35975Re: Gould's double act
- Nov 20, 2006--- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "lfom5608" <lfom5608@...>
>Primarily because its raison d'etre is one of regrouping the left.Of
> If not, what makes the Socialist Alliance different to any other far
> left group? Why not say that the Socialist Party is at the heart of
> any serious discussion about building left unity? Or Socialist
> Alternative? Or the Communist Party?
course, the key question is what left? I think it is the case -- at
least perhaps for the time being -- that the far left groups aren't
very interested in such a project.The door is always open to them to
reactivate in the SA milieu -- but at present they have turned elsewhere.
I think there is a misconception shared by a few that that question
contains the SA -- that it's a business of bringing these outfits
together or there is no 'unity" worth the value.
Obviously a lot of people disgagree with that.
In fact, I think there is a patronising bias in operation that
considers "unity" outside the parameters of already existing
socialist outfits to be a cheapened unity and not worthy of the effort.
Thats' a major mistake I think and stinks of arrogance. The Alliance
is not like these other outfits in that it is open to anyone to join--
whereas these left groups SELECT their membership on the basis of an
So while the SA remains an inherently open process which people are
invited to join, network within it and format aspects of practice and
policy-- its reach out is different from the Socialist Party or
Socialist Alternative etc.
I guess that the SA is much more amorphous than these outfits and
doesn't have a strict cadre perspective as they do. Its dynamic is
I think that the SA so far has made some significant but still modest
advances in promoting that regroupment perspective as it has drawn
many people into a working partnership with one another -- such that
its presence across the movements is much larger than any one of the
small left outfits or even, in some cases, these outfits combined.
The other related inference in your remark is that perhaps the SA is
no different from these other outfits because it is merely the "DSP
rebadged". The problem with generating traction with that notion is
that the majority of the SA membership doesn't see it that way
--despite the catcalls from the margins. It's very true that the DSP
is a major stakeholder and plays a leading role in the Alliance --
but primarily that's a partnering relationship otherwise the SA would
be an empty shell and pretend front group exactly as Ozleft tries to
But that leads to, what I think is, the key question:is the Socialist
Alliance at the heart of any serious discussion about building left
unity? And you refer to the Socialist Party in that context. Well,
the SP has been talking about forming a real workers party for some
time but I don't see it happening, do you? And that's primarily
because the Alliance occupies the space that the SP's own unity
project would hope to fill. And I guess, the same applies to any
hope that the ISO may have of replicating RESPECT here in Australia.
The reality is that either within or outside the SA -- the present
audience for left unity is primarily relating nationwide to the
Alliance and for the moment at least, the SA owns the copyright.
As Dick Nichols said in one GLW article, "if the SA didn't exist
today, it would have to be invented". And I think tahts' very true.
The SA's primary challenge is to enlarge and broaden that audience --
by seeking ways to engage with and inspire it.
This is the ONLY left unity project on offer-- at least from what I
know. Of course theres' also the Greens, who by default coalesce a
radical milieu. But the Greens aren't proclaiming socialism nor are
they so committed to extra parliamentary action. They also proscribe
other organised currents from their ranks.
That doesn't mean that the Alliance is the whole box and dice. It's an
advance along a particular line of march but it's clear that other
tactical shifts may in future be necessary as new opportunities for
regroupment open up. But as the last two theses from our conference
[QUOTE]14. Socialist Alliance re-affirms its core objective of
promoting left unity and regroupment. However, we recognise that the
Socialist Alliance will have to go through a more extended period of
united campaigning and political convergence with the broader forces
generated by a new upturn of resistance before it can develop the
social base and harness the leadership resources needed to take a
significant step towards creating a new mass socialist party.
15. Nonetheless, for first time in many years many in the working
class look towards Socialist Alliance as a valuable step forward along
that path. By championing the need for a broadly based anti-capitalist
or new mass workers' party and by always helping to organise the most
united left intervention possible in the social movements, the
Socialist Alliance can continue to win the respect of broader layers
of militant workers and social justice activists, and win them to its
ranks. In this way Socialist Alliance will continue to take practical
steps along the road to building the political force that Australia's
workers, poor and oppressed need.[UNQUOTE]
As I said in my original contribution: the Alliance is always going to
be on trial before a every widening audience that now already
transcends trhe inner urban left milieu.. Outside the polemics and
the rhetoric and such-- the only test that will matter in the final
instance will be whether the Socialist Alliance achieves what it sets
out to do..
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