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The need for a Marxist party: the SEP

Of all the atrocities facing us, our failure to organize into a party of revolution is the most pressing.
We, as citizens of the world, are descending into barbarism. This sentiment has been presented by many others, but now it is an inescapable certainty. Global warming and the blisters of our polar brothers and sisters, genocide in Darfur and Sudan, and the inchoate world war begun in Iraq; the destruction of international treaties such as Kyoto, and the Geneva Conventions. Class compromise has been dominant since '45 when Keynsianism seemed to have solved all problems. All antagonisms have been smoothed over, no expoitation of the home workers if the workers in the "3rd world" can be exploited! Unfortunately, the world has never been governed by equilibrium, but rather, change is king. It would be great to think that the era of "antagonism to capitalism is over," but in reality the capitalists are ready to put the clamp down. What is the "clamp down?" The clamp down is all of these: privatization of national business, destruction of business taxes, destruction of worker rights to strike, to organize, to reliable social secruity, and many other things that end up being pro-human and anti-capitalist. Keynsianism, is an economic term for government spending on social services. This is one of the great mysteries: where does the government get the money to spend on humans, and not on profit? Answer: the fear of communism. And the fear of communism has led to inflation. Any way the capitalists turn they further evolution. Since the failure of Stalinism, a non-Marxist dictator system, which Leon Trotsky described perfectly, the capitalists fear nothing. They think that tsunamis in Asia which destroy communities due to neo-colonial mismanagemant, Gulags in Guantamo, redistribution of military megabases to prepare for the war against Latin America, will stop us. The working class has been dormant for quite some time, and all sorts of reformist (feminism, black nationalism, Native Americanism, Green Party, Democrat, anarchist) illusions have to be disposed of. Genuine Marxism will rise time and time again until the world is free of classes, and all people will enjoy their live in an all-around enjoyment. The only hope for humanity is to go forward with a planned economy. We are on the precipice, if not over, between the continued livelihood of our brothers, daughters, sons, and sisters, and the utter destruction of global warming, national wars for markets and resources, world war, and civil war. Read more about ongoing events at Maxist.com, and the World Socialist Web Site @ wsws.org

homepage: homepage: http://www.wsws.org

Uhhhh.... 04.Jun.2005 21:06


Yeah, build it and they will come, right.


genius!! 04.Jun.2005 22:37

baby baby

Oh my freakin god, ace in the hole! You are so with it I want to have your babies!

Socialist Equality Party and World Socialist Web Site 04.Jun.2005 23:07

Hector Cordon

To Mr. Cooke

The central effort of the Socialist Equality Party, especially in the postings of our web site, is the political clarification and education of the working class, students, youth and all others who seek progressive answers to war and social misery.

To be blunt, your posting was neither clear nor correct on the policies and history we base ourselves on. It would be difficult to dissect our differences, since your posting contained many inaccuracies.

But to start with a couple, the WSWS never described Keynesian economics as a term for "social spending'. Trotsky never spoke of "non-Marxist dictator system", whatever that means. We do not subscribe to a description of the working class as "dormant"--betrayed and mislead, yes--but not dormant.

I have been actively working with the SEP in Portland for the last 2 years and despite your stated support for our party, we have never met nor spoken.

Who are you?

Hector Cordon
Socialist Equlity Party, Portland

MLM is the only way 05.Jun.2005 00:02


After the revolution I suppose we will have to purge all of the "anarchist reformers" (whatever that means). We will have to create a state capitalist society forged for workers by the new marxist party, only the new marxist party will be able to solve worker's misery, because the working poor are incapable of doing it themselves. We will not allow any reformist ideas like worker's management based around co-operative structures of mutual aid. MLM (Marxism, Leninism, Maoism) is the only way.

Marxism - yeah right 05.Jun.2005 00:30


Sure - Marxism is what the world needs....
It's moronic posts like yours that sometimes make me question whether I should be ashamed of reading this website. It's precisely the reason that the right-wingers always succeed in turning the masses against us progressives/liberals by putting us into the same pot with Communists.

@me: 05.Jun.2005 02:36


if u knew the true meaning of communism you wouldn´t write things like that....

FDR 05.Jun.2005 05:23

cointel killer

wasn't FDR a socialist...social security?

Don't we live in what is called a "mixed economy" already? Capitalism/socialism/fascism/etc

Haven't the neocons like the godfather, irving kristol, gotten their "ideas" from trotsky?(wether they spun them to fit their needs is another story)

Be wary of political opportunists.


Irving Kristol (1920-) is considered the founding godfather of American neoconservatism, and is the father of William Kristol. He describes himself as a "liberal mugged by reality."

