by Pham Binh on January 30, 2013
Before dealing with what passes for substance in Callinicos’ defense of “Leninism,” one thing needs to be made clear: the British Socialist Workers Party (SWP) does not “organise the way the Bolsheviks organised under Lenin’s leadership in the years leading up to the October Revolution.”
The Bolsheviks were a continuously existing faction of a broader multi-tendency Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) for nearly 20 years until factions were banned at the 10th party congress in 1921. The SWP bans factions during 9 out of 12 months of the year on pain of expulsion.
In the Bolsheviks’ party,1 the RSDLP, which changed its name to the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) in 1918, branches enjoyed local autonomy not just over when and where to hold paper sales but over political decisions like election tactics. Not so for the SWP.