Open Polemic

'Remember Comrade, If Red Action Are Right, Then We Are Wrong'
Introduction to Red Actions involvement with the Open Polemic magazine

Experimentia Est Optima Rerum Magistra
With the unambiguous triumph of the market over the plan, and the ascendancy of private over collective property, 'existing' socialism in the 20th Century is all but extinguished. A grim and sobering picture for British Revolutionaries? Not a bit of it. Unperturbed by Communism's collapse, the British Marxist is ready for business as usual.
Jan Wachla
Open Polemic No.1

Red Action Responds to Wachla and Stanley
Response to the points raised by Wachla in the above article.
G. O'Halloran, Red Action

Wachla and Stanley Respond to Red Action
Replies to the criticisms made by G. O'Halloran
Jan Wachla & John Stanley

The Bolshevik Experiment
Jan Wachla's article 'experimentia est optima rerum magistra' brought Red Action to book for its 'routinely predictable' logic in defending a Marxist conception of The 'Dictatorship of The Proletariat'. Well, who knows whether our logic is predictable or not; the interesting question is, is it correct? We would like to give the readers of 'Open Polemic' (a title we hope that will be lived up to in practice) the opportunity to judge for themselves.
F.Gordon, Red Action

Stalinist and Trotskyite Crisis
The staple shibboleth denoting the rival factions on the British left over the past few decades has been drawn from the dispute concerning the nature of the regime in the Soviet union and its satellites. The orthodox Trotskyists (Militant, Workers Power) proclaim that the Stalinist regimes were (degenerate) Workers' States. The neo-Trotskyists (the SWP) pronounce the same regimes State Capitalist. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that these conflicting dogmas have provided a unique unifying focus for their respective members and have played no small part in the continued existence of the organisations themselves.
F.Gordon, Red Action
Open Polemic No. 5

Democracy from Above and Below
Although they take distinctly different positions concerning the internal democracy of the revolutionary party, I must take issue with both Partisan and Red Action. (O.P.No.4.)
F.Gordon claims that Red Action's position is a revisionist one because it argues that 'a dictatorship of the proletariat' in any Marxist sense 'had ceased in the Soviet Union 'while Lenin himself was still the leading personality and theoretician amongst the Bolshevik leaders.
Jane Danes
Open Polemic No. 5

Self-Emancipation of the Class
Both the Socialist Party of Britain and Red Action, take the view that Lenin was an opponent of the self-emancipation of the working class. (O.P. No.4.)
In support of this, the SPB, after quoting Lenin out of socio-historical context, makes him the original so-called 'Stalinist', the one who prepared the ground for the establishment of a totalitarian, 'state capitalist' and imperialist dictatorship of a new bourgeoisie.
Abbie Young
Open Polemic No. 5

Red Action Reply to Danes and Young
Open Polemic is proving increasingly successful in opening up areas of debate which have traditionally been insulated by artificial and stultifying discussions within the respective vanguard organisations. It is vital to the development of the revolutionary left that this insulation should be stripped away in a forum open to all tendencies.
F.Gordon, Red Action
Open Polemic No. 6

Stalinist and Trotskyite Crisis (Part 2)
Second part of the article published in OP No.5
F.Gordon, Red Action
Open Polemic No. 6

Conscious Self-Emancipation
In my criticism of the SPB and Red Action - see my contribution 'Self-Emancipation of the Class', OP 5 - I wrote that the Manifesto of the Communist Party, in dealing with what the reactionary socialists had to offer stated that they:
'did not even hold out the prospect of the emancipation of the oppressed workers through a communist organisation'
Abbie Young
Open Polemic No. 7

Unconditional Democracy
In my short response ('Democracy from Above and Below' published in Issue number 5 of Open Polemic) to F.Gordon of Red Action (OP 4), I pointed out that he could hardly claim that his organisation was revisionist for it has yet to arrive at, before it could retreat from Marxism. His reply in the last issue has, in fact, confirmed rather than changed that view.
Jane Danes
Open Polemic No. 7

Centralism And Democracy
Young and Danes return to the fray in OP.No.6. As a polemic develops, there is a tendency for some points to be clarified, and others to be subject to the law of diminishing returns. In some respects, I feel that the operation of this law is already manifest. I will not try to contest points where the arguments of Young or Danes depend on the contested translation of a single word etc.
F.Gordon, Red Action
Open Polemic No. 8

RA Cuckoo In The OP Nest
Some readers of Red Action will be aware that members of RA have contributed a number of articles to the journal 'Open Polemic' (OP).
OP was founded by a group of shell-shocked Stalinists after the fall of the communist empires in Russia and Eastern Europe. The political regimes that they had devoted their lives to defending lay in ruins. The workers, supposedly the 'ruling class' within these regimes, didn't lift a finger to save them.
Red Action article & OP reply
Open Polemic No.10

Open Polemic Letters
Letters discussing RA's contribution to OP