democratic centralism

What sort of party do we need?

Issue section: 

In our ongoing series of debates on the role of Leninism today, Alex Callinicos replies to Ian Birchall's contribution in last month's Review. He returns to the fundamentals of Leninist organisation and presents a different account of the political arguments of the 1980s

There has been a shift in the focus of anti-capitalist debate. A decade ago, in the immediate wake of Seattle, Genoa, and Florence, in a climate of popular revolt against capitalism and war, a major question was: party or movement? In other words, were various forms of localised organisation sufficient for what Michael Hardt and Toni Negri call the "multitude" of those oppressed by capital to break the power of the ruling class?

What does it mean to be a Leninist?

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

In February's issue of Socialist Review Alex Callinicos addressed the claim that Leninism is finished. Here, Ian Birchall responds to Alex arguing that he asks the question, but does not fully answer it

There is much in Alex Callinicos's article "Is Leninism finished?" (SR, February 2013) that Socialist Review readers will agree with: the inability of reformism to offer any way out of the horrors of capitalism, the need for working class revolution led by a revolutionary party, the defence of the Bolshevik Revolution and in particular of Lenin. Alex has restated themes developed by the SWP, notably in the work of Tony Cliff.

A note on factions

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Alex Callinicos ("Is Leninism finished?" SR, February 2013) claims that during the recent internal debate in the SWP some comrades were "arguing for...a different model involving a much looser and weaker leadership, internal debate that continually reopens decisions already made, and permanent factions (currently factions are only allowed in the discussion period leading up to the annual party conference)."

Now I can speak only for myself here; maybe some comrades did wish this, though I don't recall such a demand being made in any document of the opposition faction.

Is Leninism finished?

Issue section: 

Do revolutionary parties, like the Socialist Workers Party, that draw on the method of organising developed by Lenin and the Bolsheviks still fit in the twenty first century? Alex Callinicos challenges the critics and argues that Leninism remains indispensable

The demise of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and of the political tradition that it seeks to embody have been widely proclaimed on the British left in recent weeks. Thus the columnist Owen Jones has announced that "the era of the SWP and its kind is over." Is he right?

Autonomism for the People?

Issue section: 
Author: 

The demands of the movement require organisation.

'We need new ways of thinking and new ways of organising. We have to break with old ideological formulae of the old left.' You hear such talk repeatedly in the anti-capitalist and anti-war movements today. And for many people it represents a welcome attempt to break from the jaded parliamentarianism of New Labour and the manipulative methods of the Stalinism that collapsed in 1989.

Subscribe to RSS - democratic centralism