The stripey Leopard, pt. 1
Socialist Party of Great Britain
Delivered over the weekend to Central London Branch of the Socialist Party.
I owe the party a great deal. It has been a well-spring of information and knowledge: a genuine working class university of socialism. Its analysis is sound, as is its emphasis on knowledge and consciousness as a liberating factor for the working class. I have been a member now for nine years, and do not regret one minute of it.
I have always argued that doing what you believe to be the right course of action is the most important thing in politics: sticking by your guns even when the way ahead seems impassable and progress is negligible. I have come, though, to believe that whilst the party’s analysis is sound, its prescription is not.
The workers, presented with the party case do not simply reject it because it conflicts with propaganda brainwashing but because it conflicts with their experience of life. Althusser was, to an extent, correct: ideology is lived and no amount of passionate debate or cooky advertising is going to penetrate through that concrete material ideological experience.
I am increasingly convinced that since the capacity to make a revolution lies outside our hands and that the workers seem disinclined to revolution, the right course of action for me is to be in making myself useful to the class struggle and generally supporting the widest engagement of my class fellows in that struggle – even if that only ends up with us winning (in my life time) the best available capitalism.
After much thought, then, I am resigning from the Socialist Party. I wish the rest of you luck and sincerely hope that the political conditions change for you – I fervently look forward to the day when returning to the Party makes the most sense for me.
I remain, yours for the revolution.