34478Re: ALP's Tree of Knowledge officially dead
- Oct 7, 2006Sol,
``Clutching at straws'' (doesn't that means extrapolating something
from an exceptional or isolated incident?) or not it is what happens
every week in my experience. That's all I'm pointing out. Some on this
list argue that to attempt to build a left alternative to Labor, and
explain to people openly why we do so, puts you beyond the pale with
Labor members/supporters/voters, but provide no evidence for this,
anecdotal or otherwise. That is not my experience. Everybody is free
to post their experiences that conflict with this.
And of course nobody is arguing that *most* of the 35%-40% of the
electorate who remain dyed in the wool Labor voters are yet looking
for such an alternative. But there is a significant number of others
who want something better. And that's who we orient to. You know that
Sol, that's why you are (were?) in the Greens. Do the Greens find
themselves alienated and isolated for pointing out how far Labor has
strayed from what people assume are its basic principles? Without a
survey proving it, is that your experience?
For decades around 10-20% of the electorate have fluctuated around
this search for a progressive alternative, and these days most vote
for the Greens or in the end vote Labor for the lack of a viable
alternative or in fear that the Libs will win. But there is room for
those or want a specifically socialist alternative, or want more than
the Greens offer. Socialists should be *building* such a movement,
with whatever tactics each one feels is appropriate. But the key is to
build it. Give it a go. Do something, don't just pooh-pooh but offer
nothing as an alternative strategy.
By all means, if you believe that socialists can expand (or revive)
support for socialist policies within the ALP and are prepared to
organise within to do it, I'm all for it! But again there is little
evidence that that is taking place anywhere these days, certainly none
provided by the advocates of that course on this list. But I'm happy
to be proven wrong by somebody actually doing it.
Scientific or not, I think SA/DSP and other comrades putting
themselves out there regularly in this way (but not only that way)
allows us to gauge the mood out there in ways that some on the left
fail to give us credit for. The anecdotal but very consistent evidence
is that there are many Labor and ex-Labor people, including some
current ALP members, very supportive of what we say in GLW and in
Socialist Alliance literature. We want to work with them and have them
join Socialist Alliance too (we won't throw them out if they stay in
the ALP, although unfortunately the ALP will).
Yes, they are self-selecting, that's why we sell on the streets and at
political gatherings. I presume that's why the Greens are openly
critical of the ALP too and try to join such ``self-selecting'' people
and organise them too.
But we'd all be in a bit of a bind if nobody was ``self-selecting''
themselves to listen to us! But they are.
--- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Sol Salbe" <ssalbe@...>
> Norm, Bob
> Like (probably) lots of other people on the list I am glad to notice
> that the tone of this thread has improved no end. I have not felt the
> need to particpate then and I still don't although I enjoy reading
> I do, however think that you clutching at straws with your arguement
> here. It may indeed by the case that a scientific survey will show a
> greater degree of cynicism of the ALP that that postulated by Bob
> Gould. (It amy also a greater degree of support for that party than
> suggested by way.)We don't know that but that is not really the point.
> It is hardly meaningful to make an argument on the basis of people
> who are self-selecting themselves precisely on the basis of a great
> degree of agreement with your position. It is as meaningful as
> working out the Australian political situation by those who choose to
> read Murdoch Australian or those who get their information from
> Andrew Bolt's blog. I am sure you have better arguments than this.
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