[Marxism] Galloway faction splits from Respect:

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Nov 4 06:53:54 MST 2007

Alan Bradley wrote:
> In fact, in Australia, the non-DSP groups left
> *precisely because* the DSP was willing to dissolve.
> Apparently they want us to be the kind of cartoon
> Louis describes us as. I suppose it's in their
> interests, in a sick and weird kind of way.
> Alan B

Is that so?

ISO leaves Socialist Alliance

Dear comrades,

It is with regret that we write on behalf of the International Socialist 
Organisation to inform you that the recent ISO national conference voted 
to disaffiliate from the Socialist Alliance.


But the Socialist Alliance was doomed by subjective, not objective, 
factors. The Democratic Socialist Perspective
used its organisational weight to impose a series of disastrous 
decisions that debilitated and demoralised many members and affiliates. 
These included declaring the SA a multi-tendency socialist party; 
insisting that Green Left Weekly be the "paper of the Socialist 
Alliance"; and taking 100 per cent of membership fees from local 
branches and effectively crippling local work.

Alongside this, the DSP continued to use its long-established organising 
methods within the Alliance, with its members generating a pace of 
activity suited to a revolutionary organisation, not a broad left party. 
As a result the Alliance is now little more than a re-badged DSP.

The Alliance's electoral work has been reduced to a propagandist effort 
to raise the socialist banner. There is no real attempt to engage in 
either the systematic electioneering or campaigning around local issues 
necessary to build a larger support base. The Alliance is not only 
failing to build itself as a credible electoral alternative that could 
be a home for those disillusioned with Labor, it is not even trying.

However, the ISO continues to believe that the construction of a united 
party of the radical left is an important goal. Based on the experience 
since 2000, there are two important lessons that must be heeded in this 

Firstly, there is a clear link between the growth and vibrancy of 
grassroots social movements and the emergence of genuine radical left 
formations. The Alliance itself could not have been conceived without 
the success of S11. We also believe that this lesson is confirmed by the 
international experience; for example, the rise of the Linkspartei and 
WASG in Germany following mass protests against government attempts to 
dismantle the welfare state, or the emergence of the Respect coalition 
out of the UK's successful anti-war movement.

It is for this reason that we believe the current task of socialists is 
to focus energies on re-building grassroots movement activism, with a 
special focus on the anti-war movement. Doing so requires that the left 
grasp the opportunities created by the crisis of US imperialism, and 
also builds the movement as broadly and inclusively as possible.

Secondly, there is absolutely no role for sectarianism towards working 
people who have broken with Labor, considering making the break, or 
simply unhappy with the party's direction. Formations that establish 
unnecessary conditions on the participation of such individuals will 
remain on the margins of politics. In this regard, the development of 
the Alliance into an organization that routinely treats the ALP as if it 
were simply "Another Liberal Party" is inexcusable. This is especially 
so in the context of Labor's resurgence under Kevin Rudd. Labor's 
challenge to Howard raises a number of difficult questions
that socialists have a duty to relate to, such as the US alliance or the 
privatisation debate, to name two of the most important examples. But 
the starting point must be what we have in common with Labor supporters, 
and an effort on our part to create the possibility of united action. 
There is no longer any doubt that the internal climate created by the 
DSP has established insurmountable barriers to the Alliance's ability to 
attract any significant number of former or current Labor supporters.

Although in practice we withdrew from active membership of the Alliance 
over a year ago, the time has come to formally disaffiliate. While we do 
so with a sense of regret, we remain optimistic about the possibility 
for left renewal in the future. That future starts in the here and now, 
in the struggle to drive the Howard government from power.

ISO National Executive

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