Saturday, June 29, 2019

Not quite a success story: Footnote on sectarians and the European elections

Send to Printer, PDF or Email

Almost exactly 10 ago, on June 24, 2009, we published a long commentary titled, The PSG and the EU elections.  In that article, whose full text can be found here - The PSG and the EU Elections -  we noted that the PSG ( Partei fur Soziale Gleichheit ) a German sectarian outfit affiliated with the World Socialist Web Site, was engaged in delusional thinking by touting its achievements in the elections that year when in fact its results showed a significant decline from previous electoral outings. 

Here we are 10 years later and once more elections to the European parliament have recently concluded.  And just as they did 10 years ago, the Partei fur Soziale Gleichheit  fielded their own candidates in the recent elections.  

What were the results?

Look as hard you wish at the World Socialist Web Site and you will not find much.  In fact the only article that even mentions the results of the PSG's 2019 election campaign is this one,  European elections: German voters register strong opposition to grand coalition.  The only reference in this article to the PSG campaign is in the very last paragraph:

"To prepare these struggles and arm it with a revolutionary programme, the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (SGP) participated in the election campaign. At a series of election meetings in Germany and across Europe, the SGP, together with its European sister parties, advanced an international socialist programme, which now assumes decisive significance. On this basis, and despite a media blackout and efforts to censor the World Socialist Web Site and social media, the SGP won 5,300 votes and gained important new contacts and members."

This statement provides absolutely no context with which to judge the effectiveness of the PSG's election campaign outside of the blanket assertion that their participation in the election "now assumes decisive significance."  However we received the following unsolicited comment providing us with the missing context.  

Michael has left a new comment:


The PSG/SGP results in the last EU elections in Germany are as follows:


EU election 2014: 8924 votes out of 29355092 total votes, i.e. 0.030%
EU election 2019: 5293 votes out of 37389231 total votes, i.e. 0.014%

Compare this to the results of 2009 and 2004:

EU election 2009: 9646 votes out of 26333444 total votes, i.e. 0.037%
EU election 2004: 25795 votes out of 25783678 total votes, i.e. 0.100%

All these numbers can be found at https://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/europawahlen/2019.html

From 2004 till 2019 the number of voters fell from nearly 26000 to about 5300, i.e. about 20%.
And the percentage of the total vote fell from 0.1% to 0.014%, i.e. about a seventh.

Not quite a success story... 





24 comments:

Anonymous said...

In the case of the US elections, we observe a steady 0,01%, an indication that the US SEP has failed to do anything right also in the past. The pattern for all SEP parties seems to be as follows: not engage in the election campaign and run he candidates at the very last moment under the pretext that their participation is a symbolic gesture to familiarize the voting population with the SEP program. Drumming for the SEP candidates on their platform while soliciting donations. When candidates lose, not reveal the results/ mention the defeat somewhere in a hard to find place / skew the results by exaggerating the significance of the votes cast ("800 votes is a significant step forward")/ undermine the significance of the votes cast for the pro-capitalist candidates (e.g. ONLY 60 million people voted for Trump). Here are some of the examples:

- West Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2016,SEP candidate Naomi Spencer received 902 votes placing her last with 2.3% of he overall votes. Although one would wish to comment that many of the FB users have more friends than Naomi, the WSWS' analyses insists that: "The vote for the SEP represents the shift to the left in working class consciousness over the past few years and a desire among millions of people for an end to war, austerity and police violence." I can only congratulate Naomi for her grandiose illusions about herself and the imaginary millions she represents.
- 2018 California midterm elections - although SEP candidate for Senate David Moore receives 24,614 = 0,4% votes and Kevin Mitchell, Congressional District 51, receives 1,473 = 1,88% votes, WSWS announces that Socialist Equality Party wins significant vote in California primary elections.
-2018 presidential elections - Jerry White and Niles Niemuth received 481 = 0,00% votes (less that Nutrition Party and Legal Marijuana Now party), but WSWS, while not mentioning this horrible defeat for the SEP, insists that "The scale of Trump’s defeat in the popular vote underscores the political cowardice that has been displayed by the Democratic Party in its response to the election." Trump received 62,984,828, Clinton 65,853,514 votes, so if Trump's results were a defeat in the popular vote, what adjective would appropriately describe the White/ Niemuth election results, since they won less votes than what is recorded after the last comma of both Trump and Clinton's result numbers.

