Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Party For Workers Power

Special Bulletin

Jon Harris

Some ideas from a student club discussion on Bulletin #10

Some points were raised in criticism of Bull. 10, sec. A. In this section two important points are made. l) Spark [the PWP newspaper – EROL] needs more varied and extensive subject matter and should deal with a whole number of topics which are on people’s minds. Such topics include international events, economic crisis, culture ecology, etc. 2) Spark needs more explicit (which means clearly stated, out front) rather than implicit (not explained fully) analysis. Spark tends to be excellent on detailed evidence but often fails to draw out the “moral” of the story so that people can easily grasp it and apply it themselves to other things. Since the analysis behind our particular view of the world is often only partially presented and the goals of our party not specifically conveyed, not clearly stated, it is difficult for people to understand fully what we’re getting at.

However, a third point which is not really dealt with in the bulletin is crucially related to these two. Improvement of Spark along these lines must arise from much greater involvement of members and friends of the P.W.P. in the development of our party positions. The paper is really a reflection of the political discussion within the party. What it now reflects is this:

the discussion of important political topics in the party is too hap-hazard, very lagardly or even non-existent. What’s our position on the economic crisis, communism (beyond that we aren’t) middle east, energy crisis, ecology, union movements, welfare (beyond that most people on welfare are not cheaters), university cutbacks, etc., etc. What kind of collective discussion is there on these topics? How seriously do we take existing study groups and efforts to analyze such questions? Do clubs discuss these questions? And if so do the results ever show up in bulletins or Spark? Are friends of the party involved in this process? And if so are they politically involved in the sense that their views are actively discussed? This whole process is seriously lacking in PWP and the “limited” nature of the paper and bulletins reflects this.

To achieve significant gains in broadening the scope of what the paper covers and in making its analysis clearer, we must deal with these questions. Since the bulletin (#10) does not address this, it gives the impression that the point at issue is a change of editorial policy. But this is not sufficient. For one thing our limited staff could not possibly handle all these issues. Even if they could – or if we had a million bucks to hire a more extensive staff – this would not be a substitute for a party with many ties to the people actively involved in widespread political discussion. (Especially when the goal of our party is to arm the working class with the ability to analyse every issue.) So making this a reality must be our most important goal. Obviously our present resources are limited. But we could and roust do significantly better – this would be possible if we clearly defined as our goal a paper that reflects extensive on-going political discussion on many topics.