Australian Labor Party

Ben Courtice benj at
Thu Sep 19 01:03:41 MDT 2002

A question for Phil, who seems to have explored the issue of the Labour
parties in some depth: Do you think they still do/can rest on a section of
the working class?

Personally I think that the working class support base for the ALP is vastly
narrower than it was in, say, the 1960s, but it still exists. This section of
workers is less and less tied to the unions but I think they still exist. I
still think the ALP is fundamentally bourgeois (regardless of how many unions
are affiliated). It is controlled by the outlook of the careerists in the
unions, NGOs and parliament (and hangers-on) and a (now somewhat thin) layer
of relatively comfortable workers (who in many ways, culturally at least, act
like a part of the middle class). As Lenin commented, the opportunists are
often better defenders of capitalism than the bourgeoisie themselves...

And Phil wrote:
> BTW, one thing the Australian left really needs to develop is a left-wing
critique of multiculturalism.  Otherwise when the whole Aussie ruling class
goes multiculturalist (much of it already is), the Aussie left will still be
running to catch up and wondering how on earth that happened.

I'm not sure that it will be such a surprise. "Multiculturalism" prospered
under 13 years of Labor government. The DSP started to analyse this in some
depth when Hanson/One Nation first appeared. The discussion has fallen by the
wayside a bit since events have moved on but I think we canvassed the issues
then. Maybe we should revisit that again? I'll look up some of the

Ben Courtice

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