I also enjoyed the following comment from the WSWS article "SEP presidential candidates to be on the ballot in Louisiana" of Sept 26, 2016:
"The SEP is not attempting to get on the ballot in other states, most of which have enormous hurdles—often tens of thousands of signatures—for independent candidates even to appear on the ballot."

Yes, what a bummer that the broad support of the masses is somehow linked to the successful participation in any elections, but who needs that, lol.
It is true that no independent party can match the marketing money pumped into the major pro-capitalist parties, but that did not stop the Bolsheviks in the past. Instead of whining about being disadvantaged in the race for mass support, they actually participated in the daily struggles of the workers, making themselves known and trusted through ACTION, not just writing. Go figure.

Michael said...

Here's more long-term context.

I have collected the election results of the BSA/PSG/SGP in Berlin starting with the federal election 1990 till the last european election 2019.

Why Berlin?

The BSA/PSG/SGP focused its activities for decades now on Berlin.
So they run in nearly very election in Berlin candidates and therefore some data is available.

Last but not least, Berlin is Germany's biggest city with a huge working class population with a myriad of social problems.
So, it's comprehensible that the SGP is focused on Berlin and one would regard Berlin as a place where socialist politics do have a chance to find an audience.

Here are election results for Berlin:

Election Date Total votes Votes BSA/PSG/SGP In percent

German Federal 02.12.1990 2,012,677 161 0.008
European 12.06.1994 1,325,147 635 0.050
German Federal 16.10.1994 1,950,072 272 0.014
German Federal 27.09.1998 1,957,959 298 0.015
European 13.06.2004 922,021 1410 0.153
German Federal 18.09.2005 1,856,636 1623 0.087
Local Berlin 17.09.2006 1,377,355 565 0.041
European 07.06.2009 858,350 713 0.083
German Federal 27.09.2009 1,723,405 1420 0.082
Berlin 17.09.2011 1,460,012 1687 0.116
German Federal 22.09.2013 1,787,386 976 0.055
European 25.05.2014 1,159,666 745 0.064
Berlin 18.09.2016 1,635,169 2046 0.125
German Federal 24.09.2017 1,869,042 473 0.025
European 26.05.2019 1,507,023 431 0.029

Statistically, a very small upward trend is observable but the absolute numbers are to small and too few to draw any statistic conclusions.

More specifically, the numbers of votes are so small that I regard them as not reliable to directly draw serious political conclusions from them.
Except the very important fact, however, that they prove that the PSG/SGP failed to gain even minor mass support among the working class.

One could sum this up as a stagnation in irrelevance.

Mark said...

I agree with the above comment, if you're not contributing to a movement but simply posturing in relation to various political events, it's not a worthwhile activity, it shows in the election results, you are merely a statical outlier. Yet that is precisley what the SEP party chief calls for more of, journalistic activity. North in a recent video states that the WSWS has a million hits a month from more than 50,000 entities (however that is counted). That video itself has less than a thousand views on youtube at this time, which might be a more realistic estimate of the commited readership of the WSWS.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is your point? The German comrades are risking their lives exposing the likes of Baberowski and the AFD. This site seems to be a retirement home for Pabloites and other political reprobates. Do any of you actually know what you're taking about? Oh ... and the million cited by the wsws.org aren't "hits". They are individual readers. Who reads what you have to say?

Alex Steiner said...

Ordinarily I would not publish this type of abusive comment. However this one exemplifies in many ways the kind of mindless trash talk that passes for commentary on the Internet. It might be a good teaching moment.

First there is the gratuitous insult about this site being "a home for retired Pabloites". I doubt this author has the faintest idea of what a "Pabloite" is. He (and I am assuming it is a "he" since the overwhelming majority of garbage comments on the Internet are from men) certainly does not explain why he thinks such creatures are on this web site, retired or not.

