Neil Davidson on the RISE of the Scottish Left


Via SocialistWorker interview:

“The goal is to put down a mark for explicitly socialist politics and get out our voice in the parliament and local councils in Scotland. We want to put socialism on the agenda and move all parliamentary and broader political discussion to the left. The SNP has done this to an extent, but they haven’t really done much in terms of actual policy. Much of their leftism is rhetorical.

Our goal is to push the dynamic further to the left and enact policies to advance our agenda. We have a big opportunity to do this. The whole mood in Scotland has already moved to the left. Something like 15 percent of the people in Scotland identify themselves as “far left.” That is very, very high. We have a big opportunity to appeal to that fairly large radical minority in Scottish society and bring them into RISE.” …

“WHAT IS the role of revolutionaries in RISE and similar broader left parties?

FOR ME and other comrades in rs21, we have to form a revolutionary center or core to influence people within RISE. That would mean all Marxists and their organizations inside RISE have to organize with one voice to make systematic arguments about the state, reform and revolution, and so on.

Obviously, rs21/ISS members want to win influence for our ideas, but our role is not primarily to push our little group, but to get together with other Marxists and form a core to make revolutionary arguments about policy and educate people in the tradition in a systematic way. We should not see this as forming a party within a party, but as a core of Marxists who have some experience in struggle, in trade unions and so on, and who are trusted by the broader membership.

In particular, we have to distinguish between what is currently still relevant and what is of historical interest in our traditions. Capitalism still needs to be overthrown, but is ludicrous to pretend that the conditions under which we are trying to do this are those of 1917 or 1968.

I see no evidence that building mass revolutionary parties from recruiting the ones and twos has ever worked historically. So I think we have to think seriously about this and develop a strategy accordingly. I think the key is to build on the basis of the movement. That helps wield together the left and build it. And we have overcome the unnecessary fragmentation of the left and unite revolutionaries who agree on 95 percent of everything.

Now, of course, there are many bad examples of such an approach. But I am very optimistic about the possibilities to do this in Scotland because of our experience in RIC, the solidarity it forged on the far left, and our further collaboration in launching RISE. That has welded us together in an unprecedented fashion. The challenge will be how to continue this collaborative dynamic between revolutionaries to orient a larger party in struggle, elections and educational work. I think this is the only way that the revolutionary left can make a breakthrough.” – Neil Davidson member of revolutionary socialism in the 21st century (rs21)/International Socialists Scotland (ISS)


About bolshevikpunk

Mainline Marxism or Die. Activist, Student, and Degenerate.
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