Are many of you interested in joining far-left parties?

DJP

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I am thinking in Ireland of the Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party.

There are a couple of linked things to know about these parties.

They are Trotskyite. Their figure-head symbolic leader is Leon Trotsky of the Russian Revolution. So they are Communist really. I think a lot of people know that they are Communist but not specifically Trotskyite, whoever cares. Personally I canvassed for Joe Higgins and the SP for the 2004 European and Local Elections and was in touch with them monthly for a year later without knowing they are Trotskyite. They told me they weren't Marxist or one of them did so I presumed they weren't Communist at the time. I decided to canvass for Higgins after having a few beers at home on my own. So I was a bit drunk when I emailed them saying that I would work for them for the then 04 EE and LE. The demon drink! I am sure that I wouldn't have made the decision if I was sober but I didn't feel strongly either way so the next day I just went with my decision.

The SWP are middle class I think. Middle class students a lot of them are I have heard. The SP Youth Wing Socialist Youth would be mostly full with (middle class) students as well but their general members are working class.

Personally I found a lot of SP members to be scarred psychologically. They come generally from poor backgrounds and I know at least one of their councillors and one of their old candidates come from very large, unusually large actually, families. So they have a lot of problems and a lot of anger or hatred. Joe Higgins can be funny of course but personally I found him to be often nihilistic personally.

So my advice, on my own experience, would not be to have anything to do with the SP and I suspect SWP also. If you are interested make sure you agree with what Leon Trotsky stood for first. I was in college with a fella in the Communist Party. In Ireland they are probably, from my very limited experience, the most harmless communist party there is funnily enough.

I think to join a far-left party is a sign of political immaturity, naiviety or well just innocence really. I never joined the SP but I suppose I just might as well have had. Eckhart Tolle says that our entire world has schizophrenia in the popular sense of the word (if you get me) and Mark Durkan once said that the DUP have or had "political schizophrenia". I think this applies to far-left parties and it took me a few years, although I didn't think about them every day of course, to put clear blue water between me and them and finally get away from their psychotic outlook. I never bought into their psychotic outlook- which I believe what they stand for i.e. Trotskyism to be- but I was effected or rather affected by it for a while. Time heals all wounds though. It took me around five or six years. Now the SP have a branch in my area and Joe Higgins got the most votes in my estate in the '09 locals and Euro's last year. I just ignore them if I see them. I don't say hello. They are going nowhere and I am away from that psychotic viewpoint now thank God.

Sorry for rambling but I think that it true that dozens of innocent, if only one or two, young people (generally) join far-left parties every year and then get scarred by their experience and often unfortunately let themselves become disillusioned and turned off from political activism for a long time or life which I believe to be a sin (well you get me). As I said though time heals all wounds. I believe that my stint with the SP played a big part in making me stronger politically. Do any of you have any experience of these parties?
 
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TonyBird

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Are you sure you didnt join the scientologists by mistake ? :shock::confused:petunia
 

eoghanacht

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eoghanacht

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Although i would lean to the left in my personal political outlook when i hear people mention the dialectics of marxism or trotsky etc etc i just loose interest real quick.

I don't believe parlimentary democracy is the best we can come up with to run a country so the thought of joining any party never really appealed to me.

The only time i ever cast a vote is in referendums i just draw a big mikey on the ballot paper for GE!

It's about as much as any of them are worth
 

hmmm

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An oldie but goodie from Churchill

"If one is under twenty- five and is not a socialist, he has no heart; if one is over 25 and still a socialist he had no head"
 

eoghanacht

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An oldie but goodie from Churchill

"If one is under twenty- five and is not a socialist, he has no heart; if one is over 25 and still a socialist he had no head"
Like that toff was ever a socialist. More than happy to slaughter the brown skin fellows and send the anzac boys to a terrible death.

Plus i think that quote was from von bismark, open to correction though
 

johntrenchard

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Like that toff was ever a socialist. More than happy to slaughter the brown skin fellows and send the anzac boys to a terrible death.

