“Only Connect”: Red Pepper on Syriza, feminism and movements. (But oh, the turgidity.)

There are two pieces in the latest worthy Red Pepper (1) worthy of note (so far – I’ve not finished it). They are both book reviews.

“Syriza in Greece has been the most successful in mobilising popular and electoral support for an anti-capitalist alternative. It is described by Michalis Spourdalakis as a “mass connectivity party” in contrast to the old conception of a mass party. The difference, he explains, is that while a mass party sought to unite all within it to support the leadership’s challenge for or management of state power, the mass connectivity party seeks to connect diverse movements into a stable federation to develop political capacities as much as changing state policies.”
“An urgent discussion” Review of The Question of Strategy Socialist Register 2013
John McDonnell MP
Red Pepper Feb/March 2013, p62

In her new chapter, Lynne Segal highlights the extent to which she and her co-authors under-estimated the challenges involved in getting people from new movements to connect to each other to effect structural change. Part of the challenge was that many of these people were already politicised; they already knew what they wanted to achieve and in many cases they also had an ideological commitment to the way they would act. Without a genuine openness to the possibilities of working together, any shared arena would necessarily become a confrontational and sectarian affair.
“Further Fragments” Review of Beyond the Fragments Feminism and the Making of Socialism. Sheila Rowbotham, Lynne Segal and Hilary Wainwright, Merlin Press 1979
Jane Wills

(also known as “watching your hopes get hacked to death by hacks)

I have been working on these problems myself. (Years ago I read and loved BTF, and look forward to reading the new chapters). I have bought the Socialist Register book, and will start with the chapter cited. More on this soon…

(1) Erm, deafening silence on the SWP implosion, much? And for chrissakes, why wasn’t that first sentencagraph of your editorial, um, edited? Ugly ugly ugly.
For those who think I am probably over-reacting, but won’t be tracking it down, I give you it in all its glory;

“It’s less than 18 months since the Occupy protests spread worldwide and already the spotlight they shone on the global financial crisis and the reckless and unaccountable behaviour of the private banks and other powerful global financial actors has begun to dim.”

I mean, really.

What about

A year and a half is a long time in politics. The brave Occupiers of Wall Street and London shone a spotlight on the rapacious private bankers. But the tents are gone and normality is, sadly, returning.

Yes, that’s crap, but it’s significantly less bad than what we got. All it takes is a little effort.

How about this – a bit of purple tub-thumping.

“They are getting away with it. Again. The reckless and unaccountable private bankers are laughing all the way to the cashpoint, metaphorically spitting on the pavement where the tents of Occupy once were pitched. It’s 18 months now since the occupiers shone their spotlight on the role of those bankers in creating the global financial crisis. That spotlight is dimming daily.”

For god’s sake. Right lively.

UPDATE: Oh, and I meant to say – Red Pepper’s silence on the whole SWP implosion thing – is extraordinary!! Really. This is a big deal on the “left”. And Red Pepper is what – too confused to say anything? To even publish a “here is the outline of what’s happened” piece? wtf?



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Below the surface...
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