Really good interview with Leo Panitch (family friend of the Milibands and a protege of Ralph) here. This, in particular, is key.
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/09/jere ... -election/
More significantly, when Miliband said that I’d rather have 300,000 active trade unionists than 3 million paper members, I remember saying to him that he’s absolutely right, but to make them active would require fundamentally changing the Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) into centers of working-class life at the local level.
The challenge for Corbyn is to take advantage of how his campaign has enlivened the CLPs and turn them into continuing centers of political activity and really enliven them in terms of longer-term education and mobilization. There have always been socialists in the Labour Party. There have always been socialists in every social-democratic party. But for them to be effective, the very nature of the party at the local level, not only at the national level, needs to change.
That’ll be an enormous challenge. It’s not just a matter of saying that the party congress will have more control over policy or that the constituency parties will play a more important than the national executive community. Much more important is that they be involved in daily social life and begin to create a vision and an image and a capacity where they live for different modes of production and consumption.
I think that Corbyn would be the first person to admit that most constituency parties at the local level aren’t close to that, though many people around him would like that transformation to happen. But that’s an enormous challenge. It requires someone at the top who is oriented in that direction and tries to turn party and trade union resources to it.
But that’s what this is going to require, if the developments are really going to go anywhere other than a mere shift in policy, or even just rhetoric. It’ll certainly just do that much, but if it’s going to go further than that in a socialist direction then it needs to lay this kind of base.
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Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.