Second, the author tries to change the subject, a typical ploy of dishonest commenters. What does the fact that members of the PSG are fighting against Baberowski and the AFD have to do with our critique of their dishonest and delusional reporting about their election results and its significance? Note by the way that the author never does address our point at all. Were we wrong in saying that the PSG's claim that the vote for them signified the growing influence of the PSG was dishonest and delusional?

Another trope we find in this comment is the inability to distinguish between political criticism and personal attacks. While it may be an accepted fact of political life in the circles this author travels in that you cannot engage in political criticism without at the same time destroying the personal reputation of ones political opponents, we do not accept that. We can both acknowledge the personal courage of members of the PSG in taking on Baberowski and the AFD while at the same time exposing the fundamental dishonesty of the PSG's evaluation of their role in German political life and its significance.

This comment also illustrates another characteristic of Internet trash-talk - tossing out false factual statements as if they are true. Its a feature long associated with right wing web sites and of course Mr. Trump. But false factual statements - otherwise known as "fake news" - is by no means the exclusive product of the right. Here we have a perfect illustration. The author claims that,

"...the million cited by the wsws.org aren't "hits". They are individual readers."

But if you listen to Mr. North's youtube video presentation, he does not make any such claim. He clearly says "one million visits" . While the definition of a "visit" is not the same as a "hit" (you can have multiple hits per visit) it is also not the same as an "individual reader". Here is one definition of a "visit":

"A visit is one individual visitor who arrives at your web site and proceeds to browse. A visit counts all visitors, no matter how many times the same visitor may have been to your site."

Assuming the great majority of visitors to the WSWS are repeat visitors, it is a safe assumption that the number of individuals visiting the WSWS in one month is considerably less than a million.

The Internet has the potential to democratize discussion and help bring clarity to pressing social and political issues. But the same technological revolution that carries with it so much potential for raising the level of social discourse also can be used to stifle genuine discourse and confuse the masses. That is what Google and Facebook have done on a massive scale in their censorship measures against the left. But you can also see those same destructive impulses that pervert genuine dialogue in all sorts of small ways with the spread of mindless trash-talk on the Internet.

Mark said...

From a technical point of view in regard to web traffic, hits and visits are equivilent. If you are are browsing a website, you might accumulate multiple hits/visits in a session. What if every time you you return to the home page the browser or application reloads the page, there may reasons for this based on how the site is coded, then that would accumulate an additional visit/hit. I find the youtube account of the WSWS suprising because the views are so much below the touted readership of the WSWS. Also on youtube you can find content creators that regularly chart hundreds of thousands of views per video. These are individuals sharing their own point of view/hobby/interests, with no grander pretense such as leading the international trotskyist/socialist movement.

Anonymous said...

The 1st Anonymous to the 2nd Anonymous: How do PSG members in Germany risk their lives by fighting Baberowski and Afd? Are they jailed, beaten, disrciminated? As far as Baberowski is conconcerned, I believe this is purely a matter of free speech: of course you're not going to be liked when you interrupt other people's meetings. PSG's claims against Babweowski are highly blown up out of proportions, all they have is one taken out of context citation "Hitler was not vicious", but the quote had a different meaning in the context.

Alex Steiner said...

Reply to Anonymous 2:

I think it is well documented that Baberowski has taken up the role previously held by Ernst Nolte as formulating a version of "history" that tries to legitimize Nazism. As such I don't think there should be any place for him within a legitimate academic community.

And considering that opponents of the neo-Nazi revival in Germany have been murdered with the authorities looking the other way, I don't think it is any kind of stretch to say that anyone who loudly and openly challenges Baberowski and the AFD is exhibiting a great deal of courage.

Alex Steiner said...

Reply to Mark:

You make some valid points here. My only point was that whatever the real number of individual readers who go to the WSWS, it has to be far less than a million per month. What that actual number is I have no way of knowing. If Mr. North has those statistics he should publish them.

