NEW BOOK: THE TASKS FOR THE LEFT IN THE LABOUR PARTY, BY J POSADAS. JUST STARTED TO BE RE-PUBLISHED.
Notes to the reader:
The Editors of the Scientific, Cultural and Political Editions have started publishing the above book. It will have 220 pages and 21 chapters when completed in May 2018. Every chapter is a text elaborated by J Posadas (who died in 1981).
The dates of the texts range from 1974 to 1980. They all relate to the central subject of the world situation (at each date of course) and the need to organise a consistent, scientific and Marxist left in the Labour Party.
The Editors are updating those texts with contemporary articles that appear on this site. It is a fact, however, that the actual texts of J Posadas are incomparable for their Marxist, scientific and methodological depth. We believe they are entirely relevant today, and we call on the readers to discuss them with us.
The Editors decided to start this publication with only one text. It is called: “Conference on the World Process of the Deepening crisis of Capitalism”, J Posadas, 23.12.1979.
The remaining 20 texts will be added regularly to this book in the coming months. Each update will be announced on this site.
And so, dear reader, keep watching this space.
The complete list of the texts is as follows:
- The tasks for the Left in the Labour Party, 15.9.1974
- The significance of the electoral victory of the Labour Party, 13.10.1974
- The referendum on the EEC, the abstentions and the socialist solution to the crisis of capitalism in Britain, 8.6.1975
- The crisis of British capitalism, the Soviet Union and the left in the Labour Party, 9.7.1977
- The progress of Britain is united to the struggle for Socialism, 13.11.1977
- The process of the formation of British imperialism and the struggle for Socialism, 31.3.1978
- The world process, the development of the International and the tasks in Britain, 5.4.1978
- The relationship with animals and Socialism, 6.4.1978
- The historic significance of the British Museum, 7.4.1978
- Greenwich and the role of science in human development, 4.5.1978
- The European Parliament, 3.12.1978
- The aim of the European Monetary System, EMS, and the European Parliament, 3.12.1978
- On the capitalist system, 18.3.1979
- The fascist provocations and the assassination of a Left militant (Blair Peach), 24.4.1979
- The process in Britain, Stalinism and the organisation of the Left in the Labour Party, 26.4.1979
- The world crisis of capitalism and the British Labour Left, 2.5.1979
- The fall of Callaghan and the perspective for a Socialist Republic in Britain, 7.5.1979
- Conference on the world process of the deepening crisis of capitalism, 23.12.1979
- The continuous process of the anti-capitalist struggle and its development in Britain, 27.12.1979
- Presentation to the first edition of this book, 12.7.1980
- Introduction to the 1980 Edition, 17.7.1980
A few more details:
In this book, the central idea of the author is shaped by Trotsky’s principle of Permanent Revolution as applied to Britain. In practice, this means that there cannot be any more historic progress in a Britain still in the grip of the old feudal aristocracy, except through public ownership, the planning of production, the Socialist Federation of the British Isles and the Socialist Republic. And all this, of course, as part of the socialist transformation of Europe and of the world.
The leadership to make a Republic in Britain is now beyond the reach of the bourgeois class. Only leaderships based on the working class – and its programme – can carry this out. Although the Labour Party in 2017 is not prepared for this task, forces emanating from the world, and from the British working class, are stimulating Labour currents that lean each time more markedly in a socialist direction.
The Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership in the Labour Party reflects the organisational and political upheavals in the world, in the UK (United Kingdom) and in the Labour Party. In all these places, a polarisation takes place, driving the right wing more and more to the right, and the left increasingly towards ideas and solutions proclaiming the need for justice, equality and Socialism.
Left currents and tendencies are appearing in the Trade Unions (like Unite Community) and in the Labour Party (like Momentum and other groups). Because the Labour Party’s structures have evolved closely within the development of British capitalism and imperialism, they express extreme fear, concern and opposition towards any socialist transformation of the Labour Party. They try to stop the Labour left discussing matters like Trident, the genocidal nature of Israel or that of British imperialism. As the right-wing Labour structures cannot expel the Labour left (which grows in strength) these structures work hard to marginalise individuals, close down Party organisations, intimidate the left and hamper the Corbyn leadership.
Accused of anti-semitism, the Labour left and many of its members have been expelled or suspended. The functioning of the Party’s inner organs are geared to electoral, parliamentary and bourgeois concerns; and this, all the more so for Labour having been in government several times since its formation. Due to the growing debacle of world and British capitalism, the actions of the Party’s leading instances against the Labour left find less and less sympathy in the capitalist system. Like capitalism itself, the Party’s machinery gets weaker politically. Like capitalism, it becomes almost incapable of logical argument to justify its repression of the left. This weakens the ability of the Party overall. The Party becomes less and less able to resist the pressure coming from the working class, from the militancy of the Trade Unions and from the constant mobilisation of the masses. There are now almost 5 million children in poverty in Britain. The general population wants Labour to fight back. It wants the Labour-controlled local councils to stop implementing cuts.
Against the world war that capitalism prepares, and against the war of British capitalism on the British masses (to make them pay for the 2008 financial crisis), the tasks facing the Labour left include aspects like: the need to pose the cancellation of Trident, the quitting of Nato, the strengthening of the Corbyn tendency, the repeal of the anti-Trade Union laws, etc. The Party still has the task to overcome the Tony Blair’s legacy that keeps the Party trapped in the belief that the capitalist system is strong because it can still bomb the world.
The Brexit madness comes from sectors of British capitalism that are terrified and disorientated by the loss of empire; and by the realisation that capitalism’s survival now depends almost entirely on its continued bombing of the world. Against Brexit, the Corbyn leadership has the option to seek alliances with the workers’ parties, the Trade Unions and the working class in the rest of Europe. There is every reason to think that the Labour left will allow itself to be inspired, at least partially, by the programme of Jean-Luc Melanchon in France. In defence of the interests of the ordinary citizens of Europe, Melanchon demands the re-negotiation of all the European Union’s treaties . This is bound to inspire the J Corbyn leadership who has opposed Brexit with the slogan of: ‘Remain and Reform’.
The Editors of the SCPEs, 1 May 2017