Labour Parties

Steve Painter and Rose McCann spainter at optushome.com.au
Mon Sep 23 18:49:30 MDT 2002


Louis Proyect asked:
>>Does anybody besides me find Bob Gould something of a stuffed shirt?>>

Rose McCann responds:

Actually no. In fact, I think Bob is one of finest Marxist essayists and
analysts in Australia and I find his distinctive writing style superb.  You
would have to search hard to find anything in 10 years of publication of a
left party newspaper such as "Green Left Weekly", comparable to the depth of
primary research, sharp political insight and experience in just a handful
of Bob's recent articles. The aim is to post them all on the Ozleft website.

I only ever worked directly with Bob in one campaign, the H-Block Committee
in solidarity with Bobby Sands and the other Irish republican hunger
strikers back in the early 1980s, and haven't had much to do with him since
up until now. I regret now those lost years when the DSP leadership
encouraged all to dismiss and objectify him as some sort of worthless
villain.

Actually it is revealing that the DSP is responding with the largely silent
treatment tactic to Bob's polemics in much the same way the now defunct
Communist Party of Australia greeted the attempts of the DSP/SWP to engage
it in serious debate (the non-response to my pamphlet "Patriarchy or Class",
published by the Australian SWP in 1988 -- which was largely an extended
polemic against CPA politics in the feminist movement -- being a prime
example of this tactic.

Re the class character of particular layers, I think some people on this
list, such as Phil and Ben, could well do with another look at Harry
Braverman's "Labor and Monopoly Capital" to understand the class character
of the growing majority of those who labour for capital and whose labour is
irrevocably and without exception alienated. Yes, this does include many
lawyers and academics, as "Monthly Review" writers in particular have been
detailing recently by outlining specific strategies and techniques used by
capital to ensure this outcome.

For more on this latter subject see:
Alienated labour and the Verizon strike by Alexander Urbelis
http://eserver.org/bs/53/urbelis.html and Estranged labour, by Karl Marx
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/labour.htm

Rose McCann


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