DSP and the Australian Socialist Alliance

Nigel Irritable nigel_irritable at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 4 11:19:06 MDT 2002

Louis wrote:
> Actually, you seem a rather poor judge of the DSP or
> the British SWP, all in all. Although both have been
> constrained by bad habits handed down since
> the 1920s, they (and the Bensaid wing of the FI)
> seem more open to new party-building ideas than the
> calcified CWI. I say this despite the
> bureaucratic treatment meted out to the American ISO
> by the British leaders of the SWP. The fact that
> these tendencies can move even slightly toward
> some forms of regroupment is a hopeful sign.
> Meanwhile, the CWI continues as if nothing has
> changed since 1922 or so. Even the Catholic Church
> can change with the times, although I do love the
> sound of Latin.

As usual Louis you shift your focus as you go along.
Why don't I repeat my questions to you, in case you
missed them:

1) Who are the DSP supposedly "uniting" with?

2) Who are they negotiating with?

3) Given their history and the unilateral way in which
they have made this proclamation is the view that they
are actually consolidating their control of the SA,
trying to pick up some of the independents and
simultaneously to split their main "ally" just as
reasonable an interpretation as taking them at face

The answers to those questions as far as I am
concerned are (1) nobody (2) nobody and (3) either
option is possible and only time will tell. Where do
you differ?

You now bring up the issue of other "party-building
ideas". I will readily agree that the Bensaid wing of
the USFI view of what kind of party we need and how to
build one differs dramatically from mine. I also allow
for the possibility that the DSP may be genuinely
following a similar path - although I am more
sceptical about their sincerity than I am of
Bensaid's. I have yet to see any evidence, though,
that the British SWP are looking to alter the type of
party they have been seeking to build for decades,
although since about 1992 they have been somewhat
altering their behaviour en route.

I do dispute, though, your characterisation of the
kind of parties Bensaid and now possibly the DSP are
trying to build as "new". In fact these ideas are very
old indeed. I strongly doubt if anyone in this forum
is unaware that time and again socialists have raised
the idea that a revolutionary party in unneccessary,
or has been superceded by events.

You, Louis, may well sincerely argue that you want a
new type of revolutionary party rather than just
another type of reformism. I am charitable enough to
believe you. But those you choose as your "allies",
the leadership of the USFI or the Scottish ISM are not
so naive.

As for the CWI, we remain convinced that we need a
revolution and that for a revolution to be succesful
the workers of the world must be organised into a
revolutionary party. If that makes us "calcified" in
your eyes, so be it.

Others may notice that we have proved ourselves
flexible in trying to lay the groundwork for such a
party in a number of countries across the world.

Is mise le meas
Brian Cahill

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