But the larger issue here is that regardless of how many readers or how many hits the WSWS is getting, this is in no way equivalent to building a movement. One indication we have of the progress or lack of it in building a movement is in the election results of the PSG over the last 29 years for which we have some statistics. And that record shows at best no significant progress. One would think that a movement that was serious about building a mass base in the working class would question what they are doing after 29 years of stagnation! But instead all we get are dishonest statements that deny the obvious. With this approach there is no reason to think that the next 29 years will be anything different than the last 29 years!

Mark said...

Reviewing the North video, he is consistent with using the metric of visits, I thought that the 50 thousand number was the number of unique vistors, but this is the peak visit count for an article, he gives no such statistics for unique visitors, which might be counted by counting the number of unique IP addresses, but even that could be inacurrate given that an individual might access the same article through different devices/IP addresses. In any case, I don't mean to divert the dicussion from the PSG performance in elections, but I do find some correspondance with the use of statistics by the WSWS.

Anonymous said...

Response to Mr. Steiner:
I agree with your opinion on Baberowski, but I disagree with your comment regarding removing him from Academia, this would be an attack on free speech
People have every right to express their worldview and if they have no backing in historical facts, they will be ignoted or ridiculed. Harrasing somebody just because you diagree with their opinions is childish and antidemocratic. How would you feel if somebody started disturbing your lectures and meetings just because they would accuse you of legitimizing crimes of comunism, which is by the way a legitimate acussation. What you have in common with SEP/PSG is an uncritical view of Lenin and Trotski's involvement in shaping a military dictatorship that led to the establishment if a brutal totalitarian regime. I accuse PSG of criticising and harrassing people with different political views instead of countering them by building a strong socialist movement.

Michael said...

I think the PSG is basically right when they sharply criticize Baberowski (and Münkler), because these two academics are practicing quite proto-fascist propaganda.
And members of the PSG (and/or the IYSSE) are indeed risking something (even if it may not yet be their lives): just think about students that are members of the IYSSE at the Humboldt university where Baberowski does his mischief and is backed by the administration.
Also the defense of Julian Assage by the WSWS/SEP is a campaign that deserves our respect.

Regarding the reach of the WSWS: it's difficult to say how many unique visitors the WSWS has per day/week etc.
Since one person may access the WSWS with different browsers/IP addresses; then again many people behind a proxy may access the WSWS with the same (the proxies) IP address.

@Mark
Yes, the quite low numbers (mostly few hundreds) of views of the videos of the WSWS channel on youtube are really interesting (and disturbing).
If these numbers are correct (i.e. not manipulated) and meaningful (?) then there is certainly some reason to be skeptical about the numbers from David North.

But even if these big numbers from North were true and would indicate a WSWS readership of hundreds of thousands or millions a day, the fact remains that the WSWS and/or SEP/PSG are so far unable to transform this into political influence even on a minor scale as the election results show.
The WSWS may be viewed by quite a lot of people as a source of alternative information.
And, I would say, quite often rightly so.
However, the SEP/PSG are not regarded as a serious political alternative by the working class or the readership. (Otherwise the election results would have to be different.)
And, again -- I'm sad to say this -- by and large rightly so.

Alex Steiner said...

Reply to Michael,

I did not mean to suggest that I think it would be a step forward for the working class if the PSG suddenly and miraculously did become a serious political alternative. That may have been our opinion 10 or 15 years ago when we still thought there was a possibility of reforming this organization, but given the recent turn to the right the by international group with which the PSG is affiliated I think their overall impact on class consciousness is a negative one. That turn to the right is seen in for instance their support for the union-busting Janus decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, their appalling insensitivity to the problems faced by women, their use of slander and character assassination against their political opponents and their overall hostility to any emerging movement on the left that they do not control.

Michael said...

@Alex
I concur completely with your assessment of the points that you mention.

I would like add one more point where the WSWS/PSG goes wrong in my opinion: the minimum wage.

Here's what the PSG has to say about the minimum wage in July 2014 (The minimum wage was intruduced in Germany in 2015):

German @ https://www.wsws.org/de/articles/2014/07/04/mind-j04.html:
An ihrem Schicksal und an der weit verbreiteten Armut wird der gesetzliche Mindestlohn von 8,50 Euro nur wenig ändern. Er ist eher als Beruhigungsmittel gedacht, als Placebo, das die wachsende Opposition gegen Armut und Ausbeutung zum Stillschweigen bringen soll.

