(fwd from Dave Riley) re: fresh developments in australian 'unity' debates

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Thu Nov 7 13:08:31 MST 2002

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Jeff Sparrow makes a telling point in his introduction to the latest response
from the ISO:

"it seems to me that the letter below (a letter from the ISO executive to that
of the DSP) confirms everything I argued about how 'left unity' without some
shift in either the political situation or the audience for socialist ideas
simply entails the far left turning inwards for renewed squabbles."

I think that is precisely what the ISO is trying to do by engineering a
stalling strategy emphasising political differences while ignoring the massive
political gains 'unity' would foster.

This is regrettable. No one is asking or expecting the ISO to put their
differences aside. The big ask is that they commit to a extraordinary
opportunity to remake the Australain socialist left by making it qualitatively
more relevant and stronger.  That's what 'regroupment' means. That's why
socialists do it.

Unfortunately, instead of even entertaining the notion of going along with the
option by at least continuing to support the Socialist Alliance the ISO
threatens to throw the baby out with the bathwater and pullout
alltogether. For the ISO the debate seems to have degenerated into a squabble
between themselves and the DSP. That's not where it's at. The discussion is
about the future perspectives of the Socialist Alliance given its record so

Hesitancy is allowed. But threatening to turn your back on the enterprise is
hardly a useful tact.

What we need is a pettition campaign: "We the undersigned ,aligned and
unlaigned socialists and political activists, call on the International
Socilaist Organisation to retain their active membership of the Socialist
Allaince...etcetera."  If they have differences that they want to air-
fine. But INSIDE the Allaince is where they will get the best hearing for

If they remain outside they isolate themselves from the opportunity of a
political lifetime.

Dave Riley

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