Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

February 22, 2013

Signs of deepening degeneration

Filed under: British SWP — louisproyect @ 5:38 pm

Simon Assaf

I started following British SWP member Simon Assaf’s tweeter page (is that what they call it?) after he signed off of Facebook.I thought that his posts on Syria and the Middle East were very useful (no surprise there.)

But recently he has taken to slandering Richard Seymour on twitter. Accusing him of aspiring to be the next Christopher Hitchens. Now he labels Richard’s girlfriend a “spook”.

This is exactly the trajectory of Gerry Healy. Sexual predation and now “snitch jacketing”. Most of you are too young to remember this but the Healyites alleged that Joe Hansen, an SWP leader who was one of Trotsky’s bodyguards, was a GPU agent and insinuated that he collaborated with the FBI as well.

You can bet that Assaf is picking up this bullshit from the SWP leaders. What a waste of humanity.


  1. Is it really worth fighting over the SWP? I get the impression that even if the reform faction prevails (which seems unlikely), the scorched earth policy of the current leadership will render it a phyrric victory. And even the reformers seem incapable of fully extricating themselves from the theoretical cul-de-sac that the SWP had lead them into.

    Comment by Richard Estes — February 22, 2013 @ 6:50 pm

  2. Richard, I have higher expectations from those who are about to become ex-SWP’ers although Binh does not share my optimism. Maybe I am like Charlie Brown about to kick the football but I remain hopeful as ever, a flaw I suppose I picked up from Peter Camejo.

    Comment by louisproyect — February 22, 2013 @ 6:57 pm

  3. I believe the term is twitter feed

    Comment by SOZ — February 23, 2013 @ 12:32 am

  4. They are not going to win in the SWP, but I look forward to seeing what they accomplish outside of the SWP. The SWP is enthusiastically putting the noose around its own neck, it’s embarrassing to watch. The leadership is more interested in getting Martin Smith back in the game than in convincing the public that it is a true fighter for women’s rights. They are finished. But those who are fighting and will lose will win in their activist life after SWP.

    Comment by Brandy Baker — February 23, 2013 @ 4:28 am

  5. Is it really worth fighting over the SWP? Well for those who have no interest in the IST brand of Marxism, obviously not, so put the deckchairs away and toddle off. Although you might also want to think about how some people are using the crisis created by the SWP CC as an assault on the left in general.
    This comes in a couple of forms the first are the pro-state “left”. Their focus is not on the failures of the Party’s disciplinary measure but to argue that revolutionaries should put their trust in the capitalist state and the arguments appearing at Socialist Informer and Workers (in uniform) Weekly are clear on this; that the female comrade who took her complaints to the party should be forced to go instead through the bourgeoisie criminal justice system. Her rights as an individual and revolutionary are nothing compared with those of the state. Nice fucking people, just as obnoxious in my eyes as the people aligned with the CC who did not treat her fairly within the party. The comrade is not an adult fully capable of making personal and political choices, but a “girl” to be controlled. People of all ages can be exploited, if they are. or are harmed they have the right to choose their path to justice.
    Then there are those who want to destroy the SWP as part of an assault on the far left in general, they again care nothing about the comrade who made the complaints, their arguments are clear, all revolutionaries belong to cults or have serious personality problems and should be driven out of the labour movement. The threads at Socialist Informer are as clear as a bell. People like George Galloway, the entire SWP (oppositionists as well in many of their eyes) should be “no platformed”; hilariously this comes at the same time that ex-leftists are arguing that no platform for racists and fascists should be dropped. Of course the supporters of Assange’s non-extradition will be the next target.
    The contradictions and hypocrisies of their arguments are so numerous I will not burden this blog with them. But be clear if after the SWP conference there are two organizations, both will be as vile/dangerous in the minds of most of these peoples and they will carry on their witch-hunt even against an organization that contains the comrade whose allegations they pretend to support., and they will broaden their attacks on other elements of the left. The failures in the CC have indeed created this crisis but people as bad of them seek to exploit it.

    Comment by Harry Monro — February 23, 2013 @ 6:07 pm

  6. Radical Marxist and anarchist groups are always under assault by the capitalist state and its allies. But in this instance the SWP is destroying itself without any help from the outside. My question was prompted by my doubt as to whether it is possible to create a successful political organization with members who fall back upon character assassination and threats as a way to deal with internal dissent, while demanding obedience because of the enormity of outside threats. Of course, the hypocrisy here is that the current leadership of the SWP, after emphasizing the significance of these threats, will, if they lose at the conference, proceed to destroy the resources of the organization on their way out, assuming that they don’t just steal them in order to get a new sectarian enterprise up and running. Or, to put it more simply, after demanding loyalty, they will display none at all if they lose. As an aside, Galloway is, if you’ve haven’t already noticed, a buffoon. Even arch anti-Zionist As’ad Abukhalil will debate Israelis, he just refuses to look at them or acknowledge them, as he did at SF State a few years ago.

    Comment by Richard Estes — February 24, 2013 @ 4:06 am

  7. Richard, I always knew he was an idiot, but the people responsible for pushing “no platform” for Galloway are not really interested in his version of Arab nationalism, nor his misogyny; they are punishing him and his supporters for defeating New Labour in elections. They are to a woman and man, people who think one of the great machines on the planet, the US armed forces, can help women in Afghanistan.
    I agree about the CC. If they lose they will hold onto the party name, resources etc and expell their opponents in piecemeal fashion; knowing their opponents will not go to the courts. If the win they will expel only the “Seymour” faction and hope others will put up with that or drift off.
    However having spent over 30 years of my life in that tradition, and believing that on the whole the SWP role in the British left was possible I’d like to see as mych salavaged from the wreckage as possible.
    If you want see the politics of the people intent on helping smash the SWP just read Socialist Informer, where the problem is not Obama in the Mid East but the British Tories. Where Stalin is is a hero who virtually killed no-one. And people who denigrate the SWP as a party of rape, celebrate the Red Army’s advances at the end of WW2; without a word about the tens (hundreds?) of thousands raped by the reserve battalions as a method of punishing the Germans. Pat S calls this blog filth, I think he understates the matter. But I understand that some people think the overthrow of capitalism has only be held back by the SWP or that others think the solution for the working class is Obama/New Labour.

    Comment by Harry Monro — February 25, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

  8. […] SWP has never become a mass party. Its past and present problems do not need rehearsing here. Lois Proyect notes their ‘deeping degeneration’ which may well be true.. At least some of their […]

    Pingback by The International Marxist Group and the SWP Crisis. | Tendance Coatesy — March 4, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

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