In English:
The statutory minimum wage of 8.50 euros will change only slightly the fate and widespread poverty [of part-time workers]. It is intended as a sedative, i.e. a a placebo, that should silence the growing opposition to poverty and exploitation.


Ok, that is quite true, but nevertheless a slight improvement is admitted.
I think there is really no reason whatsoever for socialists to argument principled against a general minimum wage.
Of course, a specific minimum wage may very well be to low or to restricted etc. but that's not too much minimum wage but too less. (This critic would apply to the Germany minimum wage.)

In November 2013 the assessment of The PSG of a minimum wage was quite different (and wrong in my opinion):

German @ https://www.wsws.org/de/articles/2013/11/22/spar-n22.html:
Vor allem aber wird der Mindestlohn das gesamte Lohnniveau nach unten drücken. Das gilt nicht nur für Branchen, in denen bereits rechtsverbindliche Mindestlöhne gelten, die sich meist um die 10 Euro bewegen. Erfahrungen aus anderen Ländern zeigen, dass der Mindestlohn zum Maßstab für das gesamte Tarifgefüge wird.

In English:
Above all, the minimum wage will push down the entire wage level. This does not only apply to industries that already have legally binding minimum wages, which are usually around 10 euros. Experience from other countries shows that the minimum wage becomes the benchmark for the entire wage structure.


Here the minimum wage is something that we should oppose because it will "push down the entire wage level".
Hmm, that's really an "innovation" in Marxist political economy.

In the Transitional Program Trotsky wrote:
Trade unions and other mass organizations should bind the workers and the unemployed together in the solidarity of mutual responsibility. On this basis all the work on hand would then be divided among all existing workers in accordance with how the extent of the working week is defined. The average wage of every worker remains the same as it was under the old working week. Wages, under a strictly guaranteed minimum, would follow the movement of prices. It is impossible to accept any other program for the present catastrophic period.

Consider this "strictly guaranteed [wage] minumum". That's quite at odds with the PSG's assessment of a minimum wage.

Michael said...

Continued:

And just recently the WSWS wrote:

In German @ https://www.wsws.org/de/articles/2019/06/03/nahl-j03.html:
Seither hat die SPD dieselbe Politik als Juniorpartner der CDU/CSU in der Großen Koalition vorangetrieben. Andrea Nahles spielte dabei als Bundesarbeitsministerin von 2013 bis 2017 eine führende Rolle. Der gesetzliche Mindestlohn, den sie einführte und als großen Erfolg feierte, ist derart niedrig, dass er die Löhne nach unten nivelliert.

In English:
Since then, the SPD has pursued the same policy as junior partner of the CDU/CSU in the Grand Coalition. Andrea Nahles played a leading role as Federal Minister of Labor from 2013 to 2017. The statutory minimum wage, which she introduced and celebrated as a great success, is so low that it levels wages down.

Again the minimum wage is decribed as a means to lower wages.
And notice that no prove whatsoever for this assertion is provided -- that is because it is simply not true.

Were is an excerpt of an article from 2018 that sums up the effects of the minimum wage:

In English (German original @ https://archiv.wirtschaftsdienst.eu/jahr/2018/10/auswirkungen-des-gesetzlichen-mindestlohns-bilanz-nach-fast-vier-jahren/):
The introduction of the statutory minimum wage has led to significant increases in the hourly wage at the bottom of the hourly wage distribution. This applies, on the one hand, to groups of employees who earned an above-average rate of less than € 8.50 gross per hour before the statutory minimum wage was introduced. These include, in particular, employees in eastern Germany, marginal employees (so-called "mini-jobbers"), persons without vocational training, employees in smaller companies and women in general. On the other hand, in some sectors there was an above-average increase in hourly wages, in which before the introduction of the statutory minimum wage, a particularly high proportion of employees earned less than € 8.50 per hour. Based on data from the Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), the average hourly wage of the lowest 10% of the hourly wage distribution increased by around 15% from 2014 to 2016, while the corresponding two-year wage growth averaged just 1 in 1998-2014 % was. The hourly wage of this lowest decile has grown more strongly from 2015 to 2016 than the hourly rate of higher deciles. The present impact analyzes causally attribute these wage increases to the minimum wage introduction. ...
However, gross monthly wages show significantly lower or no effects. One of the reasons for this is that, after the introduction of the statutory minimum wage, there have been some reductions in the contractually agreed or paid individual working hours, which have wholly or partially leveled out the effects on hourly wages. ...
However, the introduction of the minimum wage has not yet led to a significant change in the size and composition of the low-paid sector.

