Saturday, October 29, 2011

7 December The Labour Party, trade unions and democratic socialism: where did it all come from, where can it go?

Following on from the discussion on the economic crisis will now start to explore the answer to the question: what can be done about it?

The Labour Party was formed to represent the working class in the UK, so has over a 100 year history of trying to change the way capitalism works. It is a useful starting point to explore the question and whether the Labour Party has, or is likely to, find lasting and what type of answers to the questions raised in the previous discussion.

The suggestion is that we take it in parts but if you wish you may like to suggest other approaches.

1. Why was the Party formed? Why and how has it changed? Why are some organisations like trade unions, affiliated to the Party? Is it part of an international socialist movement? What lessons for today can be drawn from this experience?

2. What is the difference between 'social democracy',  'democratic socialism', 'communism', 'anarchism,' 'reform' and 'revolution'? To what extent have any of these terms applied to the Labour Party and are they still relevant?

3. How does the Party work? Does it provide sufficient democratic opportunities for members to influence debates and policies? Should the Party have more influence over Labour Government actions and policy?

4. To what extent is it possible for the Labour Party to propose significant and structural changes to the way capitalism works and still get elected?

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