Talk:Entryism

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This concept of 'fast' and 'slow' entrism is mistaken. It's better to call them 'entrism of a sepcial type' [sui generis] and 'Entrism'.--DuncanBCS 09:43, 31 October 2005 (UTC)


I am surprised that the mergefrom tag has been cut from this page without discussion. I have restored it. Please use the talk page. --Duncan 21:27, 7 February 2006 (UTC)


This page could really use some references. --208.54.14.25 10:51, 24 July 2006 (UTC)randomme

Exactly, this site lack references and are quite biased, as it stands now I think it doesn't really portray entrism right. Furthermore it seems quite biased and only superficially touch upon Militant from what is obviously the authors point of view. As it stands now it can't be used as an accurate description. Also I think their lack more points on those parties open for groupings like for example Rifondazione Communista in Italy, the left party in Germany and their youth grouping Solid. Which in my oppinion shows how parties can function properly with organised groupings, but that's of course a political discussion that should be taken somewere else than Wikipedia. 80.197.1.72 00:41, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Another point. How can it be described as entrism when members of a political organisation participates in a peace movement? It seems the author has a somewhat strange notion as to what can be described entrism. 80.197.1.72 00:44, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

If entrism is used as a term to describe similar tactics within campaigns, then we need to reflect that. Entrism as Trotskyist tactic is rather different from the building of broad pluralist parties. In the case of most entrism, socialists are working to win over left-ward moving forces and split them away from the party's program. In the pluralist parties, not all currents are entrists: some are loyal. --Duncan 16:54, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Duncan I have one small comment with your post, the use of the word loyal. This word is probably the most misused in political work. I agree that all groups working in a broad pluralist party should follow the programme of said party. However the accusation of disloyalty will and have been used against people with politics that go maybe a bit beyound a programme. It's normally a accusation used by a beurocracy or people with those tendencies, generally because they see the organisation as a goal rather than the means to reach a goal - socialism. 80.197.1.72 20:14, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Bias and factual inaccuracy[edit]

The article is biased from its very inception. The more serious and pertinent offence of infiltration, of which those joining organisations are, from time to time, rightly or wrongly, accused, is dealt with only by a link to this article. It is arguably not the same thing, implying stronger connotations of secrecy and conspiracy. It is therefore rather like having an article on 'failing to return borrowed items' while lacking an article on theft. The statement 'Entryism is not an exclusively left-wing phenomenon,' in seeking to appear to introduce balance, does the precise opposite, implying, as it does, that entryism is largely a left-wing phenomenon (see [1]). The article further states that 'In situations where the organisation being "entered" is hostile to entryism, the entryists may engage in a degree of subterfuge to hide the fact that they are, in fact, an organisation in their own right. In the case of the Militant tendency, this was done by claiming that the tendency was in fact simply a newspaper...'. In fact, the 'Militants' first sought to point out that it is perfectly normal to have organisations, or political factions, within the Labour Party, therefore that couldn't really be the leadership's genuine concern. The true bone of contention between Militant Tendency and the Labour Party leadership, as the above link testifies, turned out to be the issue of whether local Party activists earn the right, by virtue of their attendance etc., to override local Party democracy - an important, key issue of organisational conduct of which the world still remains largely oblivious. With the advent of the Internet and Wikipedia, hopefully this will now be rectified.

