[Marxism] The timeless history of Jim McIlroy and the DSP

Ozleft ozleft at optushome.com.au
Tue Nov 30 12:36:35 MST 2004

"The Origins of the Australian Labor Party", another timeless DSP
pamphlet from Jim McIlroy

By Bob Gould

The genial Jim McIlroy gives the obligatory historical lecture at DSP
Christmas/New Year gatherings. This pamphlet is the lecture he gave
last year. I don't like being too hard on McIlroy, as he's a pleasant
enough bloke, unlike some others in the DSP leadership, but his
historical lectures and pamphlets have become doggedly and
predictably routine. They contain only a certain amount of history
and the real point of these historical pamphlets is to reassert DSP
dogma about the Labor Party.

In this pamphlet, the DSP dogma comes at the end, in 24 points, most
of which don't depend at all on the limited amount of historical
material in the pamphlet.

This pamphlet works over essentially the same material as McIlroy's
previous Christmas lecture, Australia's First Socialists. Like all
current DSP history lectures, the whole history of the Australian
workers movement is reduced to a simple, timeless proposition about
the need to build the revolutionary party in all places and at all
times. In reality, the historical material is entirely secondary, and
is superfluous to the DSP's timeless theme about Laborism.

McIlroy and DSP Australian labour movement historiography have a lot
in common these days with Stuart McIntyre's right-wing Social
Democratic historiography. The McIlroy-DSP school share with McIntyre
a total neglect of all the instances of robust upsurges and centrism
that from time to time have reasserted or revived the Labor Party's
influence among the working class and the masses.

Full text: http://members.optushome.com.au/spainter/Timeless.html

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