Irving Kristol was born into a Jewish family in New York City, earned his B.A. in History from the City College of New York in 1940, where he was an active Trotskyist. He wrote in 1983 that he was "proud" to have been a member of the Fourth International in 1940.

Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. The term is sometimes used more loosely to denote various political currents claiming a tradition of Marxist opposition to both Stalinism and capitalism.

The Fourth International was an international organisation of Trotskyist communists. It was founded in 1938 in Paris, with the backing of Leon Trotsky, to serve as an alternative to the Stalinist Comintern (the Third International).

When founded in 1938 the Fourth International adopted the Transitional Programme for Socialist Revolution as its central programmatic statement summarising its strategic and tactical conceptions for the revolutionary period that they saw opening up as a result of the war which Trotsky had been predicting for some years. The Transitional Programme is not however the programme of the Fourth International as is often suggested but instead contains a summation of the conjunctural understanding of the movement at that date and a series of transitional policies designed to develop the struggle for workers power. In this it builds on the positions and methods of the earlier Communist International and, as argued by Trotsky, the Transitional Programme is best seen as supplementing the traditional programmatic understanding of the movement.

Despite its early promise, the International struggled to maintain contact during World War II and was also disorientated by the absence of workers' uprisings at the end of the conflict and by the apparent Stalinist and social democratic successes of the period. It suffered major splits as early as 1940 and most significantly in 1953, and while it has no single date of final demise?more than one group still claims to be the Fourth International?by 1963, no organisation resembled the early International.

The Trotskyists regarded themselves as working in opposition to both capitalism and to Stalin's concept of a socialist state. Trotsky advocated proletarian revolution as set out in his theory of "permanent revolution", and believed that a workers' state would not be able to hold out against the pressures of a hostile capitalist world unless socialist revolutions quickly took hold in other countries as well. This theory was advanced in opposition to the position held by the Stalinist faction within the Bolshevik Party that "socialism in one country" could be built in the Soviet Union. Facing what he perceived as increasing degeneration in the Soviet Union, Trotsky developed the theory that it had become a degenerated workers' state.

Before his death, however, in 1938 Trotsky established the Fourth International. He said that only the Fourth International could lead the world revolution, and that it would need to be built in opposition to both the capitalists and the Stalinists.

In July 2002, President George W. Bush awarded Kristol the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

You say you'll change the constitution
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
You better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow

Short on Marxist Doctrine, Long on Mass Appeal. 05.Jun.2005 08:15


To break the strong hold of the Establishment Parties in the US and elsewhere, we need to found a coalition type, broadbased opposition Party, something similar to Respect in the UK. (Modified for local conditions.)
It is quite amazing, (in light of progressively worsening conditions for the majority of the population for 30 years now) that the progressive Left has been unable to do it yet. I would be very leery to adopt, extreme Left-wing doctrines as these might not have mass appeal.
The primary and most urgent goal is to stop and roll back the march of monopol capitalism, the accelerated rate of wealth concentration. (10% is owning 90% of the wealth now in the US.) There is a real danger that Western democracy will deteriorate into an opressive, de-facto aristocracy led by a small circle of industrial-financial oligarchs.
This coalition should appeal to, not only the increasingly marginalized lower wage earners as well as those unfortunate ones who have fallen through the cracks, but also to profesionals, small holders and independent small enterprise owners as well. (After all monopolcapitalism prey upon and devours independent small and medium sized domestic bussinesses).

State Capitalism and State Socialism 05.Jun.2005 15:07

Wild Green

MLM (Marxism, Leninism, Maoism) and other authoritorian "communist" and "socialist" groups are not truly communist or socialist. Anti-authoritorians often refer these ideologies as "state capitalist".

State capitalism is defined as capitalism in an environment wherein the capitalist enterprise is a component part of the state bureaucracy and the receivers of capitalist surplus value are state appointed bureaucrats. Many social theorists have classified the Soviet Union and CMEA nations, in general, as state capitalist social formations because most of the GDP in those economies was generated by capitalist enterprises that were within the state bureaucracy and officials in the state bureaucracy were the appropriators of enterprise surplus value.

In other words, under "state socialism" ("state capitalism") the state bureaucracy became the capitalist class, the ruling class.

