Alan Bradley abradley1 at
Thu Jun 7 22:07:50 MDT 2001

> From: Greg Schofield
> The critical point and I think the ISO and DSP alliance will reach it
> sooner rather than latter, was that the old methods of leadership were the
> first thing that began to be attacked by the rank and file. Indeed, I
> think R&F DSP/SWP were starting to rumble quite loudly. The interesting
> thing was that as we moved closer together and especially when the rank
> and file began to talk together as comrades, criticism was not far behind.
> At that point the whole thing just dissolved.
> I am not saying the ISO DSP alliance will follow the same path, but
> leadership styles only work to a confined degree, too close and the
> ineptitude starts showing through as the common features start to emerge
> and criticism digs a little too close for the leader's comfort. Keeping
> things at an arms distance is always hard, I would love to believe
> otherwise but at the critical moment just when people are working together
> I believe there is a good chance that it will fly apart.

If you have a look at the British alliances, you will find that they have
put a lot of pressure on the leaderships of the organisations there.  Some
groups have disintegrated fairly dramatically.  The Australian organisations
have gone into their alliance knowing that.  Have you ever wondered why some
groups are a bit scared of an alliance?  It is because they are risking
their organisation's decomposition, and they want to be sure that it is
worth the risk.  This is actually a serious concern, and not just
sectarianism, although it can become sectarianism at a certain point.

> Alan I agree, just be ruthless about it - odd advice, but what I am saying
> is find the principles that are proper and fight like the devil for them
> and kick any-one in the teeth that sullies their purpose. So allow no
> other loyalty except to make a success of it, if any element is playing
> games get rid of it, if it is worth fighting for it is worth winning.
> It could be pulled off, if it is then something quite new would be born,
> if it is it will be a magnet, people will come out of the woodwork to
> join, other parties will be brought in kicking and screaming. Do something
> even half-right in the present period and it will transform itself into
> something unexpected, do something less than this and it will soon also be
> apparent - so my advice is make it work, if it does there will be many
> others coming in as well.
> If you can capture just a fraction of those who remain communists in
> Australia but hate the organisations of the past (that includes the
> present ones, naturally) both the ISO and DSP will be overwhelmed becoming
> just tiny minorities within a juggernaut - to me that is what to aim for,
> become more than an alliance of two parties.

Yep.  This is old, common sense stuff, of course, but it is good to have it
clearly restated.

(Incidentally, the current alliance consists of a whole bunch of parties -
it's just that apart from the DSP and ISO they are all miniscule.)

> (by the way when the CPA back in the 1940's
> needed a car a comrade miner pushed his finger under a coal truck in order
> that this means of transport be provided with his compensation payment - I
> knew him and his little stump quite well - the comparison of importance is
> thus not lightly made).

Thank you for this story.

> So here we have a means of communication where a branch could at the push
> of button inform every other branch of its ideas and send the motion to
> the upper bodies, where every local newsletter could be distributed to
> every branch, composed on the branch computer, where news items could be
> printed off during the meeting, minutes distributed as people left, in
> short, inventing nothing, we could be in a whole new world of
> organisation.
> But no one is doing it - why?

I don't quite see what you are getting at here.  All the left groups use
computers, as far as I can tell, and do pretty much everything you suggest

Alan Bradley
abradley1 at

More information about the Marxism mailing list