Letter: Response to Comrade Wylie

Date: 2021-10-13T19:05:17+00:00

Location: cosmonautmag.com

Hi again,

Comrade Wylie’s suggestions for updating the terminology are worth considering.

That said, my original letter referred specifically to “the workers movement” and not “the left.” I referred specifically to “the workers movement” for a specific reason: precisely because “populism” and “progressivism” can have a social class base outside the working class, even the contemporary working class.

On the other hand, I guess the latter part of my original letter was wrong regarding the term “left unity.” Do we really want same-organization “left unity” mixing working-class with managerial elements, let alone with small business elements?

“Populist Labour” or “Populist Government Labour” could be an appropriate replacement term for “Right Syndicalism.” The latter alternative comes from comrade Sophia Burns and the identification of “government socialists.”

“Progressive Labour” or “Progressive Government Labour” could be an appropriate replacement term for “Pacifist Socialism.”

What, then, about those further left?

Many of those occupying the “Hegelian Marxist” space are not necessarily Marxists. Burns put forward “expressive hobbyists” and “protest militants.” CPGB comrade Mike Macnair put forward “mass actionist left.”

Why not refer to them on the basis of what they don’t shy away from or what they may already have adopted for themselves? “Movementism” or “Movementist Left,” anyone? Just recently, this was embraced by a tendency in Die Linke. “Expressive Movementism,” also?

Meanwhile, nobody these days associates “Right Syndicalism” with syndicalism, so “Left Syndicalism” is entirely synonymous.

So, so far, we have:

“Populist Labour” or “Populist Government Labour”

“Progressive Labour” or “Progressive Government Labour”


“Movementist Left” or “Expressive Movementism”


Where does that leave our tendency, though? The term “Base Builders” leaves a lot to be desired.



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