Plus i think that quote was from von bismark, open to correction though
interesting answer here:
Google Answers: Winston Churchill quotes

The phrase originated with Francois Guisot (1787-1874): "Not to be a
republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is
proof of want of head." It was revived by French Premier Georges
Clemenceau (1841-1929): "Not to be a socialist at twenty is proof of
want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head."
 

j26

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I think you are making a sweeping generalisation there - you were politically naive, therefore everyone who joins such a party is. Believe it or not there are quite a few communists (of various ilks) in Ireland, people who believe in the general principles, and are not just joining out of some vague notion of "doing good".

The SWP and SP aren't the only far left parties btw. There are also parties for adherents of different beliefs. Believe it or not there is(was) a Stalinist group out there, and there are a few anarchist groups.

Unsurprisingly many of the working class people who are activists in these parties are scarred. They are the people who were left behind by the celtic tiger. The other side of it is the studenty types who either join the SWaPpies in some misconceived idea that their involvement will be the thing that will start the revolution, and end up getting chewed up by SWP methods, or they decide to call themselves anarchists and wear black.

Personally I don't like swappie methods (everything is a front to recruit more members), and they get in on every cause celebre, often damaging the original cause in their quest for power. I'm not too sure about he SP, but I have a bit more respect for them.
 

galleyslave

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I think the churchill quote says it really, socialism is a form or naive romanticism. As one ages, reality tends to temper the romanticism
 

Squire Allworthy

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All political philosophies seen to start with a truth, a good idea but then extend that idea to cover everything and in the process debase the validity of their original position.
 

DJP

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Personally I don't like swappie methods (everything is a front to recruit more members), and they get in on every cause celebre, often damaging the original cause in their quest for power. I'm not too sure about he SP, but I have a bit more respect for them.
I would have thought that the SP are as bad as the SWP here. I would say that the SP are worse overall generally. Having mostly genuinely working class members who are scarred and angry as distinct from the SWP who are mostly middle class students and who are angry but not scarred.
 
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All political philosophies seen to start with a truth, a good idea but then extend that idea to cover everything and in the process debase the validity of their original position.
Exactly. As I have said before it's not capitalism or communism that's wrong. It's corruption. There is not one political, religious or social ideal that escapes the clutches of corruption.

Men are corrupt. Why? I don't know. All the ones who are not corrupt are either never heard of or are dead.
 
R

RepublicanSocialist1798

I would have thought that the SP are as bad as the SWP here. I would say that the SP are worse overall generally. Having mostly genuinely working class members who are scarred and angry as distinct from the SWP who are mostly middle class students and who are angry but not scarred.
No offense Prior but you are making an ad hominem attack on the SWP and SP by claiming their members are either angry and pyscologically scarred or just angry but not scarred. You're implying that working class activists are all scarred and ergo don't possess the necessary compos mentis for public office.
 

j26

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I would have thought that the SP are as bad as the SWP here. I would say that the SP are worse overall generally. Having mostly genuinely working class members who are scarred and angry as distinct from the SWP who are mostly middle class students and who are angry but not scarred.
Maybe I've a bit more respect for them because they are more genuinely working class and genuinely scarred than many of the trendies in the SWP. Admittedly the main SWP guy in my area at the moment is a pretty decent guy, and the SP are not really active here, so I'm only basing it on impressions, which may not be reliable. Anyway, I'm not allowed join either, so it's all academic for me.
 

Toland

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I would have thought that the SP are as bad as the SWP here. I would say that the SP are worse overall generally. Having mostly genuinely working class members who are scarred and angry as distinct from the SWP who are mostly middle class students and who are angry but not scarred.
THat would seem accurate, in my experience, though I don't see the cinnection between scarring and class in this context.

If anything, the working-class Militants were more balanced than the middle-class ones (not that that's saying much).
 


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