The one instance given, 'Entryism is not an exclusively left-wing phenomenon,' does not warrant the tag that was attached to this article, in my opinion. It is arguable that this statement implies that it is largely a left wing phenomenon - although it passed me by - and it could be adjusted to take that implication into account. Right wing infiltration is certainly very real, as it was in the Labour Party.
In relation to the Militant in the UK, in the Labour Party, don't forget that 'party democracy' at every level was defined in terms of the open votes of those attending the meetings, as there was no concept, before Kinnock, of the inactive layer having voting rights which they were being denied. Kinnock redefined those terms, but until then, it was considered very important and necessary that before people could vote on something, they should have access and participate in an informed discussion about it. This was sometimes considered to be the very kernel of the new socialist society - where every relevant decision could be openly discussed - to end the alienation of people having no more say than just an occasional tick on a ballot paper.
So in terms of factual accuracy, the reason the world appear oblivious to the point you make is because it is not entirely factually, historically accurate.
The Militant, you may know, argued that the biggest, most active parties were those of the left, while the smallest, most inactive parties were those of the right, for instance those in Liverpool under the Braddocks (see Michael Crick, who backs up the Militant on this, which actually is now widely accepted.)
The introduction of the idea of postal votes to the homes of inactive members of trade unions was initially introduced by Thatcher, and the argument of the activists was that Thatcher was relying on the media to argue her point of view and bias the votes.
As you know, socialists felt strongly that they were a very small voice and that unless they got their members to meetings, the membership had very little access to what they saw as the real facts, rather than what they considered the misinformation of the government and media.
Andysoh 20:57, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
You seem, perhaps deliberately, to misread what is set out above. The comment about entryism being 'not an exclusively left-wing phenomenon' is clearly not the only example given, when you read the whole paragraph - it is also pointed out that Militant's argument that it was 'just a newspaper,' the one detailed in the article, was much weaker than its claim to plausibly represent active local Party members. Militant clearly tried every argument possible to counter an irrational-sounding and poorly justified witch hunt, some clearly stronger than others. Your point about Militant merely restates what was said, rather than disproving it in the way you seek to imply.
Its possible that the phrase about the Militant could be improved to take acount of your points, but I think your tag is way over the top. Andysoh 00:05, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
It isn't just about Militant. The whole tenor of the article depicts a nefarious activity confined to largely frustrated sections of the left - this is the vocabulary of the witch hunt. The idea that entryism might be a tried and tested, successful strategy of those currently in power (see below) seems yet another bridge too far for the dreary denizens of Wikipedia.

True meaning of entryism?[edit]

If 'entryism' is to have a meaning of its own, distinct from 'infiltration,' it is surely that of seeking entry into the corriders of power, influence and wealth in an unprincipled manner. This could involve 'infiltration,' but infiltration is surely not always entryist in this sense, nor indeed necessarily as unprincipled/unwelcome.

Section on the special case of Entrism in the UK Labour Party[edit]

The previous discussion has reminded me to get on with the material I was working up for a section on the special case of Entrism in the UK Labour Party.

However, it got rather long, and I wondered if it is the sort of thing that would make an article on its own.

I would be greatful if the editors here would let me have their thoughts.

It can be viewed on my user page, and is still in need of some copy editing, particularly the last section, which is still being revised. Andysoh 07:12, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Sorry to rain on your parade, but to me the whole concept of 'entryism in the Labour Party' sounds unwholesome and self-righteous to me. I came to this article about a completely different issue - the fear of infiltration of an apolitical campaign by those hostile to it. When you start discussing political organisations, we all know where it's going - the persecution of the left, and the refusal to admit the obvious fact that many right wingers oppose and undermine their party's policies, almost always with impunity. Surely that is 'entryism?'
I think I get your basic point now, or at least one of them. You are saying that the "right wing" infiltrate, enter, or otherwise undermine and oppose their party's policies, or at least did in the past. Perhaps if you give some specific info it can go on the site. Perhaps you have in mind groups like the manifesto group in the Labour Party? If memory serves me correctly, most of them deserted to the SDP. Or more murky CIA influenced groups which pushed an Atlanticist pro-NATO outlook? I must admit, that the article I've done does not take account of this, although it does get a mention in the Militant tendency article. But perhaps the thing is framed too much in the light a "left infiltrates party" as opposed to "right wing captures leadership of social democratic party and leads it safely into pro-capitalist policies". It could probably be re-worked.
If I've got the tennor of your objections, I'll re-look at the material. Thanks
Andysoh 12:54, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
When the basic impulse to identify and root out 'impure elements' in an organisation is, in itself, arguably right wing, it is particularly hard to identify infiltrators of the right from a NPOV. However, the article does seem one-sided otherwise. Pointing to Conservatives who have lost positions owing to racist remarks seems a little weak; more pertinent, perhaps, is the broadly based perception that politicians generally, including supposed socialists, are 'in it for themselves,' in the sense of entryism into the corridors of power in exchange for abandoning, one by one, the very principles they claim to be upholding in the first place.
That's right. I've been considering your points and found it difficult to formulate anything concrete. For instance, in relation to the putative article on 'entrism in UK Labour Party', the Labour Party was founded by the trade unions and there was always a right wing element at the top. I'll add mention of the manifesto group, but I have an idea I've already got the SDP in there, and their split from Labour, with a quote from ken livingstone, to make it clear I'm not making it up, and that it was a pretty mainstream viewpoint within the Labour Party. I also have the point already that the Militant didn't call for the expulsion of right wing groups, so this contrasts to the 'impulse to identify and drive out impure elements' as you put it. This hardly addresses your points, but we'll have to think in terms of concrete, referenced sentences in order to proceed any further wihtout getting knocked back.
IT would be very relevent to find referenes to the atlanticists, CIA backed groups I'm pretty sure infiltrated the labour party with a view to pulling it to the right, but don't have the information to hand.
The material I've worked up that's on my user page will probably form a separate article with a link to this one, I think, since it otherwise it might skew this article too much.
But don't you agree therefore that the tag someone added to this article is a little over the top?
Andysoh 18:39, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
No. The fact is that the right have long 'pulled a fast one' by characterising unprincipled advancement as a left-wing phenomenon, when in fact it is definitively right-wing. Despite your homepage claim to a working class outlook, you seem to let it down in overlooking this time-honoured, un-'PC' fact.

