Trots

On tiny cogs, intermediate cogs and giant cogs

The Weekly Worker, newspaper of our favorite far-Left groupuscule, the Communist Party of Great Britain, reports on the latest Internal Bulletin of the Socialist Workers Party:

The [Central Committee] describes how it hopes to influence events: “The tiny cog of the revolutionary left cannot turn the giant cog of the TUC. But we are in a position to shape aspects of the struggle and to give it a more effective and militant character – provided we have an intermediate cog.”

This approach is typical for the confessional sects. The mechanical mindset betrays the contemptible attitude towards the existing working class and its future potential. Instead of seeking to unite the Marxist left into a Communist Party and winning the majority of class-conscious workers to that party, the bureaucratic sect perpetuates Bakuninist methods. Knowing that their organisation will never achieve anything significant by itself, knowing that it will never convince the majority in society, the self-selecting elite think that they can move the unknowing mass conspiratorially, dishonestly, covertly, through a system of wheels and cogs. The latest “cog” is something called Unite the Resistance.
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…The SWP got its members holding senior union positions, along with some non-members, to call a rally under that name just before the June 30 mass strikes. They are organising a repeat on November 19. But now UTR is to be transformed into a “hybrid organisation” – apparently a combination of, or cross between, a “broad left” and a “rank-and-file movement”…

But the leadership does not go into detail. That is left to “Sean of North London” – presumably Sean Vernell, whose own contribution is conveniently entitled ‘Unite the Resistance: building a middle cog’.

He explains: “Socialists need to be raising the argument in the run-up to November 30: all out, stay out. But how do we turn this from a propaganda demand into one that becomes a real possibility?” Well, “The urgent task for the SWP is to create a middle cog within the organised working class that can turn the larger cog of the movement.” That “middle cog” needs to consist of “around 25,000 workers within the unions, and outside”

“Sean” continues: “Unite the Resistance is … the beginning of a hybrid organisation. Its aim is to build networks that ensure that the official calls from the trade unions are implemented and the action taken is the most effective. It has general secretaries as well as rank-and-file militants involved in the rallies and conferences. It attempts to use the official structures of the movement to create unofficial networks.”

Comrade Vernell (or whatever other leading SWPer called Sean is a University and College Union activist) sings the praises of the SWP-backed UCU Left rank-and-file grouping, claiming credit for the success of the March 24 lecturers’ strike: “It was not unofficial action, but it took the unofficial networks to ensure that the official call was supported by the members.” As a result, “The SWP, by playing a central part in UCU Left’s development, has managed to attract and recruit some of the best militants. This year, so far, 19 have joined the party.”
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“Sean” concludes: “We need to throw ourselves into a movement that can defend the gains made by working people and by so doing lay the basis for one that can begin to raise the possibility of an alternative way of running society. The next step in creating such a movement will be on November 19 in London at the Unite the Resistance conference.”

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