[Marxism] Australian Socialist Alliance edges into the Putinite camp

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon May 5 16:52:30 MDT 2014

Over the past nearly 20 years since I have cohabited with these people 
on Marxmail and the mailing list that preceded it, I have gotten used to 
their reticence. There was a time when they were still gung-ho on 
"Leninism" that they were more outspoken. I distinctly remember Peter 
Boyle (the activist, not the comic actor) once making the case that 
Leninism was revolutionary factionalism. Of course, that was a long time 
ago and my memory might be fading. Have to increase the fish oil intake, 
I guess.

The only member of this group that seems to have a mind of his own is 
Michael Karadjis who I had some battle royales with during the war in 
Kosovo. I only wish that I could turn the clock back and have 
distinguished myself more from Jared Israel. Oh well, live and learn. 
Michael is sort of their Richard Seymour, an outlier who has the odd 
notion that membership in a "Bolshevik" group has some relationship to 
the historic Bolshevik Party where members were expected to think and 
speak for themselves. What a quaint notion.

As should be obvious from Links posting Borotba's call 
(http://links.org.au/node/3837) for an anti-fascist (ie., pro-Russian) 
protest in Ukraine and Kagarlitsky's addled musings, as well as kindred 
expressions from Renfrey Clarke and Tony Ilitis in Green Left Weekly, 
our friends are moving rapidly toward the John Rees orientation. 
Borotba's statement is really quite an eye-opener, filled with 
formulations that probably wouldn't pass muster in Counterfire 
and--unbelievably--a citation from RT.com. Frankly, you would think at 
this stage of the game that serious political people would avoid citing 
RT.com, especially on the Ukraine. For me, quoting RT.com on the Ukraine 
is like putting on a red rubber nose, grease-paint and squirting people 
with a seltzer bottle.

But even more puzzling is the absence of debate on their own mailing 
list on Yahoo or here about all this. I have trouble figuring out 
whether this is a function of the sort of disdain for the 
petty-bourgeois Internet shared by the ISO and the SWP or instead a 
pronounced tendency in their ranks toward allowing an orientation to be 
determined by "specialists" like Renfrey Clarke. I only wish that I had 
the guts when I was an SWP member to challenge someone like Frank Lovell 
back in 1977 when he told a convention that the working class of the USA 
was more radicalized than any time in the 20th century. Having lived 
through that experience, I resolved to make up my own mind about everything.

More information about the Marxism mailing list