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To all CWI members…. April 19, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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“To all CWI members.

The Non Faction, Faction (NFF) last week circulated an open letter signed by a series of IEC members, (full and alternates) together with some visitors and translators who attended the IEC meeting in November 2018 together with some CWI members who were not present. In their statement the NFF rejected the decision of the International Secretariat to convene a meeting in November 2019 and appealed for the IS and the openly declared international faction to reconsider its position and commit to participating in an IEC meeting in August. Now they have taken the decision to convene a meeting of the IEC in august themselves. This action is part of the objective of the NFF to carry through a “regime change” in the leadership of the CWI. We entirely reject this action which is ithe declaration of a split from the CWI
In the statement the NFF once again ignored the central political issues of difference which have clearly emerged in this debate. As we stated at the IEC in November 2018 there are clearly two main divergent trends developing in the CWI. This has been clarified during the course of six months of debate. It is clear that there is a decisive difference now on the crucial issues of orientation, perspective and programme.
It is evident to us that some sections of the CWI have buckled to the pressures of ‘Identity Politics’. Others have gone even further and have or are in the process of capitulating to them. This was recently demonstrated in the debate in US in Chicago. Andy M (US NC) who led off and replied for the NFF – no US EC member was present – argued that the IS “did not understand the new world situation” and comrades argued that the womens movement was detonating the struggles of the working class. A further reflection of this capitulation is in shown in the Euro election where the main slogan of the Irish section’s candidate is “for a socialist feminist”.
This divergence is reflected by a turn away from systematic trade union work in a number of sections and abandonment of an orientation and emphasis on the centrality of the working class. This is clearly reflected in Greece and the non- Trotskyist approach of the section towards intervening in the environment movement and the approach taken towards the workers in gold mining industry.
There is a major divergence between the NFF and ourselves on the question of a systematic and consistent orientation and intervention to the working class and its organisations. We defend this orientation and in doing so up hold the historical foundations on which the CWI was build. The NFF are opposed to it and are moving away from it. This is not a secondary issue as the NFF allege. It is a crucial question on which there needs to be agreement in order to establish a “principled revolutionary unity”.
The leadership of the NFF evade serious debate on these crucial questions of divergence. In debate after debate they have alleged that the IS is conservative, out of touch and now represents “the old guard”.
They have tried to rally support on the basis of an emotional appeal for “unity” but evade explaining what the principled political basis of “revolutionary unity” is based on. The only thing that unites the leadership of the NFF is opposition to the IS. The failure to debate the political issues and only call for “revolutionary unity” without political agreement is the receipt for a split.
Throughout the debate the NFF have denied that it is a question of “regime change”. However, as Sascha S made clear in his recent statement this was explicitly posed by Eric B (Belgium) at the IEC meeting in November. Now other representatives of the NFF have also posed the same issue in recent debates. Paul C (representing the NFF in England and Wales) explicitly posed this in a debate in the eastern region. Now the removal of Peter T from the IS has been raised in a debate in the US and the representative of the NFF in the debate, Andy M, failed to comment on this.
It has been revealed during the debate that some NFF members have been preparing the ground for a regime change for a number of years. From Austria comrades report that they were informed some IEC members were organising against the IS in 2016. Younger comrades in England and Wales were told by Danny B that they would have an important role to play “especially if there was a split in the CWI” at about the same time!
All comrades have the right to oppose the IS and argue for a different political approach. However, this should be done openly and honestly. This was not done by these comrades. This dishonest method has sunk to new depths during the course of the debate. All members of the CWI need to pose the question if there is to be regime change – which is the right of comrades to propose – what is the political basis to elect a new leadership? The only unifying stance of the NFF is to deny that substantial political differences exist and opposition to the International Secretariat. We have published our political platform. What is the political platform of the NFF if it carries through a regime change? Comrades will search in vain for a political platform they all defend. We are confronted with a non, faction, faction with non principled principles! A regime change of this character will destroy the CWI as a viable Trotskyist international organization which we are not prepared to accept.
The NFF demand that the COC resumes its functions. Yet this body is perceived by the NFF as an “alternative to the IS” which we reject. We reject the calling of the IEC in August by the NFF as an attempted coup or preparation for a coup against the current IS.
The NFF claims that the IEC majority represents the majority of the CWI. We do not accept this. As we have explained the IEC as currently composed is not representative of the CWI. Its composition is weighed towards the smaller groups like Cyprus, Poland, or Australia with 1 full member whose active membership is less than some branches in other sections! Or Russia with 25 members and 2 full IEC members and not a single full timer. Greece with 302 members has 4 IEC members the same as England and Wales with 2000 members. 3 sections – Cyprus, Australia and Russia – have a total of 66 members and 4 IEC members!
Against the background of a political and theoretical abandonment of Trotskyism by the NFF leadership we cannot agree to participate in or recognise the August IEC which is aimed at enacting a regime change which will mean the destruction of the Trotskyist principles the CWI was founded upon. We have defended and will continue to defend the Trotskyist methods and principles on which the CWI was founded and continue to build it on those methods in the coming period. We therefore appeal to the comrades not to participate in this meeting called by the NFF on a non-principled political basis, which in reality is a split from the CWI. Those participating in this are placing themselves outside the CWI and in a rival organization. We appeal to comrades to support the international conference called by the international faction ‘In Defence of a workers’ and Trotskyist CWI’ and the programme and platforms which we have defended. This is the road to build a powerful Trotskyist international based on the working class and the methods of the CWI.”

