What can we do to encourage pan-leftism

  1. Ocean Seal
    Ocean Seal
    So any ideas?

    Any theories as to why sectarianism abounds?
  2. cenv
    cenv
    Part of it is that under capitalism, many anti-capitalists adopt revolutionary thought/action as a fundamental part of their identity and the way they think of themselves. This is partly because we live in an environment that demonizes communism and communists (ditto anarchism), so adopting anti-capitalism as a part of who you are at the core is a defense strategy against the rampant anti-communism and a way to maintain your conviction. Anyway, my theory is that a lot of anti-capitalists see gravitating towards a particular sect as the only way to solidify this identity.

    The way to combat sectarianism is not by promoting "unity" as an abstract ideal. It's by finding the material basis of socialism that already exists within capitalism and using it to construct a revolutionary movement whose power derives not from ideological platforms but from the fact that it is based in real, everyday life and provides a shows the concrete potential of transformation. We can't force people with opposing ideologies together, but we can build something that's much better than the current fragmented collection of revolutionary abstractions.
  3. Soseloshvili
    Soseloshvili
    Nationalism is a huge problem.

    In my country, Canada, the Communist Party is divided because a large portion of the party's Quebecois members left to form their own party based on the principles of Quebecois Nationalism, because they believed the CPC was "anti-Quebec".

    Basically they believe that Quebec's separation is more important than the working class in general, they're more Nationalist than Internationalist. It's kind of sad that the party is divided over such a matter.

    And I also believe a lot of factions that were pro-war left the world's Social Democratic parties at the outbreak of the First World War. This is another example of Nationalism dividing a party.
  4. L.A.P.
    L.A.P.
    I think people need to realize in the end we all want the same thing and our opposition to each other is a good thing and that gives healthy disagreement.
  5. thriller
    thriller
    It's hard for leftists to unite because we arn't 'sheeple'. Yet it is our biggest hurtle. I like what xx1994xx said. I think all commies, what ever doctrine, and anarchists all want the same thing, we just have different ideas on how to get there. I think it'd be awesome if we could form a big coalition. From what I've seen, the socialist contingent at the One Nation rally seemed to work quite well. Many different groups including Marxist-Leninist's, Democratic Socialists, and Trot's all showed up to work together. This is something to look at and see how we can build on/improve it.
  6. mikelepore
    mikelepore
    Quote Originally Posted by RedBrother
    Any theories as to why sectarianism abounds?
    I think there are two main reasons.

    (1) It's relatively easy for non-leftists to unite, because they dwell ideologically in the past and present. There is just one past and just one present. They can say simply, "name something that's unfair and demand that it be stopped" (liberal) or "dont change anything at all" (conservative) or "turn back the hands of the clock" (reactionary) - then - voilą! - instant unification. However, the left is about the future being detached from the past, the future being redesigned intelligently. There are an infinite number of possible futures, and therefore an infinite number of possible sects that we could form.

    (2) People on the left know intuitively that some goals and strategies are workable and some are unworkable. But there is disagreement about which goals and strategies are the workable and the unworkable ones. Do things the wrong way and there may be defeat. There may be no basic social change at all, perhaps, the reform band-aid distraction, the perpetual two-party flip-flop, popular disenchantment with any change, etc. Or there may be what appears to be a revolution but which moves toward a new dystopia. Therefore, we have the desperate feeling that it matters very much to get on the right path, but without an infallable way to determine which path is the right one. We sense that it's a matter of great urgency to leave port and launch the ship, but without clarity about which harbor we are supposed to be sailing for.
  7. thriller
    thriller
    Quote Originally Posted by mikelepore
    I think there are two main reasons.

    (1) It's relatively easy for non-leftists to unite, because they dwell ideologically in the past and present. There is just one past and just one present. They can say simply, "name something that's unfair and demand that it be stopped" (liberal) or "dont change anything at all" (conservative) or "turn back the hands of the clock" (reactionary) - then - voilą! - instant unification. However, the left is about the future being detached from the past, the future being redesigned intelligently. There are an infinite number of possible futures, and therefore an infinite number of possible sects that we could form.