I suppose this wrong assessment of the minimum wage is another facet of the crisis mongering of the WSWS.

Or, to say it like Marx in his work "Value,Price and Profit", the theory of the WSWS regarding the minimum wage "I cannot but consider theoretically false and practically dangerous."

Unknown said...

In response to Anonymous I (first comment) - It is interesting to see that Naomi Spencer got over 900 votes in WV in the 2016 election, while, according to the Socialist Equality Party's Wikipedia page, the national candidates got a little over 300 nation-wide. I am not sure of their current (or then-current) memberships, but I can definitely say that there are not 900 socialists in West Virginia, and certainly not in a single district. However, there are likely more than 300+ members and supporters nationwide, so the disparity in votes right there says something. What?

In the interest of full disclosure, I am an ex-SEP member and know many of the people involved in that election, including this set of candidates. The SEP is, as any organization, comprised of a variety of individuals. Naomi Spencer is a stand-up, working class woman who not only has a tremendous theoretical and historical knowledge base, but also has a keen eye as to how that knowledge applies to the lives of the working class today. I would vote for her, because she would actually represent me.

This is not the case with the ticket run by the SEP at the national level that year. To start, Niles Niemuth, the VP candidate, was 28 - which is below the Constitutionally-eligible age. Right there we see an un-seriousness *at least*, and a betrayal of the working class at worst. Asking for donations of money and time to get an automatically-disqualifiable candidate on the ballot is reprehensible.

In 2006 (a year in which I ran for State Senate as an SEP candidate), the party engaged in a pitched legal battle in Illinois to gain ballot access after having been beset with a series of ridiculous lawsuits by the local Dem Party. They were finally victorious, as, **having met all qualifications**, there was no legal reason to keep them off the ballot. All of this was very useful in showing the sham that bourgeois electoral politics are if one steps out of the D or R box.

So, ten years later they run a candidate who could be easily knocked out of the field - for why? What possible reasons could there be for such a maneuver? Do they think the working class is a bunch of idiots? We are not, and it shows in the numbers.

The party claims it does not run to win office, but to raise the socialist consciousness of the working class. I think it did teach a valuable lesson in all of this: This is not the party for us.

Best,
Christie S.

Alex Steiner said...

Michael,
Please feel free to correspond with us using the Contact form that you can find on the upper left of the main menu.

Christie,

Thank you for your contribution. Your remarks about the lack of seriousness of the SEP's election campaigns recalled to me an article I wrote back in 2008 about their election campaign at the time:

The SEP's 2008 election campaign

So this attitude toward election campaigns goes back a long time.

Unknown said...

Alex, thank you. It is difficult to see while in the Party (any party), if you close yourself off and just follow what is written there, as I had at the time, just what the trajectory is and when it started. I'm still in the process of a broader study now.

The issue of elections for Marxists is an interesting one, with a long history going back to the battle between the anarchists and socialists during the Spanish Revolution in the 1800's. It seems a good time to re-read the writings of Engles and Marx on Bakunin.

Best,
Christie S.

Anonymous said...