Comments»

1. GearóidGaillimh - April 19, 2019

I’m not in the CWI but I know good people who are, sad to see this split apparently intensifying,

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - April 19, 2019

Yes agreed – I have had criticisms of some of their political practice over the years and some of them of mine (!) but the sheer grit and determination of their members – and I am hugely admiring of them collectively and people like JOe Higgins etc is who I’ve known slightly – so to see this is depressing – I hope they are able to come to terms with this in a way that is unifying.

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2. FergusD - April 19, 2019

I find it weird that a faction in the CWI seems to be arguing for more orientation on what might be called identity issues when some parts of the world, e.g Mexico and even the US and parts of Europe are seeing the appearance of working class struggles which could potentially explode at any time. The yellow vests are an important, albeit confused development which any Trotskyist group worth the name would hope to be engaged with.

Mind you those mebership numbers outside the UK are tiny.

Liked by 1 person

3. Dermot M O Connor - April 19, 2019

Someone on the wsws posted this joke a while back. Thought it sums up the core problem with idpol very succinctly:

Socialist: We now live in a world where the richest eight men own more than the poorest 3.6 billion

Liberal: That’s an outrage! At least half of them should be women of colour.

Identity politics: worrying about how to shoehorn a few more of the oppressed groups into better jobs within ‘woke’ capitalism.

speaking of ‘Woke capitalism’:

“corporations pretending to care about social justice to sell products to consumers who pretend to hate capitalism.”

Wish those on the idpol end could spend some time here in Portland Oregon, ground zero for this insufferable nonsense. Idpol 99.9% of the time (more maybe), for all the good it does them. People post signs in their gardens telling others that they support tolerance and diversity (literal VIRTUE SIGNS). “In our America”, They are on every third lawn. I can’t pass them without wanting to kick them to pieces. Someone is making a $hit ton selling these ugly things.

https://tomdwyer.com/2017/uncategorized/in-our-america-signs/

This, as they purge the city of working class people and the black communities they pretend to care about are driven out.

Hobbes said that hell was the truth seen too late. Well, comrades are free to squander their tiny parcel of life on idpol, which will mostly benefit an upper layer of the middle class. Don’t say they weren’t warned.

Liked by 1 person

4. FergusD - April 19, 2019

Apparently, according the WSWS, a similar dispute has resulted in the dissolution of the International Socialist Organisation in the US. I don’t know anything about that group.

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yourcousin - April 19, 2019
Phil F - April 20, 2019

It’s a very good piece on the dissolution of ISO too. ISO was by far the largest group on the US far left.

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Jim Monaghan - April 22, 2019

Please use any source but the WSWS. Nasty lot.

Liked by 1 person

5. Joe - April 20, 2019

So it appears that the Irish SP are on the ‘NFF’ side in this row/split. Wonder will there be much of a split in the Irish SP? North/south split potentially?
And if the Irish SP splits from the mothership, will it be less easy for its critics to slag it off as ‘the Irish franchise’ taking direction from its masters in England? It will I suppose.

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WorldbyStorm - April 20, 2019

Wouldn’t they coalesce with other parties in the international with a similar viewpoint? Or am I misreading it and are they alone?

