[Marxism] Galloway faction splits from Respect:
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
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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