Discussion arising from the critique of The Golden Spaniard

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Toohey
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Discussion arising from the critique of The Golden Spaniard

Postby Toohey » Mon 24 Jul, 2006 08:04:11

(Continued from the critique of The Golden Spaniard.........(webmaster))
Is that what it all boils down to - the lesser of two evils?
What a choice!
Perosnally I would not have aided either side as both were very similair. One side represented left-wing capitalism and the other right-wing capitaism. Neither were/are worth killing for.

Imaging telling that to your grand-children, I killed and tortured other men for the lesser of two evils!
I'm sure they'd be proud.
It's a moot point but if we had a similair style of government in the UK at that time would you have welcomed Fascist troops into the UK? Only as the lesser of two evils of course.

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Postby Hoyo de Monterrey » Wed 26 Jul, 2006 22:36:02

Toohey wrote:Is that what it all boils down to - the lesser of two evils?

Isn't that what all human conflict boils down to in the end?

Toohey wrote:Imaging telling that to your grand-children, I killed and tortured other men for the lesser of two evils!
I'm sure they'd be proud.

I suspect that those who killed (on either side) were convinced of the rightness of their cause - and I wouldn't presume to deny any of them the justification of that conviction. Torturers, generally speaking, don't need a cause - just an excuse - and it is important to make the distinction between soldiers and war criminals.

Toohey wrote:It's a moot point but if we had a similair style of government in the UK at that time would you have welcomed Fascist troops into the UK? Only as the lesser of two evils of course.

Tricky question, as I have never (thank God) been placed in such a situation. However if I felt that my country, my religion, my family and my way of life were threatened, and it was the only posssible way out....who knows? I couldn't, hand on heart give an unequivocal "no" to your question. Could you? (substituting "Communist" for "Fascist", of course).
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Postby Toohey » Thu 27 Jul, 2006 08:53:59

Sorry to disappoint you but of course my answer would be a no. By Communist, you must mean the state-capitalist regimes like Cuba, USSR or China. As I'm against both left and right wing capitalism the answer would be a resounding no. I would speak out against there regimes sending troops here.

Yes, millions have died fighting for the lesser of two evils and I'm sure millions will continue to die in the future. That shows what a waste of time it is to get involved in that struggle.

I guess thats what the Duc realised at the end of the book!

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Postby Toohey » Thu 27 Jul, 2006 08:58:13

Oh - unlike you I don't own any of this country and have no religion. My way of life?
Whatever that means - I have to get along with the system they have here. What if I don't like the 'way of life' here?

So do I or should I have to fight in that case?

again my answer is no. My country is not worth defending.

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Postby Toohey » Thu 27 Jul, 2006 10:50:32

Here is a statement from the SPGB, a which I'm a member of, about the Spanish Civil War.

We have been asked to state as briefly as possible the principles which govern the attitude of the
SPGB towards struggles such as that going on in Spain.
The first is that, as a matter of course, Socialists are on the side of the exploited in their struggles
against the landed and monied classes. This is true whether the workers concerned are Socialist or
not, organised or unorganised, and whether the struggle is a strike or a lock-out, or whether it is
concerned with gaining "elbow room" for the working class movement, i. e., the right to organise,
to carry on propaganda, to secure the franchise and parliamentary government. These struggles are
all expressions of the class struggle and are in the line of development towards Socialism. It is the
plain duty of the organised workers in the more advanced countries to support and encourage such
struggles, both at home and in the less advanced countries. But here a difference emerges between
the SPGB and non-Socialist workers' organisations. While our members individually take part in
struggles for objects other than Socialism the SPGB as a party does not. It exists and seeks support
solely for Socialism, i. e., for activities which the non-Socialist organisations, including the
reformist political parties, do not and cannot undertake. Therefore the SPGB only gives material
support to Socialist organisations.
Also, while the SPGB is on the side of the exploited in their struggles, it does not necessarily
approve of the way in which every struggle is carried on. Reckless and ill-timed action often
defeats its object. It is desirable that every action be as democratically controlled and carefully
considered as possible. Actions based on mere emotion and trust in leaders in disregard of the
magnitude of the obstacles to be overcome are bad for the working class movement. This is
particularly true when the action is one which involves grave and lasting consequences, such as the
decision of the Austrians in February, 1934, and the Spaniards in July, 1936, to resist suppression
by taking up arms. We are opposed to the theory that it is in every case better to strike or fight
when the propertied class throws down the gauntlet, without counting the cost or the consequences.
In Austria and Spain it was the duty of the democratic forces to consider the military strength of the
two sides, any dissensions among their own supporters--in Spain dissensions have continued in the
midst of the war against Franco--and the likelihood of foreign intervention. There were some who
held in both cases that armed resistance was not worth while. On balance, however, the Austrian
and Spanish workers decided in favour of armed resistance. The Austrians were soon crushed, but
in Spain Franco is still as far from victory as he was ten months ago. And whether the democratic
resistance is eventually successful or not makes no difference to the Socialist attitude of being on
the side of the democrats; though it will naturally influence our judgement and that of the Spaniards
concerned as to the wisdom of the particular course of action.
In the present struggle in Spain two main groups are in opposition. On the one side those, headed
by Franco, who threaten to deprive the workers of the power to organise politically and industrially
in their own interests. On the other side is the main body of the workers.
Whether the Spanish workers were wise in participating in a struggle so costly in human lives may
be debatable, but as they have decided to take the plunge, and as they have the most violent
partisans of capitalism against them, Socialists are, of course, on their side. It must be assumed that
the Spanish workers weighed up the situation and counted the cost before deciding their course of
action. That is a matter upon which their judgement should be better than that of people outside the
country.
ED. COMM
(May 1937)

