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22096Re: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Marrickville by-election

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  • Jonathan Strauss
    Sep 23, 2005
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      --- bobgould987 <bobgould987@...> wrote:

      > It's particularly obscene, and thoroughly racist, of
      > Boyle and the DSP
      > leadership to accuse the ethnic communities in
      > Marrickville who
      > support Labor of being either intimidated or bribed.

      Bob Gould forgets that the group in the working class
      he refers to is not the only one the DSP suggests is
      intimidated and bribed. For example, the labour
      aristocracy - the strata of workers with better
      conditions of struggle - is also bribed, or, if
      necessary, intimidated (for a spectular example,
      consider the crushing of the pilots' strike in 1989).

      In fact, I would suggest the general method of
      capitalist politics in relation to sections of the
      working class, at least once they have begun to reject
      capitalist ideas, is always some combination of
      intimidation and bribery.

      The significance of the ALP (and other opportunist
      parties, groups or trends in the working class) has
      been carrying this out (and therefore is "the same" -
      Shane's quotation marks were apt - as other capitalist
      parties) in a particular way among two specific parts
      of the working class (and is thus different from other
      capitalist parties):
      * The labour aristocracy, especially the part of it
      that has some understanding of the power of workers'
      collective organisation but has not resolved to use
      this to overthrow capitalist rule.
      * The mass of the working class among which the labour
      aristocracy exerts its influence. This will perhaps
      especially be those who are worst off, since they are
      least likely to believe they will get any reforms or
      otherwise be able to progress through capitalist
      society by individual effort. Social democracy will
      most clearly appear to be the "lesser evil" to them.

      What makes Gould desperate is that the ALP has since
      the 1980s lost influence among many better-off workers
      affected or aware of the neo-liberal policy it has
      conducted, a process strongly developed in inner-city
      areas like Marrickville. Reacting to STARTING to lose
      their relative privilege, they have developed a
      political organisation (the Greens) against the ALP
      which is a break in the two-party system of capitalist
      rule this country has long experienced. So now the ALP
      must scramble - using tactics which, in some respects,
      any political party will need to develop to become
      effective - to retain what support it can.

      Jonathan Strauss

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