The Role of A Political Party in A Revolutionary Socialist Movement

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The Role of A Political Party in A Revolutionary Socialist Movement

Post by GF on Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:59 pm

How much should a revolutionary radical socialist movement utilize successes in the political field by a radical socialist party? And how?

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Re: The Role of A Political Party in A Revolutionary Socialist Movement

Post by Red Aegis on Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:23 pm

I think that there is no absolute answer to this question and can only speak for myself.

I think that having a party that competes in parliamentary politics is a good way to work towards class-consciousness and towards a socialist agenda. This is different to Reformism though. Without a strong base in and without being governed by the working class a party is nothing but hot air pandering for privilege in bourgeois society. While the party is fighting to alleviate the struggle of the people in the nation, the workers themselves must fight the system on their end at the same time.

Without this union of effort the whole of bourgeois government will have a much easier time dismantling the movement at either end. Without the effort of the population in their every day lives, the party members in politics will not feel as supported and immunized against co-option and coercion by the status quo. Without the work of the party the workers will be left to fight against not only their employers but the government will have a united front in suppressing the people without opposition.

If the government attempts to suppress the party, it would make it clearer - despite the concurrent propaganda - that the government would never honor it's word to listen to the will of the people, providing a larger form of pro-socialist propaganda than any party could muster. Such a provocation of the people may be worth the party's suppression, provided that the efforts of the workers are strong. With those conditions, more workers will side with their fellows and insist that their voices be heard, and when the door is shut on their faces, the battering rams emerge.

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Re: The Role of A Political Party in A Revolutionary Socialist Movement

Post by GF on Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:26 pm

Red Aegis wrote:I think that there is no absolute answer to this question and can only speak for myself.

I think that having a party that competes in parliamentary politics is a good way to work towards class-consciousness and towards a socialist agenda. This is different to Reformism though. Without a strong base in and without being governed by the working class a party is nothing but hot air pandering for privilege in bourgeois society. While the party is fighting to alleviate the struggle of the people in the nation, the workers themselves must fight the system on their end at the same time.

Without this union of effort the whole of bourgeois government will have a much easier time dismantling the movement at either end. Without the effort of the population in their every day lives, the party members in politics will not feel as supported and immunized against co-option and coercion by the status quo. Without the work of the party the workers will be left to fight against not only their employers but the government will have a united front in suppressing the people without opposition.

If the government attempts to suppress the party, it would make it clearer - despite the concurrent propaganda - that the government would never honor it's word to listen to the will of the people, providing a larger form of pro-socialist propaganda than any party could muster. Such a provocation of the people may be worth the party's suppression, provided that the efforts of the workers are strong. With those conditions, more workers will side with their fellows and insist that their voices be heard, and when the door is shut on their faces, the battering rams emerge.

Yeah, I definitely agree.

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Re: The Role of A Political Party in A Revolutionary Socialist Movement

Post by Celtiberian on Wed May 02, 2012 12:26 am

I believe in a dual approach, not unlike that pursued by the former Socialist Labor Party of America. A political party should be established, and perhaps even contest in elections, but it should hold no illusions about the possibility of achieving socialism by way of parliamentary reformism. The most effort should always be expended in direct action, as the revolution will not succeed by any other means.

The primary task of a radical political party, in my opinion, should be to establish institutions capable of providing the working class with material assistance and ideological guidance.

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Re: The Role of A Political Party in A Revolutionary Socialist Movement

Post by ComradeSyndicalist on Tue May 08, 2012 9:11 pm

They should use none. Vanguardism is contrary to the goals of the oncoming DoTP from said revolution. With the utilization of political parties, they, as shown in the past, intend to becoming the only party, as we've seen with the Bolsheviks (later changed their name to Communist Party), Cuba's Communist Party, China's Communist Party, Vietnam's Communist party.

You need councils and syndicates to form and organize the workers, albeit, revolution and revolt is spontaneous when the time is right. When the people of said nations felt like Capitalism, even in its primitive form, wasn't able to sustain the needs of the populace, thus revolution.

