NYC
2019
Event Type: 
Panel
Room: 
H316
Timeslot: 
Session 4: Sunday June 30th, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Host/Sponsor(s): 
Event Organizer: 
Reading List: 
Hal Draper, "Anatomy of the Microsect" - https://www.marxists.org/archive/draper/1973/xx/microsect.htm
Description/Abstract of your Event: 

In his 1973 essay, "Anatomy of the Micro-Sect," Hal Draper gives a definition of a party as opposed to a ‘movement’ or the ‘sects’ that seemed to dominate the Left of his time: “A sect presents itself as the embodiment of the socialist movement, though it is a membership organization whose boundary is set more or less rigidly by the points in its political program rather than by its relation to the social struggle. In contrast, a working-class party is not simply an electoral organization but rather, whether electorally engaged or not, an organization which really is the political arm of decisive sectors of the working class, which politically reflects (or refracts) the working class in motion as it is. A “socialist movement” sums up the mass manifestations of a socialist working class in various fields, not only the political, usually around a mass socialist party.” Against both the “sect” and merely building a “movement,” Draper argues for the formation of a “political center,” which would be different from a unification of sects, as a first step towards the goal of building a socialist party. How is our present moment similar to or different from that of Draper? What is a socialist party and what are the greatest obstacles today to its realization and how can those obstacles be met? Hal Draper was deeply influenced by his study of Marx and Marxism when he wrote this essay. What can we learn from Hal Draper’s Marxism today?

Participants

Grant Gallagher is a former member of the Red Party and is now affiliated with Emancipation and Swampside Chats.

Spencer Leonard is an historian and member of the Platypus Affiliated Society. His forthcoming Marx anthology will contain an introduction about Hal Draper's recovery of Marx, on which his own remarks will be based.

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Jim Creegan was chairman of the Penn State chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in the 1960s, lectured in philosophy in the 70s, belonged to the Spartacist League in the 80s, was a leading member of the International Bolshevik Tendency and a union shop steward during the late 80s...

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