For anarchists (and libertarian socialists), the Leninist vision of socialism is unattractive. Lenin continually stressed that his conception of socialism and "state capitalism" were basically identical. Even in State and Revolution, allegedly Lenin's most libertarian work, we discover this particularly unvisionary and uninspiring vision of "socialism":

"All citizens are transformed into the salaried employees of the state . . . All citizens become employees and workers of a single national state 'syndicate' . . . The whole of society will have become a single office and a single factory with equality of work and equality of pay." [Essential Works of Lenin, p. 348]

As Lenin explained, socialism is "nothing but the next step forward from state capitalist monopoly. In other words, Socialism is nothing but state capitalist monopoly made to benefit the whole people; by this token it ceases (sic) to be capitalist monopoly." [The Threatening Catastrophe and how to avoid it, p. 37]

Rather than "withering away," any "workers' state" would tend to grow in terms of administration and so the government creates around itself a class of bureaucrats whose position is different from the rest of society. This would apply to production as well. Being unable to manage everything, the state would have to re-introduce hierarchical management in order to ensure its orders are met and that a suitable surplus is extracted from the workers to feed the needs of the state machine. By creating an economically powerful class which it can rely on to discipline the workforce, it would simply recreate capitalism anew in the form of "state capitalism" (this is precisely what happened during the Russian Revolution). To enforce its will onto the people it claims to represent, specialised bodies of armed people (police, army) would be required and soon created. All of which is to be expected, as state socialism "entrusts to a few the management of social life and [so] leads to the exploitation and oppression of the masses by the few." [Malatesta, Op. Cit., p. 46]

* When searching for the term "state capitalist", I received the following advertisement, I thought it was fitting "Chairman Mao: Great deals on Chariman Mao Shop on Ebay and Save!".

See:  http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secH3.html#sech314

This whole thing... 05.Jun.2005 15:35


Marxism, Leninism, Maoism, capitalism, state capitalism, and a state power of any kind, can all just fuck right the hell off. Nothing short of the free association of individuals amidst freely established autonomous local collectives will ever amount to any good. Wow, that's hot, it really is! Our freedom deserves nothing less.


What do we want?! 05.Jun.2005 18:24



When do we want it?!




cheers to TVK 05.Jun.2005 18:31


you are absolutely right!
finally someone says something intellegent. It seems "the people" do not have enough faith in themselves to imagine life with out some sort of oppresive government. I hope they start to wake up and realize there is no freedom as long as their is central government. Autonomy is the only answer. FREE yourself!!

the most confrontational position 05.Jun.2005 20:43

is not necessarily the most helpful

> Nothing short of the free association of individuals amidst freely
> established autonomous local collectives will ever amount to any good.

This is great as long as nobody owns anything any everybody sits naked in the middle of a mud pit. Except that's not so great. Once you start accounting for human social relationships that include inanimate objects, you have to talk about where each "individual's" freedom to own-things-use-things-and-destroy-things-if-feel-like-it ends and where the next guy's starts, and what, if anything, should be reserved for "everybody," and how the hell everybody can possibly make decisions about this, in the abstract and in specific cases. Your catchy slogan is absolutely no help in answering these questions.

Yer catchy slogan... 06.Jun.2005 00:11


If yer gonna limit human social relations to what's only existed thus far within the relational dynamics of capitalism, then yer gonna make human behaviour into an absolute - and that's just silly. We gotta factor in our potential for arriving at new ways for people to work better with one another in community. I pointed out before that what we need is local autonomy first and foremost, however the peeps involved go about doing so is their own business. I'm not interested in any of the bullshit concerned with rules and morality and how the movement ought to proceed and everything else like that which bores the shit out of me. Carry on if you like, in that capacity, I'm too busy with practical things to be bothered now with votes and consensus taking.



P.S. - Thanks Girl! ;)

rebuttle/answer 06.Jun.2005 00:16

use common sense

Each collective should have it's own right and responsibility to decide the distribution of resources/inanimate objects within said collective. You must be running on the assumption that police are neccessary to protect property, because they certainly aren't neccessary for protection of people. People naturally form complex social relationships and without a solid community these relationships won't manifest themselves which is usually a result of bad city planning(read Jane Jacobs's "The Death and Life of Great American Cities"). In her book she describes a scenerio in New York city when she was looking out of her apartment window and noticed a neighborhood child about to be abducted. She rushed to the scene but before she could even get to the door, the situation was diffused by the butcher and the flourist. Complex systems of social relations can be self-regulatory if there is a strong cohesive community that is aware of itself. The butcher and the flourist knew who that kid was but they didn't know the man trying to abduct her.

The help comes when people address poverty head on by moving into and living in the poorest areas of every city and town with the intention of starting co-operatively run businesses managed and staffed by the people who usually get the shaft. The help starts when we take our knowledge and share it with each other freely to provide ourselves with health care, food, and the basic neccessities that come with life. I just recently heard a story about a couple in Mexico the husband is a doctor and the wife is a lawyer they used to live in the suburbs, but one day they up and decided to get rid of their car and house and live under a bridge while keeping their jobs so they could redistribute the money. That's pretty hardcore, but it is actions like these that speak so much more stronger than all of the charities in the world, because these people weren't interested in keeping their privelege because they truly wanted to help people.

