Friday, September 29, 2006

Clause 1 Socialism

One leftie hobby is to try to categorise other lefties by dividing them up into different political boxes as 'Trots', 'Brownites', 'Blairites', 'Real Labour', 'New Labour', 'Compassites' and so on. While this is occasionally helpful, often it serves to create artificial differences between people who agree on a lot more than they disagree on.

Personally, if I must get categorised, I am a Clause I Socialist. I am a socialist because I believe in working to create a society where people contribute according to their means and receive according to their needs, and where co-operation is more important than competition. And I am a Clause I socialist because Clause 1 of the Labour Party is that the purpose of Labour is to "to organise and maintain in Parliament and in the country a political Labour Party", or as one comrade summarised it, 'the point of the Labour Party is to win elections.'


At 10:26 am , Blogger Bob Piper said...

When Kinnock made his defining speech against Militant he said you could have all of the principles in the world, but without power, they count for nothing, which seems to be very much what you are saying. However, the flip side of the same coin, that Knoock nor the boy Blair seemed to appreciate, is that you can have all the power in the world, but without your socialist principles, it ain't worth jack shit!

At 10:41 pm , Blogger donpaskini said...

Exactly. I don't believe that there is a trade off between being a socialist and being electable. It is very convenient for people to spread the myth that we have to give up on our principles to win votes. It is also convenient for a different group of people to pretend that elections don't matter, and that therefore the work of communicating with people who haven't already been persuaded is not worthwhile. I don't believe either of these things, hence Clause I Socialism.

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I really like all the points you have made.

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