14517Re: Demise of the English Socialist Alliance
- Mar 1 3:52 PMTo be honest, I've been wondering for some time if the (Australian)
SA hadn't reached a bit of an impasse. Of course, it's difficult for
me to make this judgement from a distance, but it's an impression I'm
A realistic assessment of its potential, and its actual achievements,
would appear, to me, to indicate that it has actually done fairly
well in the circumstances. As such, there is no need to be defensive
about its record, or to exaggerate its successes.
What I think needs to be done now is to see where and how it can move
forward. That requires a bit of imagination - the kind of imagination
that was being shown when the SA was being set up in the first place.
Of course the potential courses of action are constrained by reality.
In particular, any actual tensions between affiliates, or any actual
falling off of membership participation, need to be very carefully
and patiently addressed.
It would be a fiasco if the SA were to shrink to being a "DSP and
friends" rump. This must not be allowed to happen.
There is plenty of stuff that will need to be done in the current
months. The Australian working class is facing the prospect of some
particularly savage attacks. This will involve the SA in some very
interesting struggles, with lots of interesting possibilities. The SA
needs to be in good shape to face this, as well as being prepared to
forge whatever alliances are possible and necessary to advance these
And, yes, of course, these alliances will include ALP members.
Even if defeatist elements win, and big struggles do not eventuate,
there will still be work to be done. There will be an opportunity to
take initiative and try new things, rather than simply grinding away
with the core organisational tasks. (The core tasks will still be
necessary, of course - they always are).
To do all this will require a confident and enthusiastic membership.
That's the hard part. You can't whip this into being through
exhortions. You can't bullshit this into being through exaggeration
(for very long). You can't substitute for it either.
Actually building it is the tricky part, and I can't really offer any
suggestions from here, apart from suggesting comrades need to keep a
sense of proportion, be patient, be imaginative, and don't overplay
their hands factionally. If you don't do these things, you will find
you have built a sand castle. If you do, well, you might be lucky...
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