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Monday, October 20 2014 @ 03:09 AM CDT

Understanding Left Cults (SWP, SP, Spiked, WRP) - A Reading list

Left

One of the great mysteries of left is why so many decent revolutionaries end up in political cults that reproduce many of the worst aspects of capitalist society. Unfortunately, most outsider commentaries provide little information on how such Leninist parties actually work. The following writings, mostly by disillusioned ex-members, are the exception.

Understanding Left Cults (SWP, SP, Spiked, WRP) - A Reading list

One of the great mysteries of left is why so many decent revolutionaries end up in political cults that reproduce many of the worst aspects of capitalist society. Unfortunately, most outsider commentaries provide little information on how such Leninist parties actually work. The following writings, mostly by disillusioned ex-members, are the exception:

 

'The SWP(UK) crisis: some reflections' - Sovietgoonboy


'Ideological intransigence, democratic centralism and cultism: a case study from the political left'  - Dennis Tourish (ex-Militant Tendency / Socialist Party)


'Who Are They?'  - Jenny Turner (on the Battle of Ideas / Spiked / Living Marxism)


The Break-up of the WRP – From the Horse’s Mouth’ - Simon Pirani


‘Suicide for socialism?’ – Maurice Brinton (ex-'WRP' and Solidarity compares the WRP to the Jonestown suicide cult)


'As Soon as this Pub Closes'  - John Sullivan (ex-'WRP', Solidarity, 'SWP')
 

On the Edge: Political Cults Right and Left  - Dennis Tourish, Tim Wohlforth (ex-WRP)


Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults  - Janja Lalich (ex-US feminist/Marxist-Leninist group, the DWP)


'List of Left Criticism of Left-wing Parties in the United Kingdom'  - Anarchopedia


And here's a couple of relevant psychoanalytic articles:


Only the Marlboro Man: A Psychological Study of a Political Agitator’  , Martha Grace Duncan, Political Psychology, Vol. 8, No. 2 (1987)
 

Traumatic Abuse in Cults: A Psychoanalytic Perspective’ - Daniel Shaw
 

This list is about mainly UK groups. Do readers have any similar articles on groups elsewhere?

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