Australian Socialist Alliance draft perspectives

Shane Hopkinson s.hopkinson at cqu.edu.au
Wed Dec 4 17:06:01 MST 2002


Dear MM

I notice this morning that the Ozleft site has published the "Draft principles and
perspectives of the Socialist Alliance"
(http://members.optushome.com.au/spainter/Nichols.html)

This is currently circulating as discussion document in the Alliance to begin clarifying
the politics of the Alliance based on the common work we have carried out so far. It was
released under Dick Nichols name (he is a leading DSP comrade and co-convenor of Socialist
Alliance) rather than DSP per se in order to encourage debate and discussion. It should be
stressed that this is a DRAFT so infeliticious phrasing  and so on should be less a focus
than the politics of the draft.

I understand that the ISO (another Alliance partner) has problems with the draft because
it is not transistional enough and are producing their own version. As I hear it here in
Rockhampton (aka 'The Deep North') they feel that the program should represent 'old labor
values' and that the section which includes phrases like: "At this point of rising class
polarisation the need for a radically different sort of government - one that puts the
needs of working people first - will become unavoidable" is a statement of revolutionary
intent and so should be avoided. If this is incorrect, can ISO comrades on the list please
clarify (in a comradely fashion).

Publically (in the SA bulletin) there has been one set of proposed changes "to incorporate
the class basis of the exploitation of women in the system of production and
hence reproduction, and the role played by the institution of the family." It proposes:

"amendments to section 2 The World we live in. At the end of paragraph 8 which begins
“These are what create the market” add:“ while at the same time extolling the benefits of
the family as the most efficient welfare system – shifting the costs and burdens of
reproduction and care back onto individual families which provide the safety net of
capitalist society and the basis of exploitation of women.”

At the end of paragraph 15 which starts “As a result over the past two decades” add “This
shifts the social costs of raising children, social necessities of effective health and
education, the welfare and care of the damaged, sick and elderly back
onto the family unit, usually impacting hardest on women, in a ruthless “user pays”
reversal of societal responsibility.”

Personally as a draft I think the 'general line' :-) is about right though I would like to
find a way to phrase socialist principles (section 3a) as more positive, at present it is
simply the negation of capitalism - so any suggestions would be useful.

Now it is public I guess it might be a useful focus for some of the debates on this list
and to clarify people's political positions on which a new socialist group should be
aiming for.  I suppose that when the ISO publishes their version then OZleft will publish
that as well.

Comradely

Shane

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