"Every new period is more favourable and exciting than the last. The size and strength of the opportunities, especially for party building, are exaggerated to motivate members and supporters."It's in this context that I read one of the latest Respect communiques titled "Respect anticipates nationwide progress in local elections". The general gist is best summarized by the following paragraph;
"No other party in the history of British politics has made such huge advances in such little time. The Respect Party is set to make yet more gains in this year's local elections...one wonders what difference Brown will make. There is little wonder what difference Respect makes." Respect Unity CoalitionMy first thought was one of sympathy for those cadres who may take this at face-value without the prerequisite truckload of salt required. I'm sure many ex-swp activists will have been in similar situations, told about the "great gains to be expected just round the corner", how to "build for the next demo", to make sure it's "bigger than the last" in what can easily seem like an endless secession of some what aimless hyper activism. The conclusion Gall draws from this fact is partially true, this kind of activism does fail to learn the lessons in its rush to capitalise on the shifting moods of whichever movement it's currently seaking to capitalise on, but it relates to a wider misconception about the role of theory. Without a necessary understanding of the reasons we involve ourselves in the rigors of activism - through a concrete appreciation of the theoretical grounding that relates to every political action we undertake - activism becomes unsustainable and we lose sight of our long-term aims. Relative to this is a fundemental severing of practice from theory, the reasons principled Leninists involve themselves in organisations like STWC gets lost in the endless drive to "build the movement".