[Marxism] Australian Socialist Alliance edges into the Putinite camp

Nick Fredman nick.j.fredman at gmail.com
Tue May 6 07:30:42 MDT 2014

On 06/05/2014, at 8:52 AM, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:

> 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. 

For one thing a lot of Internet discussion has moved to Facebook, for good or ill. For another Renfrey isn't necessarily revered as an expert, for example on Libya where there was a lot of public discussion around 2011-12 and if I recall correctly to the extent there was any line adopted, Renfrey's very positive stance towards the rebels was a minority one. See e.g. http://links.org.au/node/2300. For a third thing Socialist Alliance's line clearly isn't what's in Links, as there's a variety of views there. Socialist Alliance is discussing a line for a conference in a month, which is:

[From http://alliancevoices.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/draft-international-perspectives.html]

7. The fragile recovery from the GFC and the Great Recession that followed has been at the expense of the large majority of people who have been forced to shoulder the main burden. As a result a continuing political crisis of neo-liberalism continues to break out into political upheavals and what the IMF calls “geopolitical risks”. These include the continuing wars and uprisings in the Middle East, the conflict in Ukraine and the continuing popular mobilisations against austerity in southern Europe.

8. However, many of these mass uprisings also revealed the limits of spontaneous revolts as well as the challenges – and necessity – of developing the self-organisation and political consciousness of the oppressed and building a political force that represents the interests of the oppressed and is capable of leading a struggle for political power against the ruling classes. In the absence of such developments, right-wing populists, local elites and imperialist powers will exploit the situation. We can see this dynamic unfold in Egypt, Syria and the Ukraine.

9. The Socialist Alliance will continue to stand in solidarity with all struggles against oppression and exploitation even where we disagree with the political leadership of such struggles. For instance, we defend the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and other dissidents facing brutal repression under the Egyptian military regime, even though we disagreed with the politics of MB and the former Morsi government.

10. We oppose – and seek to expose – any imperialist intervention and manipulation of these conflicts but we reject the approach of those leftists who in the name of opposing imperialism whitewash bloody dictatorships like that the Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad. Similarly, while we condemn the interference of the US and EU in the conflict in Ukraine we also call for an end to the intervention by the Putin government of Russia. We support the right of self-determination of Ukraine as well as the right of people in the Crimea to decide their future; however, this must include the right of the Crimean Tartars to return to their homeland. 

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