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Joe - April 22, 2019

No. You’re right. It looks like there’ll be two ‘internationals’ coming out of this split. With the Irish in one and the English in another. Whether it’ll all be that clean and clearcut will be interesting to watch.

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EWI - April 22, 2019

And if the Irish SP splits from the mothership, will it be less easy for its critics to slag it off as ‘the Irish franchise’ taking direction from its masters in England? It will I suppose.

Well, if it’s no longer the case, then obviously. Now if we can just get the other lot to do the same, so that they can finally coalesce.

Liked by 1 person

6. Pat Justin - April 21, 2019

Where is Mark P (fixed that typo for you Pat, yourcousin) when you need a good laugh at the Trotskyites?

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7. John - April 23, 2019

I think the criticisms made of the NFF faction? above read similar to the denunciations the SP in Ireland levelled at Clare Daly SP when she departed!

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WorldbyStorm - April 23, 2019

Form follows function 😦

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8. Tomboktu - April 25, 2019

So they’re not fans of dual systems theory, then.

Liked by 1 person

9. Tomboktu - April 26, 2019

This video is certain to set hearts aflutter in the CWI

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irishelectionliterature - April 26, 2019

CWI? thought she was SWP?

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Joe - April 26, 2019

SWN

Liked by 1 person

gypsybhoy69 - April 29, 2019

I just got a little bit sick in my mouth watching this.
I work in the Four Goldmines and I have to be, I’m not sure how to properly express this but, let’s say polite to lots of different characters, not of the left. Some it’s not to hard to do that to because they play the game too from the other side. But this friends bit is hard to take. That’s how Democratic Left came about in my eyes. For some people it’s much easier to get on with people you are gravitating around than those you claim to represent.

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WorldbyStorm - April 29, 2019

I’dhave a slightly different view. I don’t think that’s how DL came about. What I do think is that as DL developed and I saw this at first hand and was one of the reasons I left, was that that dynamic came into play – contacts established with FG, a commonality of interest against FF/LP when they were in govt, etc, etc, etc. And I heard stuff a year or two back on foot of the referendum campaigns that made me think… hmmm…

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WorldbyStorm - April 29, 2019

And of course the key factor that PdR etc took from the WP, an intense hatred of SF so that my enemies enemy blinded them even when as was apparent as one delegate said at an early DL conference to the dogs in the street that the Provo’s were following albeit differently the odd route away from armed struggle. I also think they were limited by ambition – they couldn’t really see a left if labour but not M-L space which obviously does exist and many conversely had huge personal ambitions – perhapsPdR less than others and I’m not a fan of his.

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10. gypsybhoy69 - April 30, 2019

Sorry WBS I meant to come back to you on this. Few glasses of wine late on Sunday can make for a rather simplistic arguing.
Of course as has been well repeated there was a myriad of reasons as to why DL came about. But from somebody who was probably coming from what was considered one of the neanderthal constituencies albeit PDR’s I felt that the Dun Laoghaire/Wicklow groups were courting respectability and a feeling that politics would change and there was some new liberal fair minded politics about to come into play. Spotlight etc, was like manna from heaven although the leading lights in this group knew exactly how elections were funded. Anyway we know it was nonsense but none of that lot have gone back to politics based on class.
FWIW I went to the meeting in the Constitution room in the Shelbourne fully expecting this was the way I was going to go but after listening and looking around the room I decided this lot aren’t for me.

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WorldbyStorm - April 30, 2019

Absolutely agree some probably did want respectability – sure myself and Joe had MacCartan to contend with and he wasn’t the worst of it by a long shot. And for me as effectively a euro-Communist DL was waaaay too far to the right. But the branch disintegrated around us, only one person remained with the WP, there was no clear way forward with them, and the party wasn’t too keen on euro-Communists either (then or now) and so the decision was a sort of least worst option for continuing some sort of activism. In the end there wasn’t a home for me or those like me either in or out of DL or the WP and I left the DL two years later before coalition.

In retrospect I think we can both name names of people who wanted the Labour option from the word go, and that was never going to be my destination. But I think many, again probably most, went to DL hoping for a left of LP formation on left social democrat/socialist terrain. But with a leadership unwilling to actually seriously examine what that meant (and I take your point re class politics which was certainly chucked out the window fairly early on) there wasn’t a whisper.

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