[OPE-L:1473] RE: Re: Re: Mandel, Mattick, etc.

Thu, 14 Oct 1999 17:23:15 +0100

I am not saying that there are no arguments made against fascism, but I
think if people are out to beat you up for the colour of your skin or not
even that, then they should be stopped from spreading their poison. It is
well known that when fascists start selling their literature and organising
meetings in an area then the number of racist attacks increase, and this
cannot be defeated just by intellectual argument.

In relation to Len Pen I think his gaining support is arguably directly due
to the weakness of the left, and in particular the small numbers of the
Trotskyist left in France. But it is interesting to hear of fascism being
against the law in Holland, which I did not know.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jurriaan Bendien [SMTP:djjb99@worldonline.nl]
> Sent: 14 October 1999 18:03
> To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
> Subject: [OPE-L:1472] Re: Re: Mandel, Mattick, etc.
> Hi Andrew
> >I agree to some extent with your comments about British Trotskyism.
> There
> >has been a tendency to teach young recruits to stick to the party line,
> >which does not provide a good foundation for intellectual free thought.
> If
> >this is not the case in your Netherlands group then this is something to
> be
> >commended.
> No, this is not the case in our group, we have very strong democratic
> principles and there is full freedom for discussion. If anything, we tend
> to err (in my own opinion) on the other side, i.e. insufficient
> development
> of our own party profile, because we are so busy being involved with all
> sorts of other groups and alliances on the left. But this deficiency is
> also a function of our small size and the fact that most of us work for a
> living. Really we are only a very modest group undertaking modest tasks,
> we
> don't see ourselves as "the vanguard" or something. But for a small group
> we do have a lot of connections and are involved in a lot of activities,
> nationally and internationally. We don't always have correct or complete
> views on everything, but we can correct or develop our standpoints through
> discussion because of the way we operate.
> However, the argument can also be made that in the U.K. the
> >Trotskyism, as represented by the SWP here, is much better organised on
> the
> >continent. Le Pen gained power in French cities but couldn't even speak
> in
> >London due to direct opposition from the (SWP run) Anti Nazi League.
> There
> >is not even one fascist local councillor in the U.K., which I think is
> due
> >largely to the SWP.
> Well of course if you have a party of 10,000 or so then you can do a lot
> more than if you have a party of 100 or 500 or 5,000. I think also in
> France the LCR and Lutte Ouvriere are very active in anti-fascist
> activity.
> An interesting question is, how could Le Pen gain support in France ? I
> don't know the full answer, but in my own experience fascist-type ideas
> have a real credibility among a certain section of the peasants, workers
> and middle classes in France, and they don't have that in Britain to
> anywhere the same extent. In Holland the fascist argument has no real
> credibility either (in fact the state has legislated against them here).
> Naturally I am a hundred percent against fascism; relatives of mine died
> in
> Buchenwald and Bergen Belsen, and my parents carry the scars of Nazi
> occupation. However I wonder what is so wrong in allowing Le Pen just to
> speak in Britain ? Don't the British Left have any arguments or ideas to
> counter the fascist case ? Is their argument that you stop fascism by
> stopping fascists from speaking ?
> In solidarity
> Jurriaan.

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