www.socialistparty.org.uk/pamphlets/state2006/1.htm on Mon, 14 Apr 2008
(Edited to view outside CWI's frameset)
Marxism and the state: an exchange
State: A Marxist Programme and Transitional Demands
On 29 March 2006, Michael Wainwright posted a statement on the
Socialist Party Youth Forum, 'Re: Marxists and the State'. Having reviewed some
of our material, Michael had come to the conclusion that the Socialist Party
and its predecessor Militant have adopted a reformist position on the state.
Several members of the list responded to his statement, answering some of his
points. Very soon, however, Michael sent a slightly longer version of his
statement together with a letter resigning from the Socialist Party.
Evidently, he had already decided on his exit strategy and was not interested
in debating the issues he raised within the party.
We disagree with Michael, but the issues he raises are
important and we think that, if there are political differences, they should be
debated. Michael's "fairly comprehensive review" actually focuses mainly on
some Militant articles published in the 1980s, dealing with our general
programme and the police. As it happens, some of the articles to which he
refers, together with others on the question of the state, were brought
together in a pamphlet, entitled 'The State: A Warning to the Labour Movement',
published in 1983. This is available on the Socialist Party website
(http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/pamphlets/state). The pamphlet is just one
selection of articles on the state from that period, but it contains ample
material to refute Michael's criticisms. The issue of the Public and Commercial
Services Union (PCS) and Immigration Service workers raised by Michael will be
dealt with separately.