....& so to the Trots.
Both Militant and the SWP have gone through evolutions since I last considered them, and have, in their very different ways, tried to 'turn outwards' . I'll detail these turns in another post, but they don't feel to have been that successful to me. Today it seems the SWP is gearing up for an spot of internal blood-letting as the 'afters' to the collapsed Respect project. Splintered rips into them of course. There's a lively debate - couched in language I recognise as that of the authentic Kremlin watcher - about all this going on over at the Socialist Unity blog, which includes this classic contribution from 'tonyc'
"The first role of the revolutionary isn’t to fight against the bosses - it’s to develop an ability to fight against the revolutionary leadership."
I spent 7 years of my youth sharing a flat with a former Militant 'supporter', and a subsequent 7 years sharing with someone who had been in the SWP. Both of my flatmates had dropped out of activity - but both somehow internalised this as somehow being personal failures, rather than because their revolutionary organisation was necessarily wrong about anything.
To be fair, I don't think this is uncommon: not everyone actually likes political activity - it's not so much the boredom and repetitiveness of,say, paper selling or rote learning 'the line' as the psychic pressure created by always being in conflict - 'merciless criticism of all things existing' being Marx's recommended method. It wears you out, it really does.
& I'm glad I never shared a flat with tonyc...