DSP etc (part 1)

Nigel Irritable nigel_irritable at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 7 08:47:48 MDT 2002

I said earlier in this exchange that I was going to
pull back from the discussion unless people were
addressing points or questions directly to me. Two
people have recently done so. I don't have time to
respond at length or to take up all of the issues
raised until next week. So briefly:

> The "sceptical" and well-named Nigel Irritable seems
> to be able to discern from his watch-tower in
> Ireland the nature of the activities and intentions
> of, and the balance of forces between, all of the
> groups in the Australian anti-capitalist left.

I made it very clear that I am not able to discern the
intentions of all of the groups on the Australian left
from afar. In fact my original post made the point
that the DSP might be sincere in their proclamation or
that they might be engaged in a manouvre and that it
just isn't possible to tell with the information
available. And there is quite an amount of information
available to people outside of Australia - due to the
wonders of modern telecommunications.

> > The Australian Socialist Alliance consists of the
> > DSP,
> > the ISO, a handful of tiny organisations and a
> > small number of active independents

> SA is by far the biggest, with 2000 members,
> Socialist organisation in Australian for at least 20
> years. [...]

Nothing you say here contradicts my point. The
Australian Socialist Alliance in its normal activities
is the DSP, the ISO, a handful of tiny groups and a
small number of active independents. I am well aware
that the SA has a larger paper membership than that -
and that point is interesting in terms of assessing
the impact or otherwise of the SA, but is irrelevant
to discussions of how it functions. I had thought that
the SA claimed 2,600 members, by the way.

> The possibility that Nigel can't seem to understand
> from his sectarian schematism is the most likely one
> (in fact the true one) - that the DSP wants to
> gradually dissolve into a larger revolutionary
> organisation, that would for the forseeable future
> have various tendencies and trends as per the
> existing revolutionary groups in Australia. This is
> crystal in all the public announcements the DSP
> has been made about SA since the DSP initiated it
> early last year, and is also significantly different
> from the SSP model of "classs
> struggle party" that leaves the question of
> revolution open. The latest announcments certainly
> forces the discussion but SA as a minimalist
> electoral bloc will wither unless some serious
> transfusions of energy, resources and program are
> injected soon.

Now that this is interesting. The ASA at the moment
is, as you say "a minimalist electoral bloc". It
includes both people who see themselves as reformist
and people who see themselves as revolutionaries.

If the DSP plan not just to liquidate themselves into
the ASA, and follow the SSP model by transforming it
organisationally but not politically, but instead
plans to dissolve itself into an ASA which is
simultaneously being turned into a multi-tendencied
revolutionary party, will they still be willing to
become a rarely-caucusing tendency in the ASA if it
refuses to adopt a revolutionary programme? Will we
instead see the DSP operating as a faction of the
Socialist Alliance, but as a much more tightly-bound
revolutionary one inside a "broad" organisation?

Is mise le meas
Brian Cahill

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