On the DSP was RE: marxism-digest V1 #4593

Alan Bradley abradley1 at bigpond.com
Sun Apr 14 06:16:10 MDT 2002

> From: Gary MacLennan
> I agree with Lou in this spat over democratic centralism and the DSP, as
> is my wont.  Alan defends the DSP as is his wont. So far all the moves in
> this debate are very predictable.


But the following is terribly muddled, I fear:

> It is my opinion that the DSP has thrown a life line to the ISO in the
> form of the Socialist Alliance, but it is pointless trying to argue that
> with any member of the DSP. Democratic centralism lives. Lou has said in
> the past that the Percy Brothers almost broke with Barnes' methods but not
> quite.

In fact, of course, Gary's argument stands things firmly on their head.  The
reason why it is "pointless trying to argue that with any member of the DSP"
is because it is wrong.

More than that, the reason why DSP members support the Socialist Alliance so
wholeheartedly is that the DSP (not just "the Percy Brothers") _has_
actually broken with Barnes' methods to the extent that they have, and want
to continue the breaking process by transcending the semi-sectarian form of
organisation which they have been trapped in.  The Socialist Alliance offers
at least the hope of that, or at least gives the DSP a chance to show that
they are serious about moving the Australian left forward.

The ISO has to be part of this process if it is to happen.  This is just a
fact of the balance of forces on the Australian left at the moment.  More to
the point, it's just plain right that they should be in the SA.  Inclusion,
not exclusion, is the principle we need to establish.  If splits are
necessary, they have to be principled, and on real current issues.
Otherwise we just get the same old sectarian wanking that has been going on
for far too long.

As I said, Gary has turned things on their head.  He has accused those who
wish to move the left forward of being sectarian, while (implicitly)
suggesting that maintaining the old, counterproductive, paralyzing
fragmentation is the correct option that we would all be able to understand

if we weren't such miseducated clods.

Gary and I won't agree on this.  We will be able to agree on other things.
That's what matters.

Alan Bradley
abradley1 at bigpond.com

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