Reply to Jeff Sparrow on Socialist Alliance

Pip, Peter & Zoe ppz at
Thu Nov 28 03:33:14 MST 2002

Jeff Sparrow wrote:

<<Well, a revolutionary program in the strict sense means a program that

successfully leads a revolution. None of us have that -- and given that
Australian left has remained (in relative terms) about the same size for

the last thirty years, I don't think people from this country should be
bigging up their chests too much....

Upholding your program only becomes a problem when you think of it as a
totally finished and sealed document, closed off from development or

Peter Boyle replies:

I'd agree with that definition and further more I'd say that much of our
revolutionary program can not be worked out simply by debate between the
different revolutionary socialist organisations in this country -- and I
include in this all the groups that subscribe to the objective of
socialist revoluton. We have to develo such a program through our
collective revolutionary engagement with real political developments.

I think the Socialist Alliance could be part of that process.

Now to your question:

Yes I do think the Socialist Alliance should invite any socialists who
do not explicitly embrace the iddea of revolution, i.e. they think that
socialism might be possible without the revolutionary overthrow of the
capitalist state. It should also welcome people who are not sure if it
does or does not.

I also think hat revolutionaries should seek to convince others in the
Alliance of the need for revolution and they should organises to this
end. This is why I would support the Alliance as a multi-tendency
socialist organisation.

I am not sure what you mean by "overt Stalinists" but if you mean groups
like the CPA, CPA-ML, other migrant communist groupings, etc, I would
say yes as long as the agree on our common platform. I do not think the
Alliance should demand that its members and affiliates renounce Stalin
as a pre-condition.

Again I would argue that anti-Stalinists should argue against the
program of Stalinism within the Alliance as it is posed concretely.

Does that answer your question?

Peter Boyle
peterb at

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