One of the requirements on wikipedia is to sign your posts. We can't make much progress on any issue unless we work as a community. --Duncan 09:25, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Hi Duncan, let me know if you think the material on Entrism in the Labour Party I've knocked up should go on its own page. That's fine by me, and this is probably going to be the consensus view.
By the way, I think the tag was inappropriate because this article is about entrism, which is, as the article correctly says, "a political tactic by which an organisation encourages members to infiltrate another organisation in an attempt to gain recruits, or take over entirely."
The unsigned correspondant objects that the article is not about "unprincipled advancement" by right wing elements, and on this basis added a tag. This was inappropriate.
It is simply beyond the scope of the article, and the correspondant, instead of directing his/her energies at producing an article, or indeed edits to this article, about this perceived problem, attaches a tag to this article, requiring the article to be something that it is not. I advise that the correspondant knocks up some marterial - if its not already been done, around The Psyops War but beware problems of references.
"The CIA works systematically to ensure that the socialist parties of all Western countries toe a line compatible with U.S. interests. In Britain in the 1950s, the CIA's manipulation of the right wing of the Labour Party swung the party away from its pledge to nationalisation (enshrined in the celebrated Clause IV), away from nuclear disarmament and back towards a commitment to NATO. This decisive intervention by the Agency could be said to have changed the course of modern British history....CDS achieved its objectives: the trade unions cracked under the pressure and the Labour Party returned to its support for NATO at the party conference in 1961. The Campaign for Democratic Socialism - with its CIA backing - was the most effective pressure group the Labour Party had ever seen. Its influence was out of all proportion to its original support among party members and its financial backers could justly claim to have changed the course of British politics. "
Right-wing organisations on the whole (with exceptions) however have had little need to use the entrist tactics, and the influence of these groups is perhaps exaggerated, since there was a whole range of capitalist pressures on the leaderships of the Labour Party to toe the Atlanticist line. This is the reason why in practice it is difficult to find significant examples, as has been admitted. The rght wing were always a part of the leadership of the Labour Party, for instance.
The objection appears to be that the article attempts to address the actually existing situation in an honest fashion. It is simply a fact that at certain points in its history, the Militant tendency had to tell the various Labour Party enquiries that it was just a newspaper.
The Entrism in the UK Labour Party article attempts to put this in context. We may be able to add a line about the special case of the Labour Party and, whether it is added to this article or goes as a separate article, link to it.
I've added a section on right wing infiltration in the Labour Party to my piece, and there is certainly more that could be added.
Andysoh 11:52, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
You say, 'Hi Duncan, let me know if you think the material on Entrism in the Labour Party I've knocked up should go on its own page. That's fine by me, and this is probably going to be the consensus view.' => Andy + Duncan = 'consensus'(!).
You say, 'I think the tag was inappropriate because this article is about entrism, which is, as the article correctly says, "a political tactic by which an organisation encourages members to infiltrate another organisation in an attempt to gain recruits, or take over entirely."' Well I will leave an edit war over tags to smaller minds; the fact is that you are simply refuting any definition of 'entryism' other than your own (right-wing one). Apart from anything else, it impoverishes the English language, because 'entryism' means, to you, little more than 'infiltration, from a right-wing perspective' - which is exactly the same, presumably, as your definition of 'infiltration'(?).
As for your allegations on the CIA, they are unsubstantiated, and therefore potentially fantasist and libellous against one of those categories unable to defend itself in court.
Right-wing entryism is indeed hard to identify in a climate in which specific accusations of nefariousness are levelled conventionally at the left; but there is a general belief in them which you have no basis to refute.
You continue to misrepresent Militant by senselessly rehearsing its weaker argument while glossing over its stronger one. This is hardly an attempt 'to address the actually existing situation in an honest fashion.' I can't find your 'piece about entryism in the Labour Party' (does one even wish to, in the circumstances?).
Sorry, Duncan, every time I have a Wiki ID it gets blocked; usually by irate administrators (often, in point of fact, with German-looking IDs/names. Attempts to point this out result in accusations of being anti-German/anti-semitic - which I wasn't, prior to this experience).
I think we need to wind this discussion down with you until you are able to register an ID and keep it. Unless you're able to work easily withing the rules of the community, then your time will be better spent elsewhere. If you comment on the supposed ethnicity of someone's user name, as if that somehow relates to their behavior, then I can see that people will call that racist. I suggest you stop doing that. --Duncan 15:01, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Religious entryism[edit]

