[Marxism] Respect split

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Tue Oct 30 23:49:25 MDT 2007

Louis wrote: "I suspect that the refusal to simply  dissolve old vanguard 
parties is key," referring to among others to the Australian experience.

OK, let's consider what exactly would have happened in Australia if the DSP, 
ISO etc had "simply dissolved" after forming Socialist Alliance..

Remember that the Alliance only happened in the first place because the DSP 
and the ISO initiated it. If at any subsquent point they had "simply 
dissolved themselves", I think most of the active independents would have 
lost interest. The great attraction of the Alliance for them was that the 
ISO and DSP were prepared to use their infrastructure to artificially 
maintain an impressive-looking vehicle for them to be part of. If these two 
groups had dissolved, it would have thrown responsibility for sustaining 
that vehicle onto the general membership, which was by no means up to the 
task. The members would have tried for a while, but within months if not 
weeks they'd have begun heading for the exits, and the Alliance would have 
collapsed earlier.

Personally I think these ventures "keep going kerblooey" because they are 
based on wish-fulfilment rather than realistic assessments. In our case, the 
ISO thought it could regroup disillusioned Labor voters, and the DSP thought 
it could re-group the left. Neither was realistic. The disillusioned Labor 
voters went to the Greens, as one might expect. The broad run of activists 
looked at the unity proposal, and thought they could spy lurking behind it a 
plan for DSP hegemony  -- also as one might expect.

So in the end the plan to "end all those silly left squabbles"  resulted in 
a new round of silly left squabbles, offering subject matter for a new round 
of "what went wrong" chat on Marxmail. Dunno why anyone's surprised.

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