distrobuterz | 27.04.2002 09:12
UCD branch disaffiliates from S.W.P
by UCD SWSS Branch Committee - Socialist Alternative Fri, Apr 26 2002, 6:11pm
The UCD branch of the Socialist WorkersEParty have recently decided to disaffiliate from the main party and form an independent socialist group, Socialist Alternative. Since most people active on the left in Ireland have to deal with the SWP, we believe the reasons for our decision may be of general interest.
As most people will remember, this time last year there was a genuine buzz on the radical left. Globalise Resistance was founded and brought together many disparate groups and individuals. Two buses of Irish activists went to Genoa and returned full of ideas and enthusiasm. The general outlook seemed positive. Yet soon things turned sour. GR was torn apart by squabbling; Gluaiseacht and the WSM walked out, along with many others. The SWP has generally been blamed for this degeneration, and with some cause: by using GR purely as a recruitment front, they alienated potential allies and squandered a promising opportunity.
However, it would be wrong to attribute this behaviour to malice or stupidity on the part of the SWP; the real cause lies deeper . For the last few years the SWP leadership has adopted a daft approach of predicting the imminence of revolution at any given time and driving the rank-and-file membership into a frenzy of activism. Eventually they get tired and disillusioned and a new crop are recruited. With party members dropping like flies and the revolution always just around the corner, recruitment takes priority over anything else: certainly over the task of creating a broad-based anti-globalisation group.
The turnover of membership is so high that few party activists have the experience to challenge the leadership, so their political analysis is free to wander ever further away from reality. Wishful thinking and hyper-activism take the place of any realistic assessment of the situation. Since party members spend all their time running around from campaign to campaign, they have little time to read and discuss about politics; if you get the impression that someone from the SWP is just quoting from a leaflet, its probably because its true.
This sort of thing was going on long before Seattle but the last two years have seen matters get steadily worse. The SWP is heading for collapse within a few years if it doesnt change course. Unfortunately, because of the partys undemocratic internal regime, a debate could only begin if it was initiated by the leadership. Since most of the Belfast branch of the SWP were expelled a few months ago for raising similar points, the chances of such a debate taking place are slim. Therefore weve decided that the only course open to us is to leave and work as independent socialists. Weve published a much more detailed account of the problems within the SWP at our website for anyone interested.
related link: www.ucdswss.cjb.net
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