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Postby Hoyo de Monterrey » Thu 27 Jul, 2006 21:29:45

Toohey wrote:Sorry to disappoint you but of course my answer would be a no.

Doesn't disappoint me at all! I was only asking a question.

Toohey wrote:By Communist, you must mean the state-capitalist regimes like Cuba, USSR or China. As I'm against both left and right wing capitalism the answer would be a resounding no. I would speak out against there regimes sending troops here..

Oh dear - you wouldn't have lasted long in Spain. Naive, idealistic socialism was stamped out brutally, ruthlessly and extremely efficiently by the Communists - witness their destruction of the Trotskyists of the POUM whilst the war was still going on!

Toohey wrote:Yes, millions have died fighting for the lesser of two evils and I'm sure millions will continue to die in the future. That shows what a waste of time it is to get involved in that struggle.

Depends what you end up with, doesn't it?
Last edited by Hoyo de Monterrey on Thu 27 Jul, 2006 22:02:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hoyo de Monterrey » Thu 27 Jul, 2006 21:51:18

Toohey wrote:Oh - unlike you I don't own any of this country

Well, I own a couple of acres of Somerset but that's about it!. But one doesn't have to have a large territorial stake in a country to be prepared to protect it. I spent 20 years in the Navy, because I thought my country was worth defending. During my service various people fired missiles and bullets at ships I was in, but that was just an aspect of the job.

Toohey wrote:I have to get along with the system they have here. What if I don't like the 'way of life' here?

Ridiculously cheap flights are available to all sorts of countries - take your pick!
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Postby Hoyo de Monterrey » Thu 27 Jul, 2006 22:00:07

Toohey wrote:Here is a statement from the SPGB, a which I'm a member of, about the Spanish Civil War.

I'm delighted to learn that the dear old SPGB is still alive - I thought it had succumbed to the advance of progress, rather like the dinosaurs. I'm afraid I will need a little time to digest this whacking great dumpling of a manifesto - I'll get back to you!
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SPGB

Postby Toohey » Mon 31 Jul, 2006 09:10:06

Hoyo you sound suprised that the SPGB is still going why?

Capitalism is our best recruting seargant.

though my thanks to the British state for educating me to such a high standard that I can actually read and understand Marxian socialism. Well, Marx did say capitalism creates it's own grave-diggers.

As for being niave, you wag! What could be more niave that voting Conservative, Labour, Libdem, Respect, UKIP etc. Or killing other workers for left or right-wing capitalism?

As for dinosaurs have you picked up a mainifesto from any of major parties lately?

Talk about failed selling us old, failed poilcies and bankrupt ideas.

As long as there are those that seek to hodwink the working class well be around

We are alive and well and hold summer schools every year. Get in touch with me for more info!

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Postby Toohey » Mon 31 Jul, 2006 09:28:57

As for not lasting long in Spain, Hoyo you are confusing socialism with socialists!

Granted there can be no socialism without socialists and I don't know if we had (SPGB) any sympathisers in Spain who were ruthlessly crushed but you can't kill an idea!

As long as capitalism exists so will Marxism as the Duc discovered at the end of the book neither left or right-wing capitalism has the answers and neither are worth killing for.

That, to me is what redeems the duc and his merry band.

Dead or alive we win as the SPGB is still alive today, 102 years and not out!

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Re: SPGB

Postby Hoyo de Monterrey » Wed 2 Aug, 2006 00:37:36

Toohey wrote:Hoyo you sound suprised that the SPGB is still going why?

I thought it had gone the way of the fossilized old monsters in the Kremlin. Still, discovering that an outdated relic of 1930s politics is still alive is rather like the rediscovery of the coelocanth- rather surprising, but fascinating. Incidentally, when was the last SPGB candidate elected as an MP? Do remind me.

