[Marxism] Last man standing

Nick Fredman nick.fredman at iinet.net.au
Fri Aug 27 21:48:22 MDT 2010


> Maybe [the Greens make] more sense than the Socialist Alliance?

There's two related problems here. 

Firstly, whether or not Alan Bradley is correct in predicting that any influx of organised socialists into the Greens would severely damage that party (due to a reaction from its right wing), the Greens constitution specifically disallows members to be members of "another party". I don't think anyone is game to test whether this means members of a socialist organisation that doesn't define itself as a party would be unwelcome as members, or expelled if they discreetly joined in any numbers, as the DSP was en bloc when this provision was adopted in 1992 (presumably after the DSP offered to give up its electoral registration, operate more loosely etc). 

After the IST-aligned group here left Socialist Alliance in 2007, these comrades orientated towards the Greens and apparently handed out for them in the 2007 federal elections. But in their articles at the time it was unclear whether any of them had joined the Greens and if so whether they were pushing the general arguments they were making about the Greens in their press. Their activity wasn't a bad thing and an advance on their previous position of voting for the Labor Party ahead of the Greens, but while the comrades presumably think they are in a united front with the Greens in bourgeois elections, I'm not sure if many people would have noticed. 

Secondly, any argument that the small socialist groups with their meagre followings should dissolve themselves into the Greens, for the greater good of the struggle, comes against the reality that there is very little to the Greens pretensions of being an activist party, and what there is occurs very unevenly. The Greens are not a vehicle for organsing public meetings and conferences or producing media that build campaigns and help the whole left (as opposed to some impressive media that promotes the Greens), or for sustaining and promoting class struggle ideas in the unions and other social movements. Any effort to make them more so would probably need the kind of struggle with the more right-wing Greens that Alan warns about. 

The Greens policy and general perspectives is probably about as good as a broad left party with 10 000 members and 10%+ of the vote is going to be at present, and if we could have either a more clearly activist and left Greens and/or a 'Green Left' type current (something like that in the UK) that did some of the work mentioned in the preceding paragraph that the whole party couldn't do, and could forward its own perspectives without permanent war in the party, I'd be quite happy. In the meantime I'm not willing to abandon Socialist Alliance and Green Left (the readership of which until recently was higher than the Greens website and still rivals it). 

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