EXTRACT: Plain fact of the matter, at least for Marxists, is that no means of communication - or technology - in and of itself can be backward or reactionary. An utterly irrational notion that leads to madness. Remember the Unabomber? How any technology is used, or abused - whether it liberates or oppresses - is determined by the level of class struggle in a given, historically concrete, society. Gas ovens can be used to cook nice food or burn the bodies of those you have murdered. The internet can be used to Tweet inane slanders about your drinking partner last night or to expose the dirty secrets of the ruling class or the government.
One thing communists cannot deny though is that the SWP leadership is absolutely right to be deeply nervous about the ‘threat’ the internet poses to its police regime. Spot on, comrades. Without resorting to cyber-utopianism or libertarianism, as some do, here is a medium/technology which undermines the CC’s hold on power - a universal acid dissolving its grip over the membership, no longer cowed. It is the bureaucrat’s worst nightmare come true. As blogger ‘Soviet Goon Boy’ puts it, “ideally” the CC would like to retain a “monopoly of information in the party”; however, this is just not “humanly possible” any more - “Charlie Kimber may not recognise the internet, but the internet recognises him”. You can purge and expel, SWP CC, but you can’t hide.