richard barbrook on Wed, 2 Feb 2000 22:12:22 +0100 (CET)

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>Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2000 09:44:32 +0000
>From: savage <> (by way of ALLSORTS <>)
>Mime-Version: 1.0
>Please forward this widely.
>The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) is once again sniffing around what could
>loosly be called the direct action movement - the lively culture of
>resistance that has grown out of the anti-roads protests, reclaim the
>streets parties and so on. Seeing the growing awareness in this scene of
>capitalism as our enemy, and gutted that an event of the scale and
>militancy of June 18th could pass with not an SWP paper seller in sight,
>the party leadership has obviously decided that we're a prime target for
>"Many of the... anti-capitalists will join the SWP provided we are involved
>alongside them in campaigning over issues like the World Trade
>Organisation" Socialist Worker #1673.
>The SWP has a long history of seizing on every new "issue" or movement and
>trying to dominate it, recruiting who they can and then moving on to the
>next big thing. In fact they had a previous attempt to take over the
>"direct action scene" back in '94 when they tried to organise around the
>anti-criminal justice bill campaign. They got nowhere then and we need to
>see them off this time as well. Despite their radical language the SWP is
>fundamentally opposes to our movement.
>At our best we have developed radical anti-capitalist ideas through
>creative actions. Actions brought off with no leaders giving us orders,
>just mutual aid and solidarity between groups and individuals. The same
>ideas also inspire the vision of the world many of us want to see- a free
>community based on co-operation, not competition and hierarchies. The SWP,
>however see The Party as all important, the size of it's membership being
>almost a graph of how close we are to a revolution. The resistance of the
>oppressed must be controlled and directed by the party leadership to suceed.
>After the revolution the leadership can impose a 'worker's state' on us,
>and no prizes for guessing who'll be in charge of that. Then we can all be
>glad the nasty capitalists have been replaced by central planning as we're
>forced off to work in our happy socialist factories. This is basically the
>same idea that has fucked up so many opportunities for change in the past-
>again and again people have got rid of the bosses and their cops only to
>allow a new bunch of socialist / communist / nationalist bastards to take
>their place.
>It's important to realise that these parasites on resistance are as much
>our enemy as the bosses. Just because they've got sod all power at the
>moment is no reason to tolerate them. On the contrary, it's the best time
>to discredit their ideas completely! Lots of people join the SWP because
>they were the first and only "alternative" they came across.Not everyone
>who sells their papers is totally comitted to the Party, and hopefully more
>and more will pack it in and do something useful instead. But the Party
>itself can only be our enemy. It's not, and never will be on our side.Let's
>learn from the past and tell the SWP and their rivals to stick their
>leadership and their papers where the sun don't shine.
>Finally, some choice quotes from the horses mouth-
>"Mass movements don't get the political representation that they deserve
>unless a minority of activists within the movement seek to create a
>political leadership, which means a political party that shares their vision
>of political power from below (sic). Such a party will be much less than the
>movement numerically, but much more than the movement ideologically and
>"The first precondition of influencing future struggles is to be involved
>in themó-deeply, organisationally involved."
>- Socialist Review
>P.S    As part of their mission to bring the light of truth to us ignorant
>proles, the SWP is putting on a series of meetings called "People and
>Protest. Seattle- what next?" (and not really mentioning that it's them
>who's doing it)

Dr. Richard Barbrook
Hypermedia Research Centre
School of Communications, Design & Media
University of Westminster
Watford Road
Northwick Park


+44 (0)171-911-5000 x 4590

"While there is irony, we are still living in the prehistoric age. And we
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