The far left: driven by self-interest not class interests on Scottish independence

TrotskyWere I still a Trotskyist, my position on the Scottish independence referendum would be determined by this set of questions:

  1. As America’s lapdog, key prop of international neoliberalism, meddler in foreign affairs, and cheerleader for market fundamentalism within the EU; would an independent Scotland severely diminish the UK’s influence?
  2. What are the social character of the movements backing Yes and No? Do they have the potential to mobilise wider layers of people, deepen radicalisation, and/or lead to a more opportune environment for socialist politics?
  3. Will the labour movement be strengthened by a victory for Yes or No?
  4. Will capital be strengthened by a victory for Yes or No?

But is that what has led the principal organisations of British Trotskyism to their positions? Continue reading

Sex, power play and Trotskyism

whipIt’s one that has had seasoned left watchers stumped in bemusement. Back in the day, it was so different. As a general rule, most people exiting revolutionary outfits either returned to private life, or continued being active inside the labour movement. A small minority of comrades, however, would stick with the far left. The ultra-correct posturing of ultra-left “fighting” propaganda groups like the Spartacists and Workers Power occasionally attracted a few by exposing the centrism or *gasp* reformism of the IS/SWP or Militant/SP. Or some waltzed off and formed their own outfit after their parent group adopted an opportunist stance/betrayed the heritage of October by supporting/not supporting the strike of Ruritanian basket weavers. No one seriously entertained the idea that Facebook spats would prise apart tiny revolutionary groupings. Could the split in the International Socialist Network, the ragtag and bobtail collective of ex-swuppies be a world first? Continue reading