> Surely LM cannot be a serious magazine? I thought that the expose in
> the Guardian a few months back (I can't remember the exact weekend,
> but it was in the Weekend supplement) was very good, pointing out
> that effectively a remaining section of the WRP cult (Gerry Healey's
> old mob, till he died I think) had decided to reconstitute
> themselves as their paper, like Mormons with a family business.

I didn't see that Gaurdian piece (or if I did I don't remeber that 
part) but LM heritage does not come from the WRP. Unless someone else 
can correct me it traces back from the Revolutionary Communist Party 
which was the Revolutionary Communist Tendency which split from the 
Revolutionary Communist Group which itself was a mix of dissaffected 
Marxist from the International Socialists (now SWP) and the (I think 
now defunct) International Marxist Group. Before that my knowledge of 
Left history gets a little vague. As Far as I am aware the WRP was 
far more Trotskist (if you know what I mean) then any of LM 
Marxist ancestors.

The idea that LM was just a self-obsessed cult appears to me to be 
rather simplistic and does not help us to explain - what is of most 
interest to me and that is - why should a group which split over its 
belief in the active role of the Party should have been the first 
left group to formally have decapitated the Party as such. And how 
does that fit into its unique political positions on the left which 
go right through The Next Step, TNS (they always liked initials), 
Living Marxism and LM? 

> I think the problem is - who are the working class? The working class as
> politically described - flat cap and whippet, overalls, all the caricatures
> - which mapped onto the economic struggle has almost disappeared, to leave
> behind the economic working class which as yet has no such structures. So a
> worker as economically defined, who is part of the vast majority i.e. not
> in a thriving, powerful union - confronts capitalists, (who are also
> politically constituted) as an individual, with no power. The resort is
> then to appeal to capital as an arbiter, that the capitalists is making a
> mistake by his or her own rules.

I do not quite understand what you are saying here. But if it is a 
version of 'well the traditional working class, on which Marx and 
Engels et al based their studies, has now withered away in an 
Information technological revolution,' then I think that may be 
correct for certain sections of the working class in the advanced 
Capitalist countries I am not so sure that it applies to the vast 
majority of the working class across the globe. Who for the most part 
work in factories under conditional and with similar socal relations 
as existed in Western European nations in the 19th century. But 
perhaps that is not what you meant!

> I think this fetishises a particular institution. The family is a heavily
> subsidised institution - viz single workers, gay couples, two income no
> kids, etc. As new techniques for having children and caring for them
> emerge, in the next century it may become a Roman Catholic backwater. The
> traditional labour reproduction functions, like being fed, having washed
> clothes, etc. are being provided in individual packages.

What I actually said was that  'point of the family in bourgeois 
society should IDEALLY be one that puts up with the worker's long 
hours and difficult conditions and to selflessly (and at little or no 
cost to capitalism) maintain and reporduce the worker.' That the 
present crisises of capitalism make it more and more difficult to 
maintain such an institution (even with the help of the Church) is 
merely demonstative of its structural decline. Also I think you will 
find that, far from an atomised society maintained by packaged 
homecare utilities, for the most part many couples still have one 
person who works as well dealing with the household maintanence. For 
all the talk of 'new men' this role is still generally performed by 
women working in low-paid part-time evening work and whatever form it 
takes it is rarely paid for directly by capitalism. 


John Walker 

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