I removed "The Church of Scientology has also practiced entryism in taking over Alcoholics Anonymous meetings". While it is perfectly believable, this was unreferenced and despite a long search in news sources, blogs and elsewhere, I could not even find a corresponding rumour to match this statement. Fences and windows (talk) 00:24, 26 April 2008 (UTC) Before adding this assertion back in, note that I searched for a long time in news sources, blogs and generally on the web and failed to find any evidence for this assertion. My motive might be questioned, but I certainly have no connection to either Scientology or AA; indeed, I am very critical of Scientology. Even though Scientologists infiltrating AA meetings sounds plausible, the statement is unverifiable, and needs a citation before being included. Fences and windows (talk) 22:00, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Entryism on national minorities[edit]

I am adding some facts about entryism practiced by some states against national, cultural or linguistic minority groups. Although I had initially thought of reporting the cases of France and, more recently, Spain, I am reluctant to do so given the controversial nature of the issue, not least due to their appartenance to the EU and its implications under International Law. I would thus suggest that someone more familiar with the issue in other countries with overdeveloped intelligence services and tough stands on national minorities reports about this particular phenomenon. --Laocoont (talk) 14:12, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

If so, we should be careful to distinguish entryism from infiltration. Can you offer some links to sources describing the relevant cases? --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 23:27, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Quote request: LaRouche[edit]

Someone requested a citation verification. Here goes:

  • In the United States the wild men (and women-no sexism here) tend to be on the right these days-survivalists, gun nuts, conspiracy theorists-but these have only recently taken up "entryism" and tried to take over local elements of the major party organizations, as the Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. people have done in Illinois and California.
    • Despite the Smell of Death, Tories Will Likely Hang On; WILLIAM PFAFF. Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext). Los Angeles, Calif.: Jun 17, 1986. pg. 5

There are other sources that discuss the effort to use LaRouche's National Democratic Policy Committee to gain legitimacy through, among other things, a misleading name. But this may be the only one that specifically uses the term "entryism".   Will Beback  talk  17:34, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

This is not verification, since there's no source for the journalist's statement. And if there's only one reference in 25 years, then it's not notable. --Duncan (talk) 13:13, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

BC Liberal Party[edit]

The Section on the BC Liberal Party being 'taken over by Social Credit Members' has no cites, and is debatable. many would argue that the Liberals invited the Socreds in, and the party is certainly not 'controlled by former socreds' though some are in influence, Liberal Leaders Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark were, to my knowledge, never So-Creds --24.87.81.186 (talk) 15:59, 5 September 2013 (UTC)