[Marxism] Seeing Red website up
peterb at greenleft.org.au
Sun Apr 3 23:16:06 MDT 2005
Here it is after a long wait: <http://www.seeing-red.org/>
Who are we?
Forum of social, political and cultural dissent
Initiated by the Socialist Alliance
1. The Seeing Red editorial, production and distribution team is:
Alastair Greig, Humphrey McQueen, David Glanz, Dick Nichols, Rosemary
Webb, Rob White, Jamie Doughney, Tom Barnes
2. The purpose of Seeing Red is explained in the editorial from our
What do we want?
In May 2003 the Socialist Alliance’s second national conference voted to
launch a new magazine aimed at “stimulating and housing debates in the
broadly anti-capitalist and anti-neoliberal camp”. You hold in your
hands the result of that decision, the “forum of social, political and
cultural dissent” that we have called Seeing Red.
Seeing Red starts life at a time when disgust and rage with contemporary
capitalism are profoundly felt and deeply rooted. We are living through
a period of many-sided struggle, conscious and unconscious, against the
virulent disease that is the production-for-profit system.
This revulsion is producing a wide variety of anti-bodies—in different
scientific disciplines, in various spheres of human struggle and
endeavour, and in all societies, cultures and languages.
The goal of Seeing Red is to provide a forum in Australia for this
spreading process of dissent. We want to open up communications among
all those who are fighting the status quo in a language all can
understand, whatever their starting point.
However, although today’s capitalism—more “globalised” and warlike than
ever—is creating enemies on an unprecedented scale, a spectre still
haunts these millions of potential grave-diggers of the existing system.
It’s the spectre of socialism’s failure. The message of the
“impossibility” of ordinary people actually running their society
remains one of the most powerful weapons in capitalism’s ideological
arsenal—whether this comes in the shape of lingering doubts left by the
final collapse of the Russian Revolution or as a “truth” daily
jack-hammered into our brains by the Daily Telegraph.
How can the socialist message and a socialist culture revive in such a
The classical Marxists stressed that capitalism’s basic dynamic was
captured by the law of combined and uneven development. Those economies,
peoples, regions and nations that had managed to get their foot on the
first rung of the ladder of development never climb all the same rungs
as those who came before them: they always combine steps that their
predecessors had been forced to take singly.
Yet this very same process of “combination” is always “uneven”: it
always pushes industries, regions and entire economies back down the
ladder of development or even away from it altogether. For every
Malaysia or Chile, a Nepal, Bolivia or Haiti. For every Silicon Valley a
La Trobe Valley. For South and South East Asia, almost the entire
continent of Africa.
Development under twenty-first century capitalism has never been more
combined nor more uneven. Progress takes place at an accelerating,
devastating and, most of all, avoidable cost—in wars and in exploitation
of working people and of the environment. The gap between the actual and
the potential in science, technology and human culture has never yawned
The productivity of human labour is now so great that the effort and
resources needed for definitive solutions to famine, homelessness,
disease and illiteracy are—historically and relative to the total
productive potential of our world—smaller than ever.
And yet the ranks of the starving, homeless, diseased and illiterate
continue to grow.
This appalling contradiction is what will fuel the revival of socialism
as a conviction of millions of people. It will also be a central theme
of Seeing Red. We shall publish many articles showing how, on the basis
of authoritative analysis, humanity’s core problems—problems of the
foundations of human happiness—can actually be solved.
Our first contribution comes from 2003 Australian of the Year,
epidemiologist Fiona Stanley. Called “The real brain drain: Why putting
children first is so important for Australia”, it spells out what a
serious policy of child health in this country must and can achieve.
How and when such a goal will actually be reached will, of course,
overwhelmingly be determined by a struggle whose course is impossible to
predict. However, the Socialist Alliance is convinced that what blocks
the possibility of generalised progress is capitalism itself. If all the
peoples of the planetbare to have a chance for development and
well-being production for profit must be replaced by production for
However, we haven’t launched Seeing Red simply to repeat that familiar
idea. Our goal is to promote sharing of knowledge about alternatives as
well as debate as to their viability in the real world. It is only
through this shared journey of trial and error—carried out in the realm
of ideas and culture but also in relation to the real political
struggle—that the socialist alternative will revive as a material force.
In short, the aspiration of Seeing Red is to help all of us who are
fighting for the alternative—the Socialist Alliance included—to think.
And to think in all spheres, not only in politics and economics, but in
our culture and daily life.
We will publish articles from a wide variety of backgrounds. Many will
be explicitly Marxist and socialist, others will be the product of Green
or left Social Democratic traditions, still others will be true and
telling descriptions of the “way things are”. They will appear in Seeing
Red for the simple reason that, in the opinion of the editorial board,
they advance the common understanding of all of us who are fighting for
Ours is a project that will only progress to the degree that all who
share its goal also make their own active contribution. From our second
number we will have an extensive letters section—we invite all our
readers to say their piece. We also invite contributions on the wide
range of topics—from politics to video art, from economics to music—that
the magazine will present.
The more the readers of Seeing Red also becomes its writers, the more we
shall all be helping build the common home that socialist culture and
politics in Australia have long lacked. Help us make it succeed!
3. How to get involved
How can I write for Seeing Red?
Seeing Red welcomes letters and unsolicited manuscripts, which can be
sent to the Editorial Board by post or email. Manuscripts will be
returned only if accompanied by a stamped self-addressed envelope.
How can I get my copy of Seeing Red?
Seeing Red is distributed through subscription (see rates), through
Socialist Alliance local branches (see
http://www.socialist-alliance.org) and commercially.
To subscribe, send a cheque or money order (payable to “Seeing Red”)
with your address to: Seeing Red, PO Box A2323, Sydney South NSW 1235
Rates: 4 issues $16, 8 issues $30 (individual)
4 issues $30, 8 issues $60 (institutional)
More information about the Marxism