Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Monday, August 24, 2015

Revolutionaries and the Labour Party

 Phil Evans on the Labour Party and socialism

In 1982, at the height of 'Bennism', the late, great Marxist Duncan Hallas (1925-2002) - author of among other things a pamphlet on The Labour Party: Myth and Reality, wrote an important article for International Socialism on 'Revolutionaries and the Labour Party'.  As Hallas put it, 'the aim of this article is a modest one. It is to clarify the attitudes revolutionaries have taken towards the Labour Party, to review the experience and to assess the situation of today. In particular, the problem of what is called entrism – revolutionary organisations operating inside the Labour Party – is considered in some detail'.  Amidst the exciting rise of 'Corbynism', it may well repay re-reading by revolutionaries again today, not least as his conclusion retains its relevance:  'The task of revolutionary socialists is to face reality, to recognise things as they are, to fight very hard in support of all the struggles that do occur, to seek to increase their numbers and influence on that basis, to apply the united-front approach systematically and untiringly. It is also to patiently explain, to clarify what is and what is not revolutionary work. Both these tasks require a revolutionary party, operating openly under its own banner...'

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