Returning to materialism

Today I read a fantastic speech given by Peter Camejo at the 1995 Democratic Socialist Party (of Australia) conference. (It wasn’t well received by the DSP at the time seemingly, but it is a fantastic pre-defence of their move to form the Socialist Alliance in the 2000’s).

His anti-sectarian position resonates with me, and what’s more, it’s backed up by incredible practical-theoretical clarity and historical analysis.

Particularly of interest is his scathing critique of Trotskyist parties (such as the SWP in the States) for perpetrating a misunderstanding of Lenin’s theory of the vanguard. In short, Lenin didn’t advocate, nor practice, building up a cadre party with the ‘correct line’ and then wait for the objective conditions to change.

It makes me wonder that, when Badiou criticises ‘The Party’ as an outmoded political form, which party is he referring to? There are parties and there are parties. Most in the 20th Century failed to go about things in quite the right way, and the Stalinist Comintern didn’t help, but does that mean that the party is, in its essence, unable to be the principal channel for the next wave of revolutionary struggle? To lead it to victory, that is… What is Badiou basing his analysis on other than abstract philosophical speculation?

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