Aussie ISO

Philip Ferguson plf13 at
Mon May 26 21:56:31 MDT 2003

The growing disintegration of the ISO in Australia seems to be in line
with what is happening in a number of IST sections.  It's interesting
that where the British line has been most resisted - ideas like the
1990s being the 1930s in slow motion, everything being up, up and away
and therefore huge growth being on the agenda - the resisting groups
have done quite well.  For example, the ISO in the States and Socialist
Alternative in Australia, both of which developed much more sober
assessments of the period, the tasks at hand and the prospects for growth.

In NZ, the IST section, the Socialist Workers Organisation, has been in
massive decline in the past few years.  They too promoted visions of
'May 68 being around the corner in NZ' in the mid-90s, an extradordinary
assessment of the situation here that bore not even the faintest whiff
of a connection to reality.  SWO have probably lost about 80 percent of
the membership numbers they were claiming in 1994-95.

Here, as apparently in Oz, there has been no attempt by the remaining
leadership to re-assess the '1930s in slow motion' crock and the
perspectives that resulted from it.  At their conference last year the
remnant of the SWO here were finally forced to recognise that we were in
a rather different period than the one they had spent the last decade
proclaiming.  One of the ironies of this was that, in NZ, we are finally
starting to see some light and (ever so slowly) come out of the downturn
  of the past decade.  SWO is only just catching up with the reality of
the past decade, so are now miles behind the game.

In NZ, as in Oz and the US, it has been the groups with the more sober
assessment of the past decade and today that have grown - most
especially the Anti-Capitalist Alliance, but also the ISO here, which is
a split from the SWO.

One of the conclusions I draw from this is how bogus internationals -
whether they call themselves an 'international' or not (the IST doesn't
but it effectively operates as one) - are a menace.  Organisations need
to be able to think for themselves, analyse the reality in their own
country and develop as serious Marxists.  The main contribution of these
fake internationals is to strangle all possibility of this.

Philip Ferguson

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