Replying to Carroll

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Fri Nov 12 23:03:47 MST 1999

Hi Carroll

Thank you for commenting on my post.  Now where to proceed in this? My
comment of reform-revolution duality was something of a throwaway and you
give it a fair amount of clobbering.
You are correct I think to stress how complex and important it
is.  Somewhere Bhaskar talks about deepening reforms so we can resolve and
dissolve the duality.  that broadly is my position.

You make an interesting distinction between revolutionary, company reforms
and revolution reforms. Then you ask was the republic a 'company reform'.
That is *the* big question.  A lot of people on the Left here in Australia
would say yes. My old comrade Ken Howard has indicated his stand here and I
can understand it.

However I would argue that it would have been progressive to vote against
the monarchy in the context of Australia's history as a white colonial
settler nation. I will have to look up my Marx or religion where he
describes Protestant as progressive compared with Catholicism. there is
something of that in my support for the republic vote.  Besides as an
Irishman there is no way I would not take the opportunity to vote against
the British monarchy.

My remarks about the ignorance of the working class do need clarification
along the lines you suggest.  However I do maintain that as they are
constituted at present the working class in Australia are in a shocking
state.  If people read my original post again carefully they will see that
I am not attacking the working class. My formulations there are
specifically sympathetic to their condition. However they threw out the
Labor government of Paul Keating in 1996.  They elected a vicious little
shit of a Tory who is very far to the Right.  They re-elected him in 1998.
Narrowly of course but he is still there.  They also voted on the same side
as he did in the referendum question.  Let me stress that. Howard voted no
and the working class of Australia voted no as well to the republic.

Jose wants to give them three cheers.  My whole point is that the working
class will not deserve three cheers until they get of their fucking asses
and start acquiring socialist politics.  When will they begin the process
of self-emancipation?  Now the tradition of workerism on the intellectual
left is so strong that to criticise the working class is
often seen as tantamount to treachery.  yet Marx was bitter in his
criticisms at times and the recent referendum vote in Australia seems to me
proof that the working class is still locked in non-hegemonic mode of
voting no rather than attempting to create a positive agenda.  Part of
which would be to get rid of those venal parasites the Windsors.

Warm regards


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