Bob Gould and the DSP

Steve Painter and Rose McCann spainter at
Wed Sep 25 19:17:45 MDT 2002

An extract from Bob Gould's March 2000 Open Letter to Alex Callinicos, now
available in full at Ozleft

One of the attractive aspects of the DSP is the way several of these people,
who were young in the 1960s, have stubbornly persisted in the enterprise of
trying to create an effective socialist organisation, by their lights and
beliefs, over a period which has turned out to be a period of capitalist
boom, and decline of the socialist movement, much longer than the 1920s, in
fact, a period of about 30 years, compared to 10 years in the 1920s.

It's very important to not lose sight of this, and nothing that I say in
sharp political argument, polemic, disagreement or discussion with these
people, is intended as some kind of stupid petty bourgeois moral judgement
on them. They've kept at it, in the way that they think is right, in
generally adverse conditions, for a very long period, and that deserves
respect. I respect these comrades, amongst others, in a way that I do not
respect those people who were once radicals, who have become totally
absorbed in carving out success under a booming capitalism (although I think
it is stupid to pass moralising individual judgement, either, on many of the
people who have done that. Sometimes those people come back into political
activity, and individual judgmental moralising is not much use in politics
anyway. Most people are profoundly affected by the ebbs and flows in culture
and society.) Nevertheless, in my cosmology, the people who keep at the
socialist project, so to speak, are the people I want to talk to, and in
this case, argue with, about perspectives for the socialist movement.

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