[Marxism] Revolutionary Socialist Party statement on unity with Socialist Alternative

Omar Hassan sherrife at gmail.com
Wed Oct 3 03:23:13 MDT 2012

An honest and positive statement by the comrades in the RSP about their
attitude to unity.  For those who are interested.

Statement by the Revolutionary Socialist Party on progress towards merger
with Socialist Alternative

*October 2, 2012*

The Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) held its third congress on 29-30
September. The RSP was founded in 2008, after a long struggle inside the
Democratic Socialist Party (DSP), in defence of seeking to build a
political party that publicly defends and explains revolutionary socialism
and Marxist ideas as the foundation of its political work, alongside
intervening in and contributing to campaigns that are fighting the
exploitative, oppressive or discriminatory policies and practices of

Since 2008, the small group of activists that make up the RSP have been
endeavouring to decide the best way to achieve the formation, consolidation
and growth of a party that can prioritise the public defence and
explanation of revolutionary Marxism and help prepare the fight to overturn
the system and build a new one. RSP members had already rejected the
proposition that there were any quick fixes to achieve accelerated growth
or sudden wider reach-out or “broadness”. An extended period of retreats
and some defeats of the working class had resulted in a depoliticisation of
society generally. Struggles against the predatory attacks or inhuman
policies of the capitalist class still break out in Australia, but they are
small, irregular and rarely sustained. This is the case despite the fact
that a small but significant percentage of the people possess sentiments
that oppose, or at least radically question, the inhumanity and injustice
of the current status quo. The grubby, mean and greedy politics of the
likes of Gillard and Abbott, reflecting the moral bankruptcy of the
contemporary capitalist class and its politicians and the desperation of
that class generated by the contradictions of late capitalism, will ensure
that that sentiment grows.

The RSP has been continually testing to find the right path forward in this
situation. It has made some mistakes and suffered some setbacks, but its
members have remained active in a number of campaign areas, in building
international links and maintaining its newspaper and website. We remain
committed to doing whatever is necessary and useful to move towards
creating the kind of Marxist revolutionary party of popular explanation and
intervention that we envisaged from the beginning.

At this Congress, the RSP decided unanimously that it would step up
exploring a merger with Socialist Alternative as the logical next step
towards building a fighting, interventionist party that can also
effectively publicly defend the ideas of revolutionary Marxism. The RSP has
some not unimportant political differences with S.A. on various questions,
such as on the nature of past revolutions and their outcomes. These
differences are in some cases not merely historical, as in the cases of
Cuba, Venezuela and Vietnam. However, it has become absolutely clear that
the members of S.A. are also committed to building the same kind of party
that publicly defends the heritage of Marx and Engels, drawing too on many
of the best of those who followed in their path, such as Trotsky, Luxemburg
and, most of all, Lenin. We believe that the existing political differences
need not and should not prevent the building of a united revolutionary

The initial talks with S.A. have been conducted in a comradely and very
constructive manner. The RSP Congress has resolved to build on these talks
over the next months with the determination to do everything we can to
bring about a successful merger. Wherever we can already take steps to
intermesh activities, we will be willing to do so. Of course, we continue
to hold those views that are different from those held by S.A. Members of
the RSP in the future will naturally continue to explain their views as
individual members of a new united organisation, including publicly.
Discussions between the RSP and S.A. have confirmed the usefulness and
democracy of this approach.

There is nothing more precious to be struggled for than a world without
exploitation and oppression and in which human beings can live in dignity
and freedom and can, as part of a common social process, fully develop
every individual potential. Given the anti-human and dictatorial character
of the capitalist classes that dominate most of the world today, we know
that creating that world will require a prolonged and determined fight.
Perhaps in Australia today, where levels of struggle are low and society is
managed in a way to keep it depoliticised, the opportunities will be for
small steps, small gains, small wins. So be it. We keep going. We will do
whatever is necessary to gather and organise with people who are also
determined to build the kind of organisation the working class will
increasingly need.

*Direct Action — October 2, 2012*

For left wing news and analysis, plus updates on all the campaigns that
matter, check out:* www.sa.org.au*

More information about the Marxism mailing list