Hi Christie, I am also an ex-SEP member, and, although I completely agree with your comments about a lack of seriousness of the SEP election campaigns, my critique of this organization goes much deeper. After several years of observations and experience, I have every reason to think that it is a sect, not a party. Members of this sect are authoritarian-minded and do not tolerate any discussions beyond the orthodox texts nor any critique. In every article (and writing articles is their main activity) they lay claims to the unique legitimacy of their beliefs. They have a religious/ Stalin-like cult of a leader and the clique around the leader rules through fear and sexual subordination of young recruits. They predict a doomsday every day. Their critique of everybody on the left that does not subordinate himself to their teachings is rabid. I have lived under Stalinism where any person critical to the regime was labeled an enemy of the class - here I observe the same (labels such as petty-bourgeois, middle-class elements etc.)Their stance on the unions, racism and feminism are dangerously regressive. They idealize the working class and believe in magic (a new ideal society will emerge as soon as the ruling class is gotten rid off). I am a bit surprised you see Naomi in a positive light - to me she looked like a very angry fanatic. In her writings she reported deaths of the workers on a job blaming capitalism for every accident on this earth - I guess in her socialist heaven there will be no accident and nobody will die on a job (I guess she never bothered to check the death count of workers on a job under Bolshevik rule). I also saw her, together with the other "party" members, yelling at and humiliating the small group of young men who dared to have a different opinion at their congress. The viciousness and a witch-hunt atmosphere of this spectacle was suffocating. One of the most bothersome aspect of their activities is a smear campaign against Joseph Hansen and Sylvia Callen, which started under Healy as a vendetta for Hansen's rightful critique of Healy's sect. Although David North officially claims to have abandoned Healy's stance, he is in fact his successor.
Best Regards,
Dorota Niemitz

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to add that I have commented on this blog not because I agree with everything Mr. Steiner's blog represents, but because it is one of the few venues through which I can share my opinions on SEP /WSWS (another one is http://www.pinkbarrio.com/the-seps-billionaire-class-hypocrisy-and-social-media/.
My Disqus account on WSWS was blocked when I wrote in defense of #metoo and against Eric London's shameful lies about Joe Hansen; my comments, although they were polite and did not break any commenting rules, were often deleted, and all this after countless hours spent on writing, translating and working for them. WSWS is clearly anti free speech.
Dorota

Alex Steiner said...

Reply to Dorota,

What is it about this web site with which you do not agree? Just thought I would ask since you brought this up. Also feel free to contact us offline using the Contact form.

Alex

Unknown said...

Dorota,

I am not sure if you remember me in particular, since the summer gatherings were busy and mostly spent sitting and listening, but we have met briefly. I would love to discuss things further with you.

My Discuss comments have been let to drop a number of times, and I had to contact the party through the contact form just yesterday to insist a comment in calm response to someone which was an attack on my and my years in the party be posted after a four hour lag time. This person is not and has not been a member, but engages in some dirty work for the party in attacking former members via facebook and, apparently, now the wsws site itself. These are not Marxist tactics.

The party's stance on metoo can, I think, be traced back to their outlook on the abuses by Healy - you might recall that any mention of these abuses at the gatherings were quickly dismissed as "smear tactics" at best.

I agree that they are sectarian. Their tactics become ever more thuggish as the years roll by.

I will not debate the finer points of Ms Spencer here except to say that I have seen her engage with workers in a frank and honest way.

Best regards,
Christie Schaefer
(Jane Stimmen, Christine Schofelt, etc)

Anonymous said...

Dorota writes: "One of the most bothersome aspect of their activities is a smear campaign against Joseph Hansen and Sylvia Callen, which started under Healy as a vendetta for Hansen's rightful critique of Healy's sect."

And, while you're at it, don't forget to defend to two other victims of the ICFI "smear campaign" -- Mark Zborowski and Ramon Mercader.






Anonymous said...

@last Anonymous: I see you're trying unsuccessfully to be funny; unfortunately you fail to distinguish between the victims of a fabricated smear campaign and people who were caught red-handed at the murder scene (Mercader) or those who were proven to be guilty of spying (Zborowski). Try to work a bit harder next time to make a valid argument

@Christie - of course I remember you, I will get in touch with you shortly.

@ Mr. Steiner: my opinions might not matter much now as I am not politically involved, but I will be happy to contact you in the future after returning to some of the crucial political issues I'm interested in.

Regards,
Dorota