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Re: The Role of A Political Party in A Revolutionary Socialist Movement

Post by GF on Tue May 08, 2012 9:33 pm

ComradeSyndicalist wrote:They should use none. Vanguardism is contrary to the goals of the oncoming DoTP from said revolution. With the utilization of political parties, they, as shown in the past, intend to becoming the only party, as we've seen with the Bolsheviks (later changed their name to Communist Party), Cuba's Communist Party, China's Communist Party, Vietnam's Communist party.

You need councils and syndicates to form and organize the workers, albeit, revolution and revolt is spontaneous when the time is right. When the people of said nations felt like Capitalism, even in its primitive form, wasn't able to sustain the needs of the populace, thus revolution.

So I think a political party can be utilized to help lead the proletariat in the political fight without becoming a dictatorship. Am I wrong? And if so, why?

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Re: The Role of A Political Party in A Revolutionary Socialist Movement

Post by 4thsupporter on Tue May 08, 2012 10:26 pm

ComradeSyndicalist wrote:They should use none. Vanguardism is contrary to the goals of the oncoming DoTP from said revolution. With the utilization of political parties, they, as shown in the past, intend to becoming the only party, as we've seen with the Bolsheviks (later changed their name to Communist Party), Cuba's Communist Party, China's Communist Party, Vietnam's Communist party.

You need councils and syndicates to form and organize the workers, albeit, revolution and revolt is spontaneous when the time is right. When the people of said nations felt like Capitalism, even in its primitive form, wasn't able to sustain the needs of the populace, thus revolution.

I disagree, the degeneration in russia can be linked to more than just the use of a vanguard party and china,cuba a vietnam deserve a thread of their own, although i do disagree with the party gaining power post revolution(id prefere if it would dissolve as i do support a form of sydicalism), i cant see councils and syndicaits alone leading the workers to socialism, they lack the orginization and influence that a party has(not referring to parlimentary influence here, but the ability to influence the less conscious masses)

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Re: The Role of A Political Party in A Revolutionary Socialist Movement

Post by ComradeSyndicalist on Wed May 09, 2012 7:15 am

4thsupporter wrote:I disagree, the degeneration in russia can be linked to more than just the use of a vanguard party and china,cuba a vietnam deserve a thread of their own, although i do disagree with the party gaining power post revolution(id prefere if it would dissolve as i do support a form of sydicalism), i cant see councils and syndicaits alone leading the workers to socialism, they lack the orginization and influence that a party has(not referring to parlimentary influence here, but the ability to influence the less conscious masses)

The revolutions of said countries never met Marx's standards of the DoTP. In fact, soviet means council. It didn't utilize that concept, though. Anton Pannekoek explains this well in his book, Workers' Councils. The Spanish Revolution used Syndicates, and Stalin only supplied the 5th regiment (Stalinist Regiment) during the Spanish Civil War, that's a different story. It (Syndicalists) has worked previously.

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Re: The Role of A Political Party in A Revolutionary Socialist Movement

Post by 4thsupporter on Wed May 09, 2012 6:25 pm

ComradeSyndicalist wrote:The revolutions of said countries never met Marx's standards of the DoTP. In fact, soviet means council. It didn't utilize that concept, though. Anton Pannekoek explains this well in his book, Workers' Councils. The Spanish Revolution used Syndicates, and Stalin only supplied the 5th regiment (Stalinist Regiment) during the Spanish Civil War, that's a different story. It (Syndicalists) has worked previously.


marx standard of how socialism would operate is vauge and he made it so for a reason as he rejected writing future predictions and saw them as unscientific. anarchist spain did indeed use councils but it also met a very different standard of material conditions, also to say the ussr didnt use soviets is incorrect even into the nightmare era of stalin the soviets were used(although mainly just as a way to communicate with the state, not for democratic control as they were originally intended and used for during the russian revolution)

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