Right the fuck on! 06.Jun.2005 00:27


Thanks be to you, too, "use common sense"!

That's what I'm on about. Sorry- bandwidth hog- I can't seem to shut up today...

'collective' talk is utopian 06.Jun.2005 03:41


I love hearing all the anarchist-type people go on about their vision for collective living; what you never hear is how such a thing will ever come about. Buying locally and organizing cooperative businesses is NOT going to achieve this.

And, people who have read enough to be educated on the subject of socialism and it's history understand that what was written by Marx, Lenin, and Trotsky have very little in common with Stalin, Mao, and the birth of neo-conservatives (the most ridiculous one yet) The left has been infused with so much propaganda regarding socialism that the word is lumped together under the banner of totalitarionism without as much as a book opened on the subject.
It's much easier, and trendy, to go on about living in collectives with mutual concern, and cooperation, and all the other things that are not going to erupt out of nowhere.

i'm so busy, i'm so practical 06.Jun.2005 06:03

i'm so cool, don't you want to be me

A key point that the analysis-is-boring school of anarchism seems to miss is that the "free association of individuals" does NOT inherently lead to or even permit the absence of hierarchy, which is another thing these people -- I hope it's the same people -- often assert as desirable. I've been in plenty of "collectives" where some people had lots more power than others, where the group's stories about itself were at odds with the truth, and where if you didn't like it you were autonomously "free" to leave. "Autonomy" is a value we've inherited from bourgeois capitalism. "Autonomy" is about repudiating responsibility to other people and to any principle other than autonomy itself. It's a tricky little code word for nihilism.

response 06.Jun.2005 11:13


While I don't find "attacking" each other all that produtive I do think these are important discussions that may lead some people into adopting new ideas or changning ther minds. and so I have a response to "i'm so busy..." Autonomy is ONLY nihilism if you want it to be otherwise this claim is fucking ridiculous. An autonomous individual is a free person able to make decisions for themselves and not be controlled by others. If you want to waste your time redefining the language that we use be my guest but personally I find it counterproductive. And, in response to Rosa, people DO actually talk about how this can happen, the fact is it is no easy task but setting up alternatives within in the existing infrastructure and forming co-ops and collectives will eventually work as more people wake up. (Besides, When we run out of oil and the downfall of ciivilization as we know it begins, it will be these collectives and small groups of individuals that will be ready and more will naturally come together in response.) I agree that hieararchy will always be a threat but if the groups stay small enough, I think that they can fight it off. I too have been a part of collectives and sometimes they flat out suck but I'll still take them over centralized gov't oppression any day. Just a reminder: Use your imagination, a better world is possible if you have some faith.

Who Is Autonomous? 06.Jun.2005 14:36


Wouldn't a True autonomous being live the life of Robinson Crusoe, sans Friday, of course? What's all of this cooperative living talk? How can you be a singular, unique individual when you have to resort to living in a group. Once you have The Group you have a social entity. I agree with "I'm so cool." This notion of an auntonomous being is nothing more than the "Individualism" of bourgeois ideology. It is a false notion. Tell me, "Girl." Are you going to travel along roads you have built yourself? Will you post comments with a homemade computer and server? How about medical care, food, water, clothing, fuel? You are a dreamer and your dream, if realized, would soon turn into a nightmare.

Scientific socialism can give people a skill set that will allow them to interpret the reality that now bewilders them and forces them to clutch at daydreams and unrealistic panaceas whereby they can see just how capitalist society works. Don't kid yourselves, the capitalists know verty well how powerful the critique of capitalism is and they will do everything in their power to keep it from you.

Further, scientific socialism should not be judged by the shortcomings of the former Soviet Union and the defects that exist in socialist countries today. The geo-centrists used geometry to explain their false idea of how the cosmos works. Should we, therefore, condemn and abandon geometry for it?

Ahhh hell... 06.Jun.2005 17:11


Anarchy is for the Anarchists and government is for the governable; make yer choices and live with them but please quit with all the squabbling amongst yerselves.

Girl rocks!

anarchism is for anarchists 07.Jun.2005 06:07

truth is for skeptics

> An autonomous individual is a free person able to make
> decisions for themselves and not be controlled by others

Such individuals exist only in an imaginary world where each person's decisions do not affect anyone else. Under your definition each collective participant is "autonomous" from other people only if the collective has no resources of its own and doesn't do anything important, and people in general are autonomous from other collectives only inasmuch as no collective produces anything anyone else needs.

This may be a reasonable description of the contemporary anarchist scene, but it's hardly a model for a better world.