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swp_watch's Journal

Students Waving Placards
Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
A community devoted to the activities, ideologies and lunacies of the Socialist Workers Party.

"As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents."
George Orwell

Please read our FAQ:

Why blog about the Socialist Workers Party?

Because, despite having a membership of only about 4000, the SWP sometimes achieves a public profile that's out of proportion to their actual numbers, especially through some of the coalitions that they form, such as the Stop the War Coalition or Respect. They've often used these platforms to voice some pretty unpleasant views, such as when they declare particularly vicious Iraqi insurgents to be the present-day equivalent of the French maquis fighting the Vichy regime.

What are you, a bunch of right-wingers?

No. This community is open to people of all political persuasions - left, right or centrist. If you're a left-winger, there are plenty of left-wing reasons to dislike the SWP. Its leadership is deeply undemocratic. Genuine debate is suppressed. Dissenters are vilified and ostracised. Also, by drowning out more intelligent, reasoned voices, the SWP has contributed to a "dumbing-down" of left-wing debate. Key progressive issues such as democracy and human rights have become secondary to a vapid, amoral "anti-imperialist" ideology whereby anyone - anyone - who opposes America is declared to be "on our side", no matter how reactionary or downright evil those people happen to be. Iranian ayatollahs, Palestinian terrorists, Iraqi Baathists - all become part of the great "anti-imperialist resistance." This is not a genuinely progressive agenda, but the philosophy of "my enemy's enemy is my friend" taken to its lunatic extreme.

Surely the SWP have done good work though, in mobilising people against the BNP or against the war in Iraq?

There's some validity to that suggestion, but the SWP often hinder these movements as much as they help them, by hijacking agendas to suit their own ideology. Recently the SWP used the Stop the War Coalition to engage in a disgraceful smear campaign against Iraqi trade unionists. The SWP can claim some credit for maintaining campaigns against the BNP, but inept campaigning means that it's debatable whether they've done anything to stop the BNP's rise. Bussing in crowds of students to scream "Nazis" outside BNP meetings might be fun and cathartic for those involved, but it enabled the BNP to play the victim and portray the anti-fascist campaigners as the real extremists.

Can SWP supporters join?

If you like. This is an open community and free speech is encouraged.

You may also wish to join our sister community, veritas_watch