    (2) People on the left know intuitively that some goals and strategies are workable and some are unworkable. But there is disagreement about which goals and strategies are the workable and the unworkable ones. Do things the wrong way and there may be defeat. There may be no basic social change at all, perhaps, the reform band-aid distraction, the perpetual two-party flip-flop, popular disenchantment with any change, etc. Or there may be what appears to be a revolution but which moves toward a new dystopia. Therefore, we have the desperate feeling that it matters very much to get on the right path, but without an infallable way to determine which path is the right one. We sense that it's a matter of great urgency to leave port and launch the ship, but without clarity about which harbor we are supposed to be sailing for.
    I like this post.
  8. The Militant
    The Militant
    I believe we should all work together to bring about the end of capitalism and then work out our differences afterwords.
  9. Soseloshvili
    Soseloshvili
    Quote Originally Posted by !thriller!
    It's hard for leftists to unite because we arn't 'sheeple'. Yet it is our biggest hurtle. I like what xx1994xx said. I think all commies, what ever doctrine, and anarchists all want the same thing, we just have different ideas on how to get there. I think it'd be awesome if we could form a big coalition. From what I've seen, the socialist contingent at the One Nation rally seemed to work quite well. Many different groups including Marxist-Leninist's, Democratic Socialists, and Trot's all showed up to work together. This is something to look at and see how we can build on/improve it.
    This is very true. You must realize that Marx never stated Communism is an ideology - it is a goal, a working class society.

    The various far-left ideologies (Anarchism, Marxism, etc.) are only interpretations of how to reach this goal.

    Therefore, we all share the same goal, yet with different interpretations of how to reach it.
  10. Dumb
    We also tend to see duplicative parties and sects abound because, because as small as they are, it's hard for currently existing groups to spread awareness of their existence (let alone message) to other leftists. Therefore, there's a high chance that possible recruits will end up going off on their own direction - then once that new group hears about the prior groups, they're suddenly ideological intra-left rivals.
  11. progressive_lefty
    progressive_lefty
    Quote Originally Posted by The Militant
    I believe we should all work together to bring about the end of capitalism and then work out our differences afterwords.
    I agree also.

    I also believe that people shouldn't associate capitalism with democracy. There are plenty examples of where democracy hasn't been exploited by big business. The US in my mind is not a democratic country.
  12. DarkPast
    DarkPast
    Quote Originally Posted by progressive_lefty
    I agree also.

    I also believe that people shouldn't associate capitalism with democracy. There are plenty examples of where democracy hasn't been exploited by big business. The US in my mind is not a democratic country.
    This is indeed, at least in my experience, the best way to make somebody more receptive to socialism in general. As someone from a former communist country, I've experienced how it was always stressed how the new system is "democratic" - that capitalism was part of the package was barely mentioned.

    Once people have, in their minds, decoupled the idea of democracy from capitalism, the left can make progress.
  13. Flying Trotsky
    Flying Trotsky
    I think the best way to unite the left is to focus on a common enemy. Maoist, Trotskyists, and Anarchists all enjoy bickering with each other, but all seem to forget those differences pretty fast when faced with an enemy like Fascism or Imperialism.
  14. trojanpride69
    trojanpride69
    Ultimately, utilizing the socialism vs. capitalism strategy is like beating a dead horse. If we want to build a movement, it has to be a new movement. In reality, most socialists are living in the past. The conditions of the movement have changed, and we need to change with those conditions. Our ideological grounding is very similar, but capitalism is being replaced by an undemocratic, global, semi-feudal corporatism. However, very few movements are challenging this corporatism with a unified response.

    I would argue that in order to present a unified response, we will need a unified cause. The "We ARE ONE" rallies are a good start, but we need to start looking internationally more than we have ever done. Likewise, we need to ditch the philosophical trappings of the different shades of socialism (i.e. communism). We, as socialists, are all interested in the same thing: fighting inequality/poverty and making the world a better place through cooperation and mutual ownership.

    Marx did a great job at outlining how we should start, but now it's a new generation's turn to create another revolution; a revolution in the way we think, act, and perceive the world around us by fashioning a grassroots, world-wide, egalitarian, and anti-aristocratic/bureaucratic movement devoted to rule for and by the people.

    The fumes are already there. Now it's time to light the spark.
  15. DarkPast
    DarkPast
    Well said, trojanpride. I also see corporate neo-feudalism as our new opponent. At least one thing is a bit easier for us now - people don't easily empathize with megacorporations.
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