- Category: IS History
- Published on Thursday, 20 August 2015
- Written by James, Kat and Steven
John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern
How did Communist parties handle issues of internal discipline and democracy in Lenin’s time? The recent intense discussion within the British Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) and beyond has heard claims that the SWP rests on the traditions of democratic centralism inherited from the Bolsheviks.
Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax
Some extended thoughts about Stephanie Bottrill, the woman who committed suicide because of the bedroom tax.
Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?
Today marks the 35th anniversary of the killing of Blair Peach by the police. David Renton looks back at Blair Peach’s life as a poet, trade unionist and committed antifascist
Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent
Bunny La Roche of RS21 on Nigel Farage's visit to Kent
The International Socialist Network, at its National Members Meeting of 26 April 2015, voted unanimously to dissolve itself.
The ISN was born out of rage and a desire to create something better than the tired, irrelevant and all too often abusive organisations of the left. The SWP, which most of our initial members were part of, is perhaps one of the worst examples of this, but surely not the only one. We feel that in the two years of our existence we've taken important steps towards doing that. We've opened conversations where none were possible before. We've drawn some new people into revolutionary politics and given new hope to some who have been around for a while.
Clearly, there are things we regret, as individuals and collectively. We made mistakes, but those mistakes aren't the sole reason we've ended up where we are. Sharing a rage and a desire for change is not enough to hold an organisation together in the long term. There's no shame in that - we were always intended as an interim vehicle. Many of our members now have a much clearer idea of their politics than when they joined, and have gone and are going on to do all kinds of awesome things. We would urge all ISN members to stay active, and to join other organisations where that is possible for them.
This isn't the end of the ideas we shared, and abusers on the left and their supporters shouldn't be cheered by this decision. We are not going anywhere, and the bonds we have created through the ISN will continue to tie us together. Too many eyes have been opened to too many horrible cans of worms for things to go back to how they were just because one organisational structure has outlived its usefulness. There are enormous challenges facing all of us following the re-election of the Tories, and we believe that people who have come out of the ISN have a small part to play in facing those challenges.
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