Toohey wrote:though my thanks to the British state for educating me to such a high standard that I can actually read and understand Marxian socialism. Well, Marx did say capitalism creates it's own grave-diggers.

Reading some of your posts makes me wonder if spelling was on the curriculum! (OK, sorry, cheap shot - but I couldn't resist it).


Toohey wrote:As for being niave, you wag! What could be more niave that voting Conservative, Labour, Libdem, Respect, UKIP etc. Or killing other workers for left or right-wing capitalism?

Youv'e rather lost me there, I fear. Interesting juxtaposition, though.

Toohey wrote:We are alive and well and hold summer schools every year. Get in touch with me for more info!

Awfully kind, but I think I'll decline your offer.
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Postby Toohey » Wed 2 Aug, 2006 09:04:06

The SPGB has never had an MP elected.

Which is disappointing but to still be in existence after 100 yrs is quite an achievement.
Sadly too many members of the working class believe it is in thier interests to vote for the mainstream parties. This is a mistake on their part as these parties work within the system and capitalism cannot be run in the interests of the majority. Maybe one day the majority of workers will become class aware and join us.

Shame you wont turn up as I'd have cup of tea and a biscuit for you!

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SPGB

Postby Toohey » Wed 2 Aug, 2006 09:43:53

The Socialist Party of Great Britain has a record of being consistently correct on a number of important issues over its ninety or so years of activity.

The SPGB warned about the dangers of socialists advocating reforms long before the shameful collapse of European Social Democracy in the First World war.

The SPGB said in 1918 that the Bolsheviks could not set up Socialism in Russia, and it was the Party who in this country pioneered the view that Russia was developing state capitalism.

The SPGB predicted the inevitable failure of Labour governments both as a way to Socialism and as a means of improving workers' living standards.

From the start the SPGB realised that nationalisation was no solution to the workers' problems.

The SPGB has always exposed the false and divisive nature of nationalism, racism and religion.

In two world wars the SPGB declared and kept an attitude of socialist opposition.

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Postby Toohey » Wed 2 Aug, 2006 09:48:56

As you can see far from being fossilized

The Socialist Party of Great Britain has also made its own contributions to socialist theory, in the light of further developments, going beyond, some of the theories of socialist pioneers like Marx and Engels. We set out below a number of these contributions:

1. Solving the Reform or Revolution dilemma, by declaring that a socialist party should not advocate reforms of capitalism and by recognising that parliament can be used for revolutionary ends.

2. Realisation that Socialsim will be a world-wide system of production and distribution. Socialism cannot be established in one country.

3. Recognition that there is no longer any need for a "transition period" between capitalism and Socialism. Marx and Engels were not dogmatists and neither are we. They recognised that the general principles of the COMMUNIST MANIFESTO were correct but the practical application of these principles depended on the historical conditions at the time. We do not live in 1848 when Marx and Engels sketched out some revolutionary measures at the end of Section II of the MANIFESTO nor, in 1875, when Marx suggested in THE CRITIQUE OF THE GOTHA PROGRAMME, that Socialism might need to begin with a voucher system. Socialism is technically possible now and can be established with free access under democratic control when a majority of workers want it.

4. Rejection of any further progressive role for nationalism after capitalism became the dominant world system towards the end of the 19th century. Industrialisation under national state capitalism is neither necessary nor economically progressive.

5. For the same reason, rejection of the idea of "progressive wars". Socialists oppose all wars on the grounds of class, refusing to take sides in the squabble between capitalists over raw resources, strategic points of influence and trade routes.

6. Exposure of leadership as a capitalist political principle, a feature of the revolutions that brought them to power and utterly alien to the socialist revolution. The socialist revolution necessarily involves the active and conscious participation of the great majority of workers so that there is no useful role for leadership.

7. Advocating and practising that a socialist party, with no leaders and no secret meetings, thus foreshadowing the society it seeks to establish.

8. Recognition that capitalism will not collapse on its own accord, but will continue from crisis to crisis until workers consciously organise to abolish it.

9. Opposing as unscientific and politically unsound, all religions of the world.

10. That apathy, disinterestedness and lack of participation in the affairs of the Party opens it up to entryism, factionism, unsound theories, disputes and division.

The Socialist Party of Great Britain has refused to compromise its socialist principles by uniting with reformist organisation and has firmly insisted that the only road to Socialism is through democratic organisation and political action based on a clear understanding of the class position of workers under capitalism.

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Postby Hoyo de Monterrey » Wed 2 Aug, 2006 23:15:42

Toohey - I am afraid the SPGB will have to do without me!

Incidentally, as a matter of courtesy to other users of The Library, don't you think we should desist from this argument, which has gone way beyond the topic of DW's The Golden Spaniard? Send me a PM if you wish, but I can't guarantee to reply to them all.
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