The next of our reading groups on ‘communism from below’ takes place from 6:30pm on Monday 2nd March. The subject of the discussion is ‘the roots of left fragmentation and the sectarianisation of history’ and we will be focussing on the questions:
- How can we overcome some groups’ ideas that they represent the “authentic” historical continuity of the communist movement?
- Why is the left so divided by the legacy of the Russian revolution?
- To what extent should we drop the ‘baggage of history’ in deciding our politics today? Is it true that old differences and old disputes don’t matter any more?
The recommended reading is
- False historical paradigms: a short piece by Chris Ford looking at how many left groups perceive themselves as part of an ‘order of succession’ going back to the 1916-21 revolutionary wave and failing to see contradictions in their heroes’ thought.
- Michael S Fox’s Ante Ciliga, Trotsky and State Capitalism, looking at the Croatian communist Ciliga’s critique of the Trotskyist movement in terms of its unwillingness to tackle the question of bureaucratisation head on and sectarianism towards other anti-Stalinist forces.
- Maurice Brinton’s The Malaise on the Left looks at the culture of leftist circles and their narrow focus on only certain areas of human experience and repression in society.
All are welcome to come and take part in the discussion – we aim to have open and undogmatic debates rather than training anyone in some ‘party line’. For details of the central London venue, printed copies of the texts or more information, don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org