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From: Pamphlets and books Socialism and Left Unity - A critique of the Socialist Workers Party, 14 January 2013: Pamphlet published in November 2008.
The Socialist Party in England and Wales, and the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) are the two largest organisations on the 'Marxist left' in Britain. Many argue: 'Why can't you forget your differences and combine to unite yourselves and the left in a real alternative?'

Search site for keywords: Britain - Socialist - Labour - Marxist - Socialist Party - SWP - Working class - Socialist Workers Party - CWI


We have sought to demonstrate in this analysis of the past and present policies of the Socialist Workers Party, that unless they change they will be found wanting in the new period we are entering, both in Britain and internationally.

They presently face a serious crisis but this does not mean that they are likely to completely 'disappear'.

Possessing as it does an apparatus and members, it will, in all probability continue in existence. Nevertheless, it has been considerably weakened and its reputation has been further tarnished amongst politically aware left workers.

Many SWP members and supporters have, in the past, 'voted with their feet', a small number to join other organisations, the vast majority falling into inactivity.

In a period of intense radicalisation, and, for want of an alternative, organisations and parties even with incorrect policies can grow to some extent.

But history also shows that they will inevitably hit the buffers at a certain stage. In 'organic' periods of economic growth and relative social quiescence, mistakes in programme, particularly for a small organisation, can go unpunished.

But in periods of social and political convulsions, sharp changes in the situation, deficiencies are ruthlessly exposed.

History has seen many organisations, some considerably larger than the SWP, either so weakened by events that they become of marginal importance or, in some cases, completely disappear.

Our purpose has been to warn that, in this period of political reawakening, the policies and method they have pursued up to now will not only weaken them but harm the general struggles of the left in rebuilding the forces of the labour movement and socialism.

We, for our part, intend to continue to pursue a policy of debate, dialogue and discussion with genuine left organisations as well as building and strengthening the Socialist Party.

This is a precondition for rearming the labour movement for the battles to come. We are also prepared to unify our forces in practice with all genuine Marxist organisations on an agreed, principled basis.

We will not, however, jeopardise the work of our members or supporters that we have built up in unprincipled amalgamations in which the approach of organisations differ so widely as to produce paralysis.

This would only prepare the basis for further splits and schisms at a later stage. However, what we can do today is to bloc with genuine socialist and Marxist forces with their roots in the working class and the labour movement in the task of preparing the basis for a new, mass left party in Britain.

We have argued this case for over a decade and will continue to do this in the present period.

We appeal to all those who have read and agree with our analysis and programme to join the ranks of the Socialist Party and the CWI.

A strong Marxist left is vital, providing the ideological backbone to any new formation that will arise in Britain.

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