Marxist Bulletin No. 4
Expulsion from the Socialist Workers Party
Motion presented to the Political Committee
By Myra Weiss
Nov. 1 1963
MOTION: To reject the report of one elected member of the Control Commission and a ‘representative’ as unfair, factionally motivated, and a violation of the limited province of the Control Commission.
1. Comrades are elected to the Control Commission, not on the basis of their political maturity, to evaluate political positions and theories. They are elected as people who can be trusted to be fair, above temporary factional alignments, and scrupulously attentive to facts and their verification. This report presumes to examine and evaluate political documents, thoughts, opinions, and to characterize them as “loyal” or “disloyal.” Such an undertaking is beyond the province of the Control Commission.
2. The “evidence” of “disloyalty” submitted in the report consists entirely of opinions and no one in the history of the Socialist Workers Party has ever been punished for thoughts that differ with those of the majority – nor ever can be if we are to remain a revolutionary force.
3. It is impermissible for a ruling faction to use its majority power to pry into the written or oral work of an oppositional tendency. Any faction has the inalienable right to discuss freely and in private its point of view. Furthermore, the material presented by the report does not consist of faction decisions, but preliminary opinions expressed by individuals in the course of preparing for decisions.
To violate the right of a faction to its own internal life is to destroy the Leninist conception of organization. Democratic centralism not only places obligations on a minority to abide by the decisions of the majority, but it places obligations on the majority to protect the democratic right of organized dissension for minorities.
In an epoch which we have characterized as a crisis of leadership, in an era when socialism suffers from the monstrous tyranny of Stalinism, it is unthinkable for us to lower our own high standards of democratic procedures. The world revolution is united today in the struggle for socialist democracy. If we are not its champions in our own internal functioning, we have no right to occupy the revolutionary podium.
4. For two of the comrades cited for suspension by Comrade Dobbs, we are not even provided “disloyal” quotes, illegally obtained. Where is the evidence of their “disloyalty”? Association? Bourgeois law is at least formally more democratic.
5. Even with selected quotes of selected documents, the loyalty, not “disloyalty” of the minority tendency would be indicated. Surely these comrades know that the demand to see their internal faction discussion material is a violation of their democratic rights. Yet they show to a Commission member documents that member has no right to see. Will the repeated insistence of the minority comrades of intention to abide by the discipline of the party avail it nothing? If the majority is so anxious for a split, why not have the patience to wait for “subversive” thoughts to be translated into deeds?
6. If the minority surreptitiously recruits youth to the Party on the basis of its factional line, what is there to fear? Are we not confident enough of our point of view, and with full control of the public expression of it, to be certain that we can win the best to the majority? Since when did revolutionary Trotskyists have to resort to organization means to protect its liberating ideas? Are we afraid they will recruit so many that we shall no longer be the majority? That is unfortunately not very realistic; but if it were, we can hope that we have set a good example of how a majority should rule.
7. I propose that we apologize to the minority for the unwarranted investigation and express our desire to collaborate in comradely fashion in the future for the building of the Socialist Workers Party.