about such centrist sectarianism, the really depressing thing is that all this ... completely misses any Marxist scientific analysis of such problems, and leaves all the squabbling factions equally up to their necks entirely in the same old mire of philistine fake ‘left’ opportunism ...”

There’s a lot more of this type of ‘polemic’ and we cannot help but agree with the Weekly Worker editor, who a few weeks ago dubbed such journalism as ‘an incoherent rant’. Column after column, the EPSR accuses the CPGB, and everybody else, of having a contempt for theory, of being hypocrites, of running away from polemic and of being ignorant of Marxist-Leninist theory.

But where does all this leave the ILWP? Are we to believe that only they are in polemical pursuit of a correct understanding of the world? Are they the only Marxist circle to be considered non-sectarian?

In defence of the Weekly Worker I would say that a start has been made to engender a culture of sharp polemic in full view of the whole working class. It is only a beginning, but I don’t even see a beginning in the pages of the EPSR.

But I do agree with the EPSR when they argue that the way forward

“is to say openly to the working class at all times what stage has been reached in working out economic perspectives, how difficult it is to get it right, where the greatest lack of understanding and continuing doubts still exist - and above all to carry on working these things out in front of the working class ...”

All this I fully accept and in this respect I would urge the ILWP to join alongside the CPGB, OP and the RDG in the process of communist rapprochement.

Julian Jake