George Walford: Doing the Splits (59)

Under this title IC reports instances of the divisiveness of the eidodynamics, contrasting it with the ‘don’t rock the boat’ approach of the traditionalists.

This year it looked as though the Labour Party Conference was failing to make its usual contribution, but the hard left journal Briefing came to the rescue, attacking the shadow chancellor and home secretary in its ‘Class Traitor of the month’ column.

The Communist Party of Great Britain was formed in 1920, when a mighty effort, supported by funds from the Comintern, brought a number of minor groups together. Agreed only on the need for socialist revolution, “They were profoundly and bitterly divided upon virtually every other political principle as well as being affected with considerable personal suspicions and rivalries.” (Stephen Cullen in Freedom, 17 October, reviewing and quoting from The Good Old Cause; British Communism 1920-1991 by Willie Thompson. Pluto Press).

‘Even in Soviet Russia, Party congresses, until Stalin’s iron hand made them a parody of their past, were to witness continued and frantic intrigues, explosions of pent-up personal hatreds, and irreparable fissures in the ‘monolithic unity’ of Bolshevism… the Russian revolutionaries could work together like brothers when facing danger at home. They quarrelled furiously but usually parted as friends when within the intimacy of a small circle. But the presence of a forum, the clash of opinions, were to act upon them like an energizing drug, unleashing the violence that had made them what they were, and had been contained only by a common task and the hatred of a common enemy.’ (A. B. Ulam, 1965, Lenin and the Bolsheviks 245).

